More IELTS and CELPIP test dates becoming available as Canada ease lock down. Completing an English or French language test that is officially recognized by the government of Canada is mandatory for skilled worker or international students candidates that want to secure a Canadian permanent residence visa to come to Canada.
In fact, getting high language test scores is among the sure ways of increasing your odds of successfully moving to Canada.
Currently, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) accepts the following four language tests listed below:
- CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Programme
- IELTS General Training Tests: International English Language Testing System
- TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français
- TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
Most immigration candidates speak English, and hence, choose to either take the IELTS or CELPIP.
Applicants with knowledge of both English and French who wish to obtain extra points (e.g., under Express Entry) may opt to take tests in both languages.
Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), and the rest of Canada’s immigration system continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, and in recent weeks, there have been many Express Entry and PNP draws conducted.
However, COVID-19 has led to lock downs in Canada and around the world, which has made it hard for immigration candidates to complete their language tests, such as the IELTS General and CELPIP in recent months.
The official language test providers are subject to government laws, which they are complying with to ensure the well being of applicants as well as their employees.
In recent weeks, some provinces in Canada have been releasing plans to ease their lock down restrictions. For example, Canada’s biggest province, Ontario, has announced plans to further increase the list of business that can reopen within the next coming days.
Language test providers are responding by making their tests readily available.
In Canada, IELTS tests are presently available in Alberta, British Columbia (BC), and Manitoba.
Currently, CELPIP is also being delivered in British Columbia. Paragon Testing Enterprises, the company that manages CELPIP, anticipates that it will be delivering tests in Manitoba, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador within the coming weeks.
Abroad, CELPIP is presently available in Hong Kong.
“We monitor the situation with coronavirus pandemic daily and will have more places in Canada and internationally delivering the CELPIP test as soon as it is safe to do so”, Michelle Avellena of Paragon Testing Enterprises, said in a media release.
IELTS is currently operational in twenty-nine (29) countries. These include major source countries of immigrants to Canada, such as Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, Russia, and Vietnam. IELTS has set tentative test dates in many other countries in the weeks and months to follow.
Monica Aguirre of IDP IELTS Canada declared that “as more locations start to open up, we will be evaluating the situation following local mandates to ensure we are complying with the health authorities.” IDP is one of the three co-partners of IELTS, along with the Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council.
Both Avellena and Aguirre argue that extra health precautions are in place at IELTS and CELPIP test sites to protect the health and safety of test takers, employees, and test center personnel.
In the meantime, COVID-19 related disruptions should not discourage candidates from still going ahead with their applications and preparing themselves for Canada immigration.
Candidates may wish to seize the opportunity to spend more time studying for their IELTS and CELPIP test to improve their chances of achieving their Canadian immigration aspiration.
Finally, IRCC and other Canadian provinces have stated they will not reject applications from candidates, provide an explanations that their application is incomplete because of coronavirus disruptions.