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What is the minimum IELTS test score required to qualify for Canada express entry?

By June 1, 2022 July 2nd, 2024 No Comments

“What is the minimum score required for express entry?”

If you think the minimum score for IELTS is the same for every program (or PNP) under Express Entry then you need to read this article. Every program has its own language (Canadian Language Benchmark) requirement for the four disciplines – writing, reading, listening and speaking.

Federal Skilled Worker – Minimum CLB 7 in English (NCLC 7 for French) in each discipline

Canadian Experience Class – Minimum CLB/NCLC 7 if NOC 0 or A; minimum CLB/NCLC 5 for NOC B

Federal Skilled Trades – Minimum CLB/NCLC 5 for speaking and listening; minimum CLB/NCLC 4 for reading and writing

Confused what CLB means for IELTS? CLB 7 is equal to 6 for IELTS. For a complete breakdown, read our article which talks more about IELTS.

CELPIP, the Canadian alternative to IELTS, has a slightly different scoring system but may be easier too. Learn more about CELPIP.

What is the minimum score required for Canadian PR?

Now you know that the minimum score depends on which program you apply through. However, a higher score is always better because:

  • Higher IELTS scores increase your CRS score and improves your chances of receiving the ITA;
  • The minimum score only talks about eligibility to apply; to be successful you need to aim higher than just the minimum.

If your IELTS score only meets the minimum requirements, consider learning French. IRCC awards a higher CRS to those applicants who show language skills in both English and French.

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What is the minimum IELTS score required for becoming a Permanent Resident in Canada?

The IRCC has more than 60 programs through which a person can immigrate to Canada. Most of these have a language requirement that is lower than what is required for becoming a Permanent Resident.

One of the best ways to apply for Canada PR is by applying through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs. PNPs prioritize scores for the skills a foreign worker/investor brings rather than their language ability. Here are some PNPs which have a lower minimum IELTS requirement than Express Entry.

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program: Minimum CLB 4 or 5 (depending on NOC)

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program: Minimum CLB 4 (can be higher for skilled NOCs)

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program: Minimum CLB 4 (can be higher for skilled NOCs)

Did you know investor programs and specialised PNPs also have a lower minimum IELTS test score compared to Express Entry.

Showing English proficiency

Speak to Ronen Kurzfeld about choosing the right immigration program for you and your loved ones. Very often people apply for the program that someone “told them about”, rather than the one which is best for them. With the right program you can reduce your English proficiency requirements and improve your chance of becoming a permanent resident in Canada.