Language requirements — Skilled immigrants (Express Entry)

Changes to the Express Entry system

You can now earn up to 50 additional points for strong French language skills (even if French is your second language).

If you score NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills, you can get

  • 25 additional points if you scored CLB 4 or lower in English (or if you didn’t take an English test)
  • 50 additional points if you scored CLB 5 or higher on all four English skills

Find out more about these additional points.

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must prove your English or French language ability:

  • take an approved language test
  • get the minimum results required by your program
  • include the results when you complete your Express Entry profile

The language test evaluates these abilities:

  • writing
  • reading
  • listening
  • speaking

To measure your English or French levels, we use:

Federal Skilled Worker Program

First official language
Language Minimum level for all four abilities
English CLB 7
French NCLC7

Second official language: Minimum level of CLB or NCLC 5.

Canadian Experience Class

The skills you need will depend on the group your job is classified in under the National Occupational Classification system (NOC).

NOC TEER Minimum level for all four language abilities (English) Minimum level for all four language abilities (French)
TEER 0 or 1 CLB 7 NCLC 7
TEER 2 or 3 CLB 5 NCLC 5
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Language Abilities Minimum level
English Speaking and listening CLB 5
English Reading and writing CLB 4
French Speaking and listening NCLC 5
French Reading and writing NCLC 4

How long language test results are valid for

Your test results must be less than two years old when you submit your application for permanent residence.

If you’ve been invited to apply for permanent residence

Check that your language test results will still be valid when you plan to apply.

If you haven’t been invited to apply for permanent residence

You may want to make sure your results are valid for the rest of the time you’ll be in the pool.

If your results will expire before you can apply, you should:

  • be tested again or
  • apply before your test results expire or
  • decline the invitation and go back into the pool to be considered in the future

If you apply for permanent residence with language test results that have expired, we’ll refuse your application.

You can use your test results to find your CLB level.

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