IELTS Canada

Due to the many changes in the IELTS (International English Testing System) Canada requirement, it is easy to get conflicting answers when you ask the question as to what really is the actual requirement.

To clear thing up about the IELTS Canada requirement I decided to write this post.

Common Questions:

Until when is IELTS valid? 1 year or 2 years?

For Canada Immigration purposes, which is to be taken? IELTS - General Training Modules? Or IELTS - Academic test?

Can I use other written evidence as proof of my language proficiency?

Would it be okay to submit my application first before I take the IELTS Canada Exam?


Its easy to get confused about the validity of an IELTS result because Citizenship and Immigration Canada kept on changing the regulation. As of the most recent update, IELTS results are valid for two years.

Both IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic were used to be accepted as proof for an applicants proof of English proficiency. Although at present, only General Training is accepted.

For applicants who's first language was not English, it was always strongly recommended that they take the IELTS exam. But in the early years, other applicants were awarded full points even if they only submitted written explanations to prove their English proficiency for Canada Immigration.

At present however, IELTS is the only proof you can submit to hope and get the full points of sixteen in your English Proficiency.

To learn more about the points system, read Canadian Immigration points system.

Here is the actual update from Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Operation Manual 6, for overseas processing.

"12.11. Other written evidence For applications received at the CIO on or after June 26, 2010, other written evidence of language proficiency will not be accepted. All applications must be accompanied by the results of the principal applicant’s English or French language proficiency assessment. Only test results from a third party language testing agency designated by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism will be accepted (see section 12.6)."
[source operations manuals]

For your Permanent Resident Visa Application, IELTS Canada is part of the requirement on the first stage of your application. So you have to take the IELTS in advance before you file your application.

But since IELTS is not the only requirement for Canada Immigration application, you should not wait for your IELTS results before you start completing your requirements. If you do that, you will run out of time. From experience those who are successful with their applications collects and completes the requirements simultaneously or at the same time. They would gather their documents at the same time as they are reviewing to take the IELTS.

To know more about IELTS Canada requirement, read from my other posts:

On Canada VISA IELTS Requirement - Genenral Training or Academic, One Year or Two Years - this post will also explain what scores you need to get for your Canada Visa application.

IELTS Results

To learn about the current Immigration Canada regulation read:

Catching the next big wave - Immigrating to Canada learning your options

PR Visa Canada - FSW processed within 6 to 12 months

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