Canada has two official languages, English and French.


Are language tests for Canadian Immigration compulsory?


Yes, to apply for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry you have to submit a formal language test result for either English, French, or both.

Do I have to speak both English and French to Immigrate to Canada?


No, there is no requirement to speak both English and French. It is acceptable to speak only one of Canada’s official languages. Most applicants only have one of the official languages.


However, there are points benefits and extra immigration paths available to applicants who can prove their acceptable language abilities in both English and French.


If I am still learning my second of the official languages, can I take the test later and add it to my profile or does it need to be done before I submit my Express Entry Profile?


You can take your second official language test either before or after the submission of your Express Entry profile. If your profile has already been submitted you simply edit the profile to add your second language results.

How do I demonstrate my English or French language skills?


You do this by taking a formal test in the language.


For English there are two testing options to choose from


  • IELTS General Training Test and
  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program. CELPIP-General Test


For French, there are two testing options to choose from


  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français


How many points do I receive for my language test results?


You will earn points for your language results, how many you receive will depend on if you are single or with a spouse, your actual language results, and your stream of application.


We will go through this in more detail here where we go through the different language tests step-by-step.


What are Canadian Language Benchmarks or CLB’s?


The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) describe 12 levels of ability in each of four different language skills – Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.


The CLB’s are used in Canada to describe English language ability. For each language skill, you receive a separate benchmark, and this benchmark indicates how well you can function in that language skill.


Each of these English skills will be tested separately in your English Language test – either your IELTS General Training test or your CELPIP-General Test.

There are three stages in the CLB.


  • Stage I covers basic language ability (benchmarks 1 to 4).
  • Stage II covers intermediate language ability (benchmarks 5 to 8).
  • Stage III covers advanced language ability (benchmarks 9 to 12).


You can take a detailed look at each benchmark standard for each of the 4 Language skills here


Each CLB in each language skill will correlate to a specific number of Express entry points.

What is the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) ?


The Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) are the national standards for describing, measuring and recognizing the French language proficiency of adult immigrants to Canada. The NCLC scales describe different levels of communication.


In a similar way to the CLB’s for English, the NCLC for French will grant a set of Express Entry points to the applicant that will correspond to the level they achieve in their French Language Test

The NCLC follows the same standardized format as the CLB being:


  • Stage I covers basic language ability (benchmarks 1 to 4).
  • Stage II covers intermediate language ability (benchmarks 5 to 8).
  • Stage III covers advanced language ability (benchmarks 9 to 12).


The French tests also test the 4 language skills of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

Can I take the test again if I don’t do as well as I hoped?


Yes, you can. You can take the tests as many times as you like. You only need to upload one set of test results to the express entry portal, so if you have done the test several times, upload your best result. There is no penalty for taking your language tests more than once.


Many applicants take their Language Tests for Canadian Immigration multiple times, they take them until they get the results they desire to support their permanent residency goals.

Editor in Chief - at | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief -

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at and serves as Editor-in-Chief.