International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is an internationally recognized language test that is a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true-to-life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration, and professional accreditation.

IELTS assesses all English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how individuals will use English at study or at work. The IELTS test is accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

  • IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
  • IELTS provides two different reading and writing tests: “General Training” and “Academic”.
  • Foreign skilled workers must take the “General Training” option.

Registration and payment

Applicants can complete an online application form or a paper application form and submit it to the nearest test centre. Payments must either be enclosed or made online.

Test fees vary from country to country. The IELTS worldwide search tool shows fees in the candidate’s local currency, as well as additional information on terms and conditions of payment and cancellations.

Test centres

The worldwide search tool allows candidates to search for their nearest test centre by country and city. IELTS has more than 1,000 test centres and locations in over 140 countries. Test centres may be universities, colleges, or language centres.

Test format

There are four parts to the IELTS test:

  • listening (30 minutes)
  • reading (60 minutes)
  • writing (60 minutes)
  • speaking (11-14 minutes)

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The listening, reading, and writing tests are done in one sitting. The speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.

Test results

Results will be issued by test centres 13 days after the test. Results will also be disclosed to the recognizing organizations specified on the application form or test report form.

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

The CELPIP test assesses general levels of functional competency of the English language. The test is completely computer-delivered and consists of following components: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

The CELPIP-General Test uses the English variety spoken in Canada. Individuals wishing to immigrate to and adapt to life in Canada relate more to understanding and using Canadian English than other varieties of English used in other comparable testing systems.

Registration and payment

Individuals can register online, by mail, or in person at the CELPIP office in Vancouver, BC. Accepted forms of payment include credit cards and money orders.

Test centres

There are 26 test centres across Canada. Locations are listed by province.

Test format

There are four parts to the CELPIP-General Test:

  • listening (40 minutes)
  • reading (60 minutes)
  • writing (60 minutes)
  • speaking (20 minutes)

The total test time is 3 hours.

Test results

Online scores are available in 8 business days, and hardcopy scores are sent approximately 4 to 10 business days after scores are available online.

With express scoring ($100 + tax), online scores are available in 3 business days, and hardcopy scores are sent approximately 3 to 4 business days after scores are available online.

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Are any Federal Skilled Worker immigration applicants exempt from the mandatory language test?

No, there are no exceptions to this rule. Each of the programs under Express Entry requires the submission of third-party language results. You will include the results of your test(s) in your Express Entry profile. Canada wants to assess all applicants against the same standards, no matter their language of origin, nationality or ethnicity.

Even someone from an English-speaking country, who speaks English as a first language, would need to take the test. Similarly, someone from a French-speaking country, who speaks French as a first language, needs to take a test.

Note: Completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a skilled worker. Completing an Express Entry profile does not guarantee that you will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. An Invitation to Apply for permanent residence will be based on your score and rank in the Express Entry pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System.