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What is meant by adequate knowledge of English or French when applying for citizenship?

In order to become a Canadian citizen, you must show that you have adequate knowledge of one of Canada's official languages: English and French. We define “adequate knowledge” as having the equivalent of level 4 for speaking and listening in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien. This level means you can understand other people when they speak to you and they can understand you.

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) / Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC) is the official standard used in Canada to describe, measure and recognize second-language proficiency. In other words, it is used to measure how well someone knows a language.

If you are an adult (between ages 18-54) applying for citizenship, you will need to provide documents proving your ability to speak and listen in English or French. These documents show you have reached CLB/NCLC level 4 or higher. We will only accept documents from this list.

You can also use the wizard to see if you have documents that we will accept.

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