Language skills can translate into big points for Express Entry candidates

by | Sep 10, 2020

You must prove your English or French language ability: 

CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark)

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is the Canadian standard used to describe, measure and recognize language ability of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants who plan to live and work in Canada. To apply for Express Entry you will need to take a language test that is approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and demonstrate that you meet the language requirements for your occupation. Your test results need to be included with your application.

The language test evaluates these abilities:

  • writing
  • reading
  • listening
  • speaking

Your test results must be less than two years old when you submit your application for permanent residence.

  • Take an approved language test (English – IELTS or CELPIP / French – TEF)
  • Get the minimum results required by your eligible program
  • Include the results when you complete your Express Entry profile

Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language

LanguageMinimum level for all four abilities
EnglishCLB 7
FrenchNCLC7

Second official language: Minimum level of CLB or NCLC 5.

Canadian Experience Class

The skills you need will depend on the group your job is classified in under the NOC. 

NOC skill type or levelMinimum level for all four language abilities (English)MinimumMinimum level for all four language abilities (French) level for all four abilities
NOC 0 or ACLB 7NCLC 7
NOC BCLB 5NCLC 5

Federal Skilled Trades Program

LanguageAbilitiesMinimum level
EnglishSpeaking and listeningCLB 5
EnglishReading and writingCLB 4
FrenchSpeaking and listeningNCLC 5
FrenchReading and writingNCLC 4

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