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IELTS for Canada

Canada has some of the most liveable cities in the world, with their welcoming multicultural communities and inviting weather across all four seasons. If you intend to study and then work in Canada, you might have 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 Canadian visa, be it English or French.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canadaexternal icon trusts IELTS for all visas that require you to provide proof of English language proficiency. It is important to note that you need to take the General Training option. IRCC does not accept the Academic test options for Express Entry.

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.

Book IELTS for migration to Canada

How to get PR in Canada with the Express Entry system

Express Entryexternal icon is an online immigration system launched by the Government of Canada in January 2015. It is a point-based immigration programme that allows skilled workers to receive permanent residency in Canada.

The Government of Canada has taken a progressive and unique approach to selecting skilled professionals and granting them permanent residency. The system processes qualified applications to migrate to Canada based on their Express Entry Pointsexternal icon, which are assigned based on a variety of factors such as experience, language proficiency, skills, and others.

The more points you receive, the higher your chances of receiving the ITA (Invitation to Apply for Canada PR Visa). Typically, PR Visa applications submitted through this programme are processed in 6 to 12 months.

The key features of the programme:

  • It's an online programme that is open all around the year with no cap on applicants.

  • This programme is applicable only for Canadian Experience Classexternal icon, Federal Skilled Tradesexternal icon, and Federal Skilled Workerexternal icon Programmes.

  • You are required to submit an EOI - Expression of Interest and apply through any category of job specified in the 0, A, and B Skill Levelsexternal icon.

  • The evaluation of your profile will be based on your points score after which you will be admitted to the applicant pool.

  • Employers and Provinces in Canada will access this pool and identify talents meeting their requirements.

  • The candidates in the pool with the highest points are offered an ITA for PR Visa.

  • The number of ITAs offered is determined by the Yearly Immigration Level.

As it takes at least 6 months for IRCC to process your application, you should ensure that your IELTS test results are valid for the entire duration.

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

For each programme, there are different language proficiency requirements. Your language skills are assessed through 4 subcategories: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The points you earn are awarded according to CLB Level.

IELTS score requirements for Express Entry


Federal Skilled Worker Programme

For those with English as your 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 34 or 32 (if you are married).

CLB Level and IELTS Scores

CLB LevelPoints per subcategoryListeningReadingSpeakingWriting
746.0 -
10 and above68.5 - 9.08.0 - 9.07.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.0

If English is your second language, you get 4 points in total if you meet the following per-section requirements.

CLB LevelTotal PointsListeningReadingSpeakingWriting
5 and above45.0 - 9.04.0 - 9.05.0 - 9.04.0 - 9.0

Federal Skilled Trades Programme

Here are the per-section score requirements for each CLB Level.

CLB LevelListeningReadingSpeakingWriting
10 and above8.5 - 9.08.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.0

Canadian Experience Class

For NOC (National Occupational Classificationexternal icon) A jobs, the minimum language requirement is CLB 7. For NOC B jobs, the requirement is CLB 5.

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

NOCCLB LevelListeningReadingSpeakingWriting
A10 and above8.5 - 9.08.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.0

Apart from the language proficiency, you will be assessed by other criteria such as level of education, age, and work experience. To gain permanent residency through Canada Express Entry, the minimum point is around 698, which was the CRS scoreexternal icon of the lowest-ranked candidate invited by 10th December 2021.

However, to work in Canada, IELTS score requirements overall and for each band may differ. For example, to be a lawyer, a minimum score of 7.0 in each section of the IELTS is required. To be a nurse, you need a minimum overall score of 6.5 and 7.0 for Speaking.

If you wish to boost your IELTS score to improve your immigration chances, consider speaking to IELTS experts.

Article sources:, and

Choose a non-academic English test for migration

The IELTS General Training test examines your English using everyday, non-academic English and is the only internationally available English proficiency test accepted.*

You can take the IELTS General Training test on paper or on computer.

*Always check with your migration agent, education consultant or workplace to find out which IELTS test you need.

Learn more about IELTS for Canada

Immigration and the law

Content on this page is for general information on immigration to Canada and does not constitute legal advice or immigration advice. Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the IRCCexternal icon website for changes that may apply to you.

If you are interested in Canadian student and work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Canadian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or registered Canadian Immigration Consultant.


Express Entry – Immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker