Applicants must take the International English language Testing System (IELTS) General exam as a common requirement for immigration to numerous countries, including Canada. Although it can seem like a difficult test, its purpose is to refresh and affirm your technical ability to use English in a country that uses it as a native language.
Connecting IELTS and Canadian immigration
The IELTS is the most popular English language proficiency test for global migration. It’s also necessary for students who want to pursue higher education or residency programs in English-speaking countries. Established in 1989, the IELTS’ is one of the four language tests that the government of Canada recognizes as a necessary component of the immigration process. The other tests, namely the country acknowledges the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index (CELPIP), Test de Connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada), and the Test d’Évaluation du Français (TEF), are ranked under an equivalency scoring system to ensure a consistent Canadian language Benchmark (CLB) score from 1 to 10. This ensures that individuals taking any of the four tests get a fair ranking, regardless of the type of test received.
Potential immigrants that undergo Express Entry need to prove their English or French language proficiency, regardless of their nation and educational attainment. This ensures a level playing field for every candidate who wants to reach the final step of invitation to apply (ITA) for immigrants to receive permanent residence.
Identifying the Express Entry pool
For Express Entry immigrants, the IELTS General Training exam is the variant they must take, not the academic version. Entering the applicant pool requires you to fit one of three categories, as a Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
- FSWC: Applicants under the FSWC point system need to achieve at least 67 out of a 100 points in their initial screening to be a part of the test-taking pool.
- FSTC: Applicants who are proven or sponsored to be tradespersons with relevant experience.
- CEC: Applicants with current or recent work experience working in Canadian-based firms.
Although the three classifications of applicants enter the pool under different eligibility requirements, the candidates will be ranked with the same Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
Improving your Overall CRS score
You can have a decent CRS score after submitting all your requirements. However, you need to remember that you’re competing for eligibility among hundreds of thousands of other applying immigrants. This is why it’s best to get the highest score possible.
If a candidate gets an IELTS result of CLB 8 or below, they can still increase their CRS points by proving their proficiency by having re-sat an exam. On the other hand, there’s a particular clause for an individual reaching a CLB 9 score, or what’s known as an “initial advanced” level. This applies to the skills transferability factor within the CRS. It can lead to several pairings of educational and work experience that a person has gained outside of Canada, resulting in up to 100 bonus CRS points. These points are rewarded in addition to improving your language skills under human capital factors.
Overcoming the IELTS can seem like a simpler requirement. However, your standing can make or break your chances of getting permanent residency in Canada. Thankfully, you can consult Canadian immigration agencies to give you pointers on how some CRS ranking clauses can optimize your CLB scores.
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