Get Ready For Your Language Test

Choose the best option for you of how to show your proficiency in English or French.

Here is the information that can answer all your questions!

Canadian citizens must show proficiency in one of the two official languages: English and French. French is the first official language for approximately 23% of the population. Canadian Francophones live predominantly in Quebec, however there are other French speaking communities in Canada. English, consequently, is spoken by approximately 77% of the Canadian population. 

In order to meet the language requirements, you will need to prove your proficiency in either English or French. 

Minimum and Maximum Age Requirements. Exemptions.


You will be required to prove your language proficiency if you are aged between 18 and 54 years old. All other ages are exempt from taking the language test.

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Skills That Are Tested for the Canadian Citizenship


Speaking and Listening. You don’t have to prove any other skills such as reading and writing. 

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Approved Language Tests


You have three options: IELTS (General), CELPIP (LS) and TEF. Let’s review each test in more detail.

A person holding IELTS test form

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

There are two types of the IELTS test: general and academic. For the purpose of getting Canadian citizenship, you will need to take the IELTS-General. The minimum requirement to get your Canadian citizenship is CLB-4, which is the most basic listening and speaking skills. You can book your test online via this link
a laptop with a CELPIP on screen

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is an IRCC-approved test. This test assesses your ability to communicate in English or comprehend it.

There are two variations of the CELPIP tests: CELPIP-General and CELPIP-LS. LS stands for Listening & Speaking, which is exactly the skills that you need to show proficiency in for your citizenship. The minimum level to reach is CLB-4, which are basic levels of comprehension and speaking.

You can book your CELPIP-LS test online via this link

Parlez-vous francais? TEF

Test d'Evaluation de Français (TEF)

This test is being accepted as proof of language skills starting from 2002. For your Canadian citizenship application, you will need to pass oral comprehension (40 minutes – 60 questions) and oral expression (cover 2 topics in 15 minutes).

Find the nearest testing center and book your test via this link

If you have previously applied to any of the Quebec immigration programs, the following tests will also be accepted: 

The certification offer consists of diplomas and tests: initial diploma in French language (DILF), (DELF), advanced diploma in French language (DALF), test of knowledge of French (TCF) 

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Language Certifications Accepted By The Canadian Government


Certificates of your studies at secondary or post-secondary institutions in English or French can be presented to the Canadian government as proof of your language proficiency. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in Economics and every subject was taught in English, you can use this certificate as evidence of your language proficiency.

All other courses including English literature taught in languages other than English are unacceptable. Furthermore, you can complete degrees both inside and outside of Canada, but the degree programme must be in English or French.

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Government-Funded Courses to Achieve CLB4


One of the alternative methods is taking the following government-funded training courses: 

  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC/CLIC) 
  • Progress Report (Manitoba) 
  • MIDI-Echelle Québécoise (Quebec) 
  • ELSA (British Columbia)


After completing these training programs and getting certificates that demonstrate your proficiency in listening and speaking in either English or French, and which are CLB level 4 or higher, you may use these certificates to apply for Canadian Citizenship. 

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What Score Is Sufficient For Getting A Canadian Citizenship?


The Canadian Government has made it mandatory to score at least level 4 or higher points in Canadian Language Benchmark CLB4 in order to become eligible for Citizenship. 

These are basic listening and speaking levels. Here is a useful table of equivalents for different language testing systems

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What Are The Canadian Citizenship Language Test Exemptions?


If a person has a listening, speaking, psychiatric or a psychological disorder that prevents him/her from being able to prove language ability, a proof from Canadian medical authorities will be required to be exempt from language testing. 

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Are Expired IELTS Test Results Accepted For Canadian Citizenship?


Yes, language tests for Canadian applications don’t have an expiration date and are accepted. 

Formally, IELTS certifications are valid for 2 years, but that requirement only holds for purposes other than citizenship applications – getting a student visa, becoming a permanent resident etc. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What IELTS score is required for Canadian Citizenship?

For Canadian citizenship, you must have a CLB level of 4 or higher in listening and speaking.

Is IELTS compulsory for Canadian Citizenship?

Nope, you can use any of the alternatives, such as CELPIP or TEF.

How long is the IELTS valid for Canadian Citizenship?

For the purpose of citizenship applications, IELTS certificates don’t have an expiration date and are accepted as long as CLB4 is met.

Is 6.5 IELTS score good for Canadian immigration?

Yes, the 6.5 score in IELTS is good enough for Canadian immigration. You can apply for immigration if you have scored 6 or above in IELTS.

Is TOEFL sufficient for Canadian Citizenship?

No, TOEFL is not accepted by IRCC. You need to go with IELTS or CELPIP to become eligible for Citizenship in Canada.

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