Language requirements – Provincial nominees
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Who must undergo language testing
Most Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants in National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels C and D occupations are required to undergo mandatory language testing and achieve a minimum standard of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 in each of the 4 abilities (listening, speaking, reading and writing) before obtaining a provincial nomination certificate.
Applicants are also required to include a copy of their language test results when submitting their paper-based application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
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 organization, so PNP applicants are not required to upload a copy of their test results as part of a complete application.
All NOC C and D provincial nominees have to provide a copy of their language test results with their application for permanent residence.
Applications for permanent residence from PNP 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.
Recognized language-testing organizations
To be considered valid, the applicant’s language test results must be from one of the following testing organizations:
- International English Language Testing System (General Training)
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP-General)
- Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF Canada) to test proficiency in French
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) to test proficiency in French
When the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) reviews each NOC C and D PNP application for completeness, they use the “Test required?” column, in the nomination spreadsheet, to determine if 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 PNP applicants, 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 CIO 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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