Language requirements – Provincial nominees

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.

Who must undergo language testing

As of July 1, 2012, most Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants in National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Levels C and D occupations will be required to undergo mandatory language testing and achieve a minimum standard of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 in each of the four abilities (listening, speaking, reading and writing) prior to obtaining a provincial nomination certificate.

Applicants will also be required to include a copy of their language test results when submitting their paper-based application for permanent residence to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

PNP applicants who have been nominated under an Express Entry stream must undergo language testing. Individuals must indicate their test result scores in their Express Entry profile and in their electronic application for permanent residence. Test results must be valid in both instances. In Express Entry, test results are validated electronically with the testing agency, so PNP applicants are not required to upload a copy of their test results as part of a complete application.

Exceptions

Applicants who meet one of the following exceptions do not need to provide language test results with their application for permanent residence:

  1. Temporary Foreign Workers in National Occupation Classification C and D occupations who arrived in Canada on or before July 1, 2012 and who are nominated in a Provincial Nominee Program employer-driven stream before July 1, 2013; or
  2. Provincial Nominee Program applicants in NOC C and D occupations who applied for a provincial nomination certificate before July 1, 2012.

As of July 1, 2013, all National Occupation Classification C and D Provincial Nominees will have to provide a copy of their language test results with their application for permanent residence.

Procedures

Applications for permanent residence from Provincial Nominee Program applicants in NOC C and D occupations must:

  • include a copy of valid language test results demonstrating that they meet the minimum language standards; OR
  • meet one of the exceptions noted above.

Recognised language testing agencies

To be considered valid, the applicant’s language test results must be from one the following testing agencies:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (General Training stream);
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP-General); or
  • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) (to test proficiency in French).

The monthly nomination spreadsheet submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia by Provinces and Territories (PTs) has been updated, and starting in July 2012, will contain a new column titled “Test required?”

When the Centralized Intake Office reviews each NOC C and D Provincial Nominee Program application for completeness, they will use the “Test required?” column in the nomination spreadsheet to determine whether valid language test results should be included in the application.

The following explains when an applicant must include a language assessment with their application and what to do if it is required and not included:

  • If the province or territory selected “yes” in the “Test required”, then the applicant must include a copy of the language test with their application in addition to all other documents listed in the document checklist for Provincial Nominee Program applicants, in order for it to be considered a complete application.
  • If an application for permanent residence for which a PT selected “yes” in the “Test Required?” column does not include a copy of valid language test results, then the application will be considered incomplete and the Central Intake Office will return the entire application package to the applicant.
  • If the province or territory selected “no” in the “Test Required”, then the province or territory has determined that the applicant meets one of the exceptions and the applicant is not required to include a copy of language test results with their application for permanent residence.

To determine the equivalency between an applicant’s language test scores and Canadian Language Benchmark levels, please see Language test equivalency charts.

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