Operational Bulletin 301 - April 14, 2011

Business Class Applicants: Proof of Language Proficiency

Issue

On March 16, 2011, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations were amended to remove reference to the option to provide other written evidence from subsection 79(1) and paragraph 87.1(2)(b).

Business class applicants (investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons) must now support their stated official language proficiency by submitting the results of a designated third-party language test should they wish to claim points for language proficiency.

Background

The underlying procedural change to mandatory language testing as conclusive proof of an applicant’s language proficiency was recently implemented through updated Ministerial Instructions published in the Canada Gazette on June 26, 2010.

Those instructions required that, as of June 26, 2010, all Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) principal applicants submit a valid language test at the time of their application in order to be eligible for processing.

The regulatory amendment, which came into force on March 16, 2011, serves to ensure consistency between the legislation and the language test requirements implemented through Ministerial Instructions for FSW and CEC applicants, and extends the requirement to demonstrate language proficiency through a valid language test to business class applicants who formerly had the option to provide other written evidence.

Processing Instructions

Applications for permanent residence from business class applicants (investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons) received on or after March 16, 2011 must be accompanied by the results of the principal applicant’s English or French designated third-party language proficiency assessment in order for the applicant to be eligible for language proficiency points. Written evidence will no longer be accepted.

Only the following language test results from a third-party language testing agency designated by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism will be accepted:

English

  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (General Training test only)
  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (General test only)

French

  • TEF: Test d’évaluation de français

Individuals applying under the regular application process who wish to claim points for language proficiency must submit designated third-party language test results, not older than two years, to the visa office at the time of application.

Individuals applying under the simplified application process who wish to claim points for language proficiency must submit designated third-party language test results, not older than two years, when supporting documentation is requested by the visa office.

These requirements apply only to federal business class applicants. Processing of applications for permanent residence for individuals selected by Quebec under its business immigration program is not affected.

Date Modified: