IELTS for Canada

IELTS is the only international English language test trusted for migration to Canada. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) trusts IELTS for all visas that require you to provide proof of English language proficiency. IELTS is the world’s most popular test of English.

Available at 50 test centres in Australia, IELTS is the English language test that supports your Canadian study, migration and career goals.


IELTS English test for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

If you make a visa application to stay or move to Canada, you need to be aware of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requirements for English language tests.

So, when you apply for a work visa, professional recognition or for permanent residency in Canada, it is likely that you will be required to present evidence of English language proficiency. IELTS General Training is the only internationally available English proficiency test accepted by IRCC for immigration to Canada.

The IELTS test you take – and the score you need – will depend on both your visa requirements and/or the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.

Book IELTS for migration to Canada


If you intend to migrate to Canada, it’s likely you need to provide evidence of your English language skills. IELTS General Training is the only internationally available English proficiency test accepted.

Book IELTS General Training

IELTS for Study

If you intend to study in Canada, it’s likely you need to provide evidence of your English. Schools and Universities in Canada trust IELTS Academic as evidence of your English language proficiency.

Book IELTS for study

FREE study counselling

What English language test do you need for migration to Canada?

The available language tests for Canadian Immigration are: IELTS, CELPIP and TEF. And, almost every category of economic immigration to Canada requires you to submit the results of a language test. What test you need, and what score you require depends on the program you apply for.

What is the difference between IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF?

You have to provide language test results from an recognised test provider. IRCC trusts and recognises two test providers in English, IELTS, and CELPIP. CELPIP stands for and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program. There is also an option if you need (or want) to take your language test in French. In that case, you should do the TEF: Test d’évaluation de français. Regardless of the test, all three tests give you a score for each of four language abilities: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

However, IELTS is the only English language test that is available internationally. So, if you are in Australia and you are thinking about moving to Canada, make sure you book your IELTS test.


IELTS is one of the biggest English tests in the world which means lots of countries and institutions will recognise it.
Why Jackie from China chose IELTS (read more)


IELTS is designed to help you succeed

Read how IELTS has helped people get Permanent Residency in Australia. See what other say about IELTS support. We’re here to help you achieve your study and migration goals.

Explore more IELTS success stories

Sahel T

Computer-delivered test taker, IDP Brisbane 5 stars

“Overall it was a really good experience. I had the computer based test and really happy with the way it was conducted. The staff were all nice and friendly and it helped relieve some of the pre exam stresses. I highly recommend this centre!”

Valeria O

Computer-delivered test taker, IDP Sydney 5 stars

“Doing the Computer-delivered IELTS at IDP Sydney was an enjoyable experience. The staff were really helpful and kind. The exam room had comfortable chairs and modern computers. Overall, doing the listening test with the headphones was much better than listening to a speaker in the classroom. The speaking test was also great, as it is only the candidate and the examiner in the room. I quickly received the results 3 days after the test. For all these reasons I highly recommend it! ”


IELTS Test Taker, IDP Sydney 5 stars

“The practice test is amazing as it provides us exam conditions practice and allows us to prepare for according to our weakness.”


completed IELTS Writing Assist 5 stars

“Thank you for the constructive feedback on my essays. This is something I have been looking for, for months, if not years… I wish I could have done this much earlier.”

Foize N

Computer-delivered test taker, IDP Melbourne 5 stars

“I really appreciate how the IDP staff made me feel at home, especially during the speaking test. I was given a minute to take deep breaths and loosen up before Alex, the staff member who conducted the speaking test, turned the recorder on. He also gave a few seconds of "pep talk" to boost up my confidence, telling me that I could speak well if I were feeling relaxed. Those few seconds worked like magic! I can't thank him and the entire IDP staff enough.”

Janos V

Computer-delivered test taker, IDP Brisbane 5 stars

“This new computer based test is awesome. Helped on my listening at least 30% better. I am a very slow writer so typing gave me a huge advantage too. I would recommend this test to anyone who has similar problems. Staff were very nice and helpful too.”

Computer or paper test?

With IELTS, you choose how you take your test: computer-delivered or paper based.

Explore IELTS on computer

Free online preparation

Get a free online preparation course with your test booking. You can also access a IELTS practice tests marked by real IELTS experts.

Free practice tests

Accepted around the world

IELTS is accepted by IRCC, and more than 11,000 governments, universities, and professional organisations around the world.

Who accepts IELTS

See how we mark your test

We want you to succeed. That’s why we share with you how we mark your test, and what’s important.

See the marking criteria

Frequently Asked Questions about migrating to Canada and your English language test

Is there a preferred English test for migrating to Canada?

IRCC does not have a preferred test. So, this means you can choose what test you want to take. And which test is more convenient for you. IELTS has been testing English language for over 25 years. And, we test more than 3 million test takers each year.

As the most respected English test in the world, IELTS offers more free practice tests and support material than any other test. It’s designed to help you succeed. IELTS is available at 50 test centres in Australia, IELTS is the English language test that supports your Australian study, migration and career goals.

Book IELTS for Canada

How long is my IELTS score valid for IRCC?

Regardless of which test you take, you results must be from within the last two years (24 months) to be valid. So, when you submit your application for permanent residence your test results must be from within 24 months. If you results have expired, you should retake the test. Otherwise, your application will be rejected as incomplete or may be refused.

Book IELTS for Canada

What's the difference between IELTS and CELPIP?
Available worldwide
Available in Canada
Yes Yes
Results release
3-5 days 4-5 days
Test length
Approx. 3 hours Approx. 3 hours
Test format
Computer-delivered or paper-based Computer-delivered
Canada (+11,000 organisations worldwide) Only in Canada
Is IELTS also accepted by other countries?

IELTS is the only English language test that is officially accepted by all immigration departments in Canada, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand.

Check who accepts IELTS

What IELTS test do I need for migration to Canada?

The IELTS General Training is the best IELTS exam to get Canadian PR. For example, for Canada’s Skilled immigrants (Express Entry), you must prove your language skills by taking an approved language test.

    • IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Please remember, you must take the General Training option. IRCC does not accept the Academic option for Express Entry.

IELTS is approved for Canadian Express Entry

How do I prepare for IELTS?
Prepare for IELTS to get the best score

When was the last time you were tested on your English language skills? High School perhaps? If so, doing an exam that tests your skills in another language (or even your native language) can make you nervous. Even if you speak English fluently, it’s important to spend a bit of time preparing for your IELTS test so you don’t face any unpleasant surprises on the day of your test. In fact, some native English speakers score less well on their test than non-native speakers. Why? Because they didn’t know what examiners were looking for when scoring their language skills. We’ll share some of the marking criteria with you here.

IELTS preparation

All the practice material that we have available are designed by IELTS experts to help you get the results you need. But how do you navigate through all the support tools? Let us guide you to the best preparation material.

Free support tools

At IELTS, most of the practice and preparation material we have is free. Why? Because we want you to do well in your test and achieve the results you require. We understand that repeating an exam can be frustrating. So, if you want to prepare on a budget, you should definitely attend a free IELTS Masterclass. We also have heaps of test tip videos, for example the “Five mistakes to avoid in the IELTS Reading test.” Before you sit your test, it’s also a good idea to have a look at the IELTS Support Tools – an easy guide on everything you need to know about the test.

Expert coaching by IELTS

If you need a bit more support, we can help you. IELTS Assist is a premium coaching service to improve your skills in Writing, Reading or Speaking. When you purchase IELTS Assist, you complete a custom preparation test at home, and get this corrected by an official IELTS expert. You get a personalised feedback report with tip on how to improve. If you want feedback on all components on the IELTS test, try the IELTS Progress Check. This is an official, computer-based IELTS practice test, assessed and scored by official IELTS markers.

IELTS tips

We regularly write easy tips in our IELTS resources. Most of these short, easy blog posts give you an insight into the IELTS test with some tricks on getting the score you need for immigration, work or study. For example, our Grammar 101 series explains the difference between commonly confused words: believe vs belief or elude vs allude When you start looking, you’ll find a lot of these words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings. They’re called homophones, homographs or homonyms.

Other articles help you with your general English language skills. Do you know how to pronounce “debut?” Our most visited post 50 most commonly mispronounced words provides a good start to help you articulate and enunciate words correctly. We also have some quick guides on understanding verb tenses or how to improve your vocabulary and spelling.

Some other posts are just for fun give you some useful tips when you’ve just arrived in Australia. IELTS has test centres in every state and we’ve asked our staff to give a list of fun things to to in their city. Have a look at things to do in Adelaide or tips for moving to Melbourne.

Access your IELTS Study Plan

What IELTS score do I need for migration to Canada?

That’s a very difficult question to answer. Most Canadian economic immigration programs have minimum language requirements. But, not all of these programs are the same. As a result, the score you need depends on the migration program you apply for.

However, for many programs you need a number of points. Similar to Australia’s points system, you can get points for things like age, work experience, and education. In addition, you can get points for language proficiency.