Minimum IELTS Score Required For Canada Immigration Programs

This article contains guide on the minimum IELTS Required for Canada migration programs.

Immigrating to Canada as foreigner can be very easy, but there are certain requirement you must meet. Such as the minimum IELTS score required for Canada immigration programs.

Moving to Canada can be a life changing experience for you. It is a great task, and as you must be knowing that the decision of migration can not be complete without looking at the Canadian PR process, which will help you to make it to any of the Canadian provinces legally and safely. So therefore, while filling out the Canada PR visa, endeavor to follow each step of the process that can lead to a application submission.

Therefore, to qualify for Canada immigration pathways, Language proficiency is one of the main requirements you need to qualify. It is very important that you should get a qualifying score. One of the main factor upon which application can increase your score is IELTS or proficiency in English language or French language.

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Test System IELTS  is one of the most recognized education tests by the federal government of Canada. It is jointly managed by British Council, Cambridge Assessment English, and IELTS Australia to measure the proficiency of the candidate in the English language. IELTS uses a nine-band scale to identify levels of proficiency, from Non-user (Band Score 1) to Expert (Band Score 9).

Although, Canada has two official languages, English and French. This means that any skilled immigrants who want to move to Canada, they have to prove language proficiency in either of the two languages or both. To show proficiency in English language, candidates is required to take language examinations that are recognized by the federal government of Canada.

Types of IELTS test

There are two categories available under IELTS, they are:

  • IELTS Academic – This test is for candidates applying for higher education in English speaking country.
  • IELTS General training – This test is for candidates who are going to English speaking country for work experience or training programs. It is mandatory if you are immigrating to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

In addition, Candidate proficiency is checked in four sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. On the day of the examination, the Reading, Listening, and Writing sections are completed without any breaks between them. For the Speaking section, it can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.

#1. Listening

Under this section candidate will listen to four recordings of native English language and will be asked questions related to the recordings (Duration: 30 minutes). This recordings include:

  1.  Conversation between two people set in an everyday social context
  2.  Monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities
  3.  Conversation b/w up to four people set in an educational or training context
  4.  A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture

#2. Reading

This section consists of 40 questions. These questions include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognizing writer’s opinions, attitudes, and purpose (Duration: 60 minutes)

#3. Writing

There are two tasks under this section. (Duration: 60 minutes)

  • Task 1: The candidate will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation.
  • Task 2: The candidate will be asked to write an essay in response to a problem, point of view, or argument.

#4. Speaking

This section consists of an oral interview b/w test-takers and an examiner. (Duration: 11-14 minutes) IELTS is conducted in two ways: Paper-based IELTS and Computer-delivered IELTS. Candidate can choose either of the two ways they want to give the examination.

What is the minimum IELTS score required for Canada immigration programs

Canada is now emerging as an ideal choice for immigrants, given the high quality of life offered there. While it is essential to have an IELTS for Canada PR application, the minimum score is different for every program.

You have to score a minimum of 6 per band as it is the minimum band requirement for Canada in IELTS or CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) level 7 to be eligible for a PR Visa as a skilled worker.

Minimum IELTS score 6 per band is required to be eligible to apply for Canada PR Visa through Express entry program. Once you have submitted your express profile in express pool, with your CRS score, you can get the ITA that allows you to submit your application for Canada PR Visa to IRCC.

Difference between CLB and IELTS for Canada Immigration programs

Both IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) measures the proficiency of the candidate in the English language for Canada Immigration. IELTS is a language test while CLB is a national standard. You can easily translate your IELTS band into CLB level like IELTS score of 6 per band equals to CLB level 7.

What is the Express entry system?

The Express Entry System is a faster way for skilled immigrants to gain permanent residence in Canada. In this system, there are 3 different pathways:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

To apply for permanent residency through Express Entry, you need to have a minimum language proficiency of CLB 7, a minimum of 6.0 for each section of the IELTS.

Recommended: How difficult is IELTS General Test?

How can I apply for Canada PR with a low IELTS score?

There are over 80 immigration programs under Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to help immigrants to move to Canada. Thus, the express entry program is one of the immigration programs. But it has high Language proficiency requirements to apply for a Canada PR Visa.

However, other immigration programs have low IELTS score requirements to apply for Canada PR Visa. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are one of those immigration programs that provide an immigration pathway to Canada PR Visa with a low IELTS score. Some of these PNPs are as follows:

  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP): Minimum IELTS requirement of 4.5
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP): Minimum IELTS requirement of 4.5
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP): For MPNP, the candidate has to score as low as 4.5

Other than these Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) with CLB level 5 and Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) are some other immigration programs with low IELTS scores for Canada PR Visa.

IELTS Score for Canada Educational Institutions

Canada is home to some of the most popular international universities and colleges, offering a wide range of degree courses. It is one of the most preferred destinations among students aiming to pursue higher education abroad. Since English is the primary medium of communication, Canadian institutions require students to secure a minimum IELTS score.

The minimum IELTS score for obtaining admission to any of the major Canadian educational institutions is 6. However, it varies across universities.

Tips to Secure Higher IELTS Score for Canada PR

IELTS is a highly competitive language proficiency test. Clearing IELTS with a high score requires dedication, planning, and hard work. Moreover, candidates have to meet requirements of higher IELTS score for Canada PR visa, which makes it important to secure better score bands in IELTS.

Candidates often have to make multiple attempts to secure the desired score. Here are some useful tips to help achieve their desired IELTS score in one attempt.

#1. Enrich your Vocabulary

Develop the habit of reading to pick up new words. Try to read English books, magazines, newspapers, and news shows on a daily basis. Note down new words and try to use them in appropriate sentences. Exposure to new words will help you to increase your chance of better performance.

#2. Increase Fluency

Developing fluency in English is essential for nailing the Listening and Speaking sections. Make sure to read and listen to various topics and try to speak in English with much focus on your pronunciation. You can record yourself while speaking to find out the places where you are repeatedly making mistakes.

#3. Develop Time Management Skills

IELTS being a highly competitive exam comes with major time constraints. One has to correctly solve the questions within a specific time frame. Therefore, it is essential to improve time management skills to score higher bands.

#4. Work on Writing Skills

The writing section is probably the hardest part of the IELTS exams. Try to improve your writing skills by using new words and using them appropriately in sentences. Moreover, make sure to complete your writing tasks within a specific time frame so that you can have time to review your answers during the tests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum IELTS score required for Canada Immigration?

The minimum IELTS for Canada immigration is 6 BAND, It is mandatory to take IELTS for Canada Immigration. Canada has a population that is majorly English speaking. In order for immigrants to easily adapt to daily life in Canada, they are required to be proficient in the English language. To prove their proficiency in English candidates have to take the IELTS examination.

Is 5.5 bands eligible for Canada immigration?

IELTS score of 5.5 per band is the minimum requirement under language proficiency to be eligible under the Express Entry program. But, it does not guarantee the candidate to get the Invitation to Apply (ITA) to apply for Canada PR Visa, for that candidate has to improve their CRS score.


After reading this article on minimum IELTS score required for Canada immigration programs, we hope it will be of help to you when you plan to immigrate to Canada.