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IELTS for Canada


Study in Canada

Would you like to study in Canada? IELTS can help to get you there!

IELTS is accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as evidence of English language proficiency. If you are applying to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level in Canada, it is likely that you will be required to present your IELTS result as part of your application.

Required scores and useful information

"IELTS is easier to access than many other language proficiency tests and is well-recognised by most universities."

Tina Lok Sun Ko, Ying Wa Girls' School, IELTS score 8

Post-graduation work permit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has introduced 3 new measures on post graduation work permit eligibility for students beginning programmes online. These changes are being implemented to provide more flexibility to international students who need or want to start their Canadian study programme online abroad.

The three changes are:

  1. Students may now study online from abroad until 30 April 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their programme of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  2. Students enrolled in a programme that is between 8 and 12 months in length with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire programme online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  3. Students who have already enrolled in a programme with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021 and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, maybe able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

Download IELTS Guide - Study in Canada


Work in Canada

If you are planning to work in Canada, you must take a language test to prove your English proficiency. The IELTS General Training test can satisfy the requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if you are applying for a work visa, professional registration or permanent residency in Canada. 

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standards used in Canada for describing, measuring and recognising the English language proficiency of prospective immigrants intending on living and working in Canada. You can find out from IRCC which CLB standards you will be required to meet for visa purposes.

Your IELTS test result demonstrates your English language proficiency level within the CLB standards. The table below matches IELTS band scores with the CLB standards:

CLB Level IELTS Listening IELTS Reading IELTS Writing IELTS Speaking
12 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0
11 9.0 8.5 8.0 8.0
10 8.5 8.0 7.5 7.5
9 8.0 7.0 7.0 7.0
8 7.5 6.5 6.5 6.5
7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
6 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
5 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
4 4.5 4.0 4.0 4.0
3 3.5 3.0 3.0 3.0
2 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
1 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0


Migrate to Canada

IELTS was the first test to be recognised by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Immigration Quebec as proof of English language proficiency for Express Entry (Skilled Immigrants), Quebec-selected skilled workers and Provincial Nominee program.

If you are planning to apply for permanent residence or Canadian citizenship, there are different processes you can apply through.  The most common is Express Entry, which is an online system that manages applications from skilled workers for permanent residence through three economic immigration programmes:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Programme
  • Federal Skills Trade Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

Canadian provinces and territories also recruit applicants from the same Express Entry pool that you apply to through the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) to meet their local labour market needs. More information on the eligibility for Express Entry programmes can be found on website.

Similarly, you can apply to the Quebec-selected skilled worker process if you hold a Quebec Selection Certificate from the Government of Quebec.  If you choose this route, you will need to submit a complete residence application, including police certificates. 

IELTS General Training is an internationally-available English language proficiency test accepted for immigration into Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The test evaluates your English proficiency on a scale of 0 to 9 in each of four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. You will need to meet the level stipulated by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all of these skills.

In order for your visa to be processed, you will need to include your IELTS results as part of your application.

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