Canada Immigration Points system awards 24 points to any candidate with excellent language proficiency, the highest among any other human capital criteria like age, education qualification, and work experience for profile evaluation and assessment.
Canada is reliant on foreign skilled workers or economic class immigrants to not only sustain its economic growth, especially post-pandemic but also to overcome demographic transitions like aging demography and a low birth rate among natives. The huge skill demand gap in the workforce is also contributing to the increasing demand for foreign immigrants in Canada.
Proficiency in English or French will help you easily qualify for Canadian immigration. This blog is directed at aspiring migrants to help you better understand the scope for gaining the highest proficiency in one of the two official languages in Canada.
Importance of English or French in Canada for Aspiring Migrants
IRCC assesses language components in four broad areas: Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening. Upon completion of any one of the IRCC-designated language tests (refer below), candidates must compare the obtained test scores on Canadian standards like
- Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) for English, and
- Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French.
Nominations Draw for Canada PR
Economic-class programs across the spectrum from Express Entry programs, Provincial Nominee Programs, and pilots like Atlantic Immigration Programs and Quebec skilled worker programs to study visa and temporary work permit programs require a varying degree of proficiency in language assessments.
For example, candidates must obtain a CLB of at least 7 in all four abilities (writing, reading, listening, and speaking) to qualify under the popular Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
Candidates with a higher Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for English score get more points, thereby making it easier to qualify under pathways managed via Express Entry and expression of interest systems operated by the provinces and territories.
Language-based targeted Draws
As per the latest Bill C-19 that received the royal assent on June 23, 2022, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may now invite eligible profiles in the Express Entry pool based on subjective skills like occupation, education qualification, or language proficiency in upcoming Canada PR Express Entry draws.
IRCC had already held its first-ever exclusive Express Entry draw for Federal Skilled Workers last month. We have seen targeted Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws from Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick invites French-speaking applications for provincial nominations.
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French-speaking candidates have a better chance to qualify for Canada PR
French-speaking candidates receive additional points under Express Entry. This means that between two applicants with similar work experience and academic backgrounds, an applicant who is proficient in French will have a better chance than one who is proficient only in English.
The Express Entry system is an application database to select applicants who meet the criteria of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the system recognizes French language skills and awards points for high levels of French language proficiency.
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Submitting Certified Copies of Translated Documents with an Immigration Application
Failing to provide a complete, accurate, and certified translation of foreign-language documents into English or French can have dire consequences. There have been several instances in the past where immigration applications were rejected due to non-certified translation copies.
Guide 5523 that stated any immigration supporting documents submitted in a non-official language must be accompanied by an official language translation, complete with a translator’s declaration. The Guide also states that documents submitted only in non-official languages will not be considered.
Acceptable Language Proficiency Tests for Immigration to Canada
Any applicant for economic class immigration to Canada can submit English proficiency test scores assessed by any one of the following designated language-testing organizations
- The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) administered by Cambridge Assessment English, International Development Program (IDP) Australia, and British Council.
- The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) administered by Paragon Testing Enterprises Inc.
- The Pearson Test of English (PTE) by Pearson Canada Inc.
Additionally, IRCC also accepts immigration aspirants with proficiency in French through tests like TEF Canada (Test d’Evaluation de Français) and TCF Canada (Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada).
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