Language requirements – Canadian experience class

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Official language proficiency (applications received before January 2, 2013)

At the time of application, the applicant must demonstrate that they have met the minimum language requirements by submitting English or French language test results from a designated testing agency (speaking, reading, listening and writing) that correspond to the benchmarks set out below, using the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 2000 (for English) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens 2006 (for French):

  • For applicants with qualifying Canadian work experience at Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A of NOC [R87.1(2)(b)(i)], they must obtain a benchmark (CLB) of:
    • 7 or higher for each of those abilities; or
    • 6 for any one of those abilities, 7 or higher for any other two of those abilities and 8 or higher for the remaining ability.
  • For applicants with qualifying Canadian work experience at Skill Level B of NOC [R87.1(2)(b)(ii)], they must obtain a benchmark (CLB) of:
    • 5 or higher for each of those abilities; or
    • 4 for any one of those abilities, 5 or higher for any other two of those abilities and 6 or higher for the remaining ability.

If an applicant has work experience in both NOC 0 or A and NOC B, the applicant must satisfy the officer that they meet the minimum language requirement for the skill type/level in which they have obtained most (i.e., more than half) of their work experience [R87.1(3)(g)].

Official language proficiency (applications received on or after January 2, 2013)

Pursuant to R87.2(d), the applicant must demonstrate that they meet or exceed the threshold set by the Minister for proficiency in either English or French for each of the four language skill areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The current language proficiency threshold set by the Minister is available on the CIC website.

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the required level of language proficiency in all four language skill areas by submitting the results of an English or French language test from a designated testing organization with their application to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO).

Language test results must not be more than two years old at the time of application receipt, and will be used as conclusive evidence of an applicant’s language proficiency. Other written evidence will not be considered.

If an applicant has work experience in both NOC 0, A or NOC B occupations, the applicant must satisfy the officer that they meet the minimum language proficiency threshold for the skill type/level in which they have obtained most (i.e., more than half) of their qualifying work experience [R87.1(2)(e)].

Note: If an applicant has work experience that is split evenly between NOC 0, A or NOC B occupations, the officer should apply the language proficiency threshold that is most favourable to the applicant.

Evidence of language proficiency

For more information, see:

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