IELTS One Skill Retake is now accepted in all Australian states!

Close

Canadian cities are rated as some of the most liveable places in the world, with their welcoming multicultural communities and diverse weather across all four seasons.

If you intend to study and then work in Canada, you might have also considered the process of getting permanent residency there.

To ensure that you can communicate with ease, you will need to provide proof of your language skills to gain a visa, be it English or French.

To prove your English proficiency, you can take the IELTS General Training test, which is the preferred test for immigration to Canada. On the other hand, the IELTS Academic test is for prospective students looking to study in the country.

Below, we’ll go through the minimum IELTS score to work in Canada as well as to obtain PR in the country.

Book your IELTS test

IELTS score to work in Canada and get PR Can1

The pathways to work in and obtain PR in Canada

The express entry system is a faster way for skilled immigrants to gain permanent residence in Canada.

In Canada, there are three different pathways:

The IRCC handles all matters dealing with immigration and permanent residency in Canada.

In the 6 months it takes IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship department of Canada) to process your application, you should ensure that your IELTS test results are valid for the same duration.

For example, according to the Canadian immigration services, your Express Entry profile is only valid for 12 months and processing times may vary depending on the programs you’ve applied to.

So, if your test results are set to expire soon and your application isn’t processed yet, you should retake the test and upload your updated test results to your profile.

To apply for permanent residency through Express Entry, you need to have a minimum language proficiency of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 7, which is equivalent to scoring a minimum of 6.0 for each section of the IELTS.

The CLB level is used in Canada to assess the English ability of applicants. This can be translated into other English benchmark scores including the IELTS.

For each program, there are different language proficiency requirements. Your language skills are assessed through four subcategories - listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The points you earn are awarded according to CLB level.

IELTS score to work in Canada and get PR Can2

Minimum IELTS score requirements

Federal Skilled Worker Program

This program is meant for skilled workers who seek to immigrate to Canada permanently. To be eligible, you will require skilled work experience in any one of the occupational categories grouped under the National Occupation Classification (NOC). It includes managerial positions and jobs that require a university degree or college diploma.

For those with English as your first official language:

  • If you get CLB 4 or lower, no points are awarded. If you get CLB 10 or higher, you will gain the maximum number of points, which is 24.

CLB level and IELTS scores

CLB level

Points per subcategory

Listening

Reading

Speaking

Writing

7

4

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

8

5

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

9

6

8.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

10 and above

6

8.5–9.0

8.0–9.0

7.5–9.0

7.5–9.0

If English is your second official language:

  • You get 4 points in total if you meet the following per-section requirements.

CLB level

Total points

Listening

Reading

Speaking

Writing

5 and above

4

5.0–9.0

4.0–9.0

5.0–9.0

4.0–9.0

Federal Skilled Trades Program

This program is meant for skilled workers who seek to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade. The criteria are more stringent, requiring you to have at least 2 years of full-time work experience in your trade.

In addition, your trade will have to fall under the approved categories that include agriculture, natural resources, manufacturing and culinary-related occupations.

Here are the per-section score requirements for each CLB level and the required IELTS scores.

CLB level

Listening

Reading

Speaking

Writing

4

4.5

3.5

4.0

4.0

5

5.0

4.0

5.0

5.0

6

5.5

5.0

5.5

5.5

7

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

8

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

9

8.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

10 and above

8.5–9.0

8.0–9.0

7.5–9.0

7.5–9.0

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class is meant for skilled workers who possess Canadian work experience and are seeking to become permanent residents.

The job categories are split into different tiers, of which for the Canadian Experienced Class, only 4 are applicable.

This means you need to have skilled experience in at least one of these categories based on training, education, experience and responsibilities (TEER):

TEER 0 - Management occupations (e.g. financial managers)

TEER 1 - Occupations that require a university degree (e.g. software engineers)

TEER 2 - Occupations that require a college diploma, apprenticeship training or supervisory occupations (e.g. medical laboratory technologists)

TEER 3 - Occupations that require a college diploma, apprenticeship training or at least 6 months of on-the-job-training (e.g. dental assistants)

For jobs under the National Occupational Classification system (NOC) in TEER 0 and 1[1] [2] , the minimum English language requirement is CLB 7. For NOC TEER 2 and 3 jobs, the requirement is CLB 5. More details for Express Entry programs can be found on Canada’s immigration site.

Here are the CLB levels that correspond to per-section IELTS scores.

NOC TEER

CLB level

Listening

Reading

Speaking

Writing

0 and 1

10 and above

8.5–9.0

8.0–9.0

7.5–9.0

7.5–9.0

0 and 1

9

8.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

0 and 1

8

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

0 and 1

7

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

2 and 3

6

5.5

5.0

5.5

5.5

2 and 3

5

5.0

4.0

5.0

5.0

Canadian Immigration via Express Entry

Apart from meeting the language proficiency for any Express Entry programs, you will also be assessed by other criteria such as level of education, age, work experience and proof of funds.

To increase your chances of gaining permanent residency in the Canada Express Entry pool, you will have to attain the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. With your Express Entry profile, you are entered into a randomised Express Entry draw to receive an invitation to apply for PR.

However, to work in Canada, IELTS overall score requirements and for each skilled job may differ. For example, to be a lawyer, a minimum score of 7.0 in each section of IELTS is required. To be a nurse, you need a minimum overall score of 7.0, with 7.0 for speaking. Both professions will require a minimum language proficiency of CLB 7.

IELTS score to work in Canada and get PR Can3

Pursue your career and PR in Canada with IELTS

Ready to embark on your journey to work and live in Canada?

We’ve got all the tools you need to make it there and succeed!

Download the IELTS by IDP app to gain all the benefits at your fingertips, from a wealth of official IELTS preparation resources to convenient test locations.

Need help preparing for your IELTS test? Access our wide range of preparation materials.

Get started by booking your IELTS test today!

Book your IELTS test