The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognized pathway to immigration and education in Canada. Established in 1989, IELTS assesses the English language proficiency of over 3.5 million test-takers annually.

Canada welcomes immigrants with open arms! While English and French are the official languages, French isn’t mandatory for immigration. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) acknowledges the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as a valid English proficiency test. 

IELTS is ideal for native English speakers and strong English learners. If you are comfortable in English, the IELTS test is a perfect fit for your Canadian immigration journey. Beyond immigration purposes, IELTS is recognized by most professional organizations, educational institutions, and businesses across Canada, making it a valuable asset for your future endeavors in the country.

Permanent Residency & IELTS 

IELTS remains the preferred choice for Canadian Permanent Residency (PR). Whether pursuing Express Entry or other immigration streams, IELTS is a key component. It’s accepted by all Canadian educational institutions and professional bodies, making it a versatile option. Notably, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recognized IELTS as the first-ever English language test for PR applications.

Your IELTS score translates to success: For immigration purposes, IELTS scores are converted to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) scores, reflecting your proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. These CLB scores play a crucial role in determining your eligibility for Canadian immigration programs:

Canadian Language

Benchmarks (CLB)









CLB1 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
CLB2 2.0 1.5 2.0 2.0
CLB3 3.5 2.5 3.0 3.0
CLB4 4.5 3.5 4.0 4.0
CLB5 5.0 4.0 5.0 5.0
CLB6 5.5 5.0 5.5 5.5
CLB7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
CLB8 7.5 6.5 6.5 6.5
CLB9 8.0 7.0 7.0 7.0
CLB10 8.5 8.0 7.5 7.5
CLB11 9.0 8.5 8.0 8.0
CLB12 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0

What is the Minimum Score for Canada PR?

Most applicants require a CLB 7, which translates to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 in each of the listening, speaking, writing, and reading sections.

Certain programs have lower requirements. For example, the Canadian Experience Class for NOC B occupations accepts a minimum score of 5.0 in all sections except reading (4.0). Similarly, the Federal Skilled Trades Program may have lower thresholds for specific skills.

Requirements can vary depending on the immigration program you choose. Before taking the IELTS exam, thoroughly research the specific language proficiency needs of your target program to ensure you meet the necessary standards.

Express Entry & IELTS

IELTS paves the way for Canadian immigration and work opportunities. While several tests assess English or French proficiency, IELTS is the most widely accepted for English.

When submitting your profile to the IRCC portal, you must demonstrate fluency (English or French) by achieving the minimum score on a recognized language test. For this purpose, the Canadian immigration system accepts the IELTS General Training Test – the same format required for IELTS for jobs in Canada.

Understanding Program-Specific Requirements: The minimum IELTS score required for Canadian immigration varies depending on the Express Entry program you choose. For example, the Federal Skilled Worker Class typically has a higher minimum score than the Federal Skilled Trades Program. It’s crucial to research the specific requirements of your chosen program to ensure you meet the language proficiency standards.

Proof of English Proficiency for Canadian Studies

International students may need to demonstrate English language skills to secure a university Letter of Acceptance and Study Permit. The IELTS Academic test is a widely recognized option for this purpose. Before you invest:

  • Check university requirements: Each institution sets its own English language proficiency standards. Research the specific requirements of your chosen universities to see if an English test is mandatory and, if so, which tests are accepted.
  • Connect with admissions representatives: Universities often have dedicated international admissions departments. Consider contacting them directly with any questions regarding English language requirements.

By taking these steps, you can ensure a smooth application process and avoid any unnecessary hurdles in obtaining your study permit.

Preparing for IELTS 

Focus on benefits, not just effort

Preparation is important, emphasize the benefits of a good score. Strong preparation for the IELTS exam can significantly improve your chances of achieving a high score, which can lead to a smoother immigration process and open doors to more program options.

Invest in Your Success

Strong preparation for the IELTS exam can significantly improve your chances of achieving a high score, which can lead to a smoother immigration process and open doors to more program options.

Target Specific Skills 

Focus on activities that target the specific skills tested in IELTS, such as reading a variety of academic texts to build comprehension or practicing active listening techniques.

Explore Preparation Options

Online resources like sample tests and video tutorials offer a convenient way to start. For a more structured approach, consider enrolling in an IELTS preparation course, either in person or online.

Persistence is Key 

Many people take the IELTS multiple times. Persevere in your studies and you will achieve your target score! For test dates, fees, and other details, please contact your local IELTS testing center.

Ignite the Canadian Journey with IELTS

IELTS is the foundation of a seamless successful journey to Canada. Make sure to give your best and the rewards will be truly worth your time and energy. Trust only the best immigration experts for a smoother process.

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