Language requirements — Skilled immigrants (Express Entry)

You must prove your ability in English or French in these four areas:

  • listening,
  • speaking,
  • reading, and
  • writing.

You must meet the minimum language levels, which are different depending on the program.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

You must meet the minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in French for your first official language in all four language abilities.

To get points for your second official language, you must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 in all four language abilities.

Canadian Experience Class

The skills you need will depend on the group the job is classified in under the National Occupational Classification system (NOC). You must meet the minimum level for all four language abilities.

If your skilled work experience in Canada is in a

  • NOC 0 or A job, the minimum level is CLB 7 (English) or NCLC 7 (French).
  • NOC B job, the minimum level is CLB 5 (English) or NCLC 5 (French).

Federal Skilled Trades Program

You must meet the minimum level of

  • CLB 5 (English) or NCLC 5 (French) for speaking and listening, and
  • CLB 4 (English) or NCLC 4 (French) for reading and writing.

You must take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and include the results when you complete your Express Entry profile if you are invited to apply for permanent residence.

If you do not, you will not be eligible for Express Entry.

How long language test results are valid for

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

If you have been invited to apply, check that your language test results will still be valid when you plan to apply for permanent residence. If you haven’t been invited, you may want to make sure your results are valid for the rest of the time you will be in the pool.

If your results will expire before you can apply, you should:

  • be tested again,
  • apply before your test results expire, or
  • decline the invitation and go back into the pool to be considered in the future.

If you apply for permanent residence with language test results that have expired, we will refuse your application.

You can use your test results to find your CLB level.

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