The IRCC publishes designation criteria for language testing organisations:

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published a criterion recently that is used to determine language testing organisations. Language tests are required by IRCC for economic class residence applicants and Student Direct Stream (SDS) applicants. These tests ensure that applicants meet the requirement of English or French language proficiency.

The language requirements are in place so that IRCC can confirm that an applicant is prepared for integration in Canada. Additionally, a candidate’s economic class can have an impact on their overall human capital score, which a number of federal and provincial pathways use to rank candidates.

Earlier, no such criteria were maintained, making it difficult to meet the requirements set by the IRCC.

According to the IRCC’s release, there are four main considerations:

Expertise: A test should cover all the purposes of IRCC, as it will evaluate four skills, including reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Moreover, this will evaluate the expertise of an individual in English or French.

Reliability: The test should yield consistently similar results whenever examiner evaluate it. However, the difficulty level of each stage of a test must be the same each time it is administered.

Integrity: All the security standards should be met with respect to logistics, registration of candidates, test writing and marking, etc. Even, relevant anti-fraud mechanisms can be taken into consideration for a test to be approved.

Availability: IRCC must ensure that every eligible candidate in Canada has access to a test.

What tests are approved by the IRCC for economic-class immigration?

There are currently five language testing companies in total that the IRCC has approved, including:

  • CELPIP General
  • IELTS General Training
  • TEF Canada: Test d’evaluation de français

·             TCF Canada: Test de Connaissance du Français

Recently, the IRCC approved the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

What tests have the IRCC approved for the SDS?

For SDS, IRCC has started accepting four newly approved English language tests, including:

·               CELPIP General

·               Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

·               Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)

·               Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)

However, IRCC also accepts the following English language tests:

·              IELTS Academic

·              IELTS General Training

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