New Language Requirements Under the Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program – CLB to IELTS

Qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will require meeting minimum language requirements under rules that will be put in place in early 2013

New language requirements under the new Federal Skilled Worker program

CLB to IELTS Conversion

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released more details about the new Federal Skilled Worker program, which will be launched in January of 2013, and it includes changes to how language proficiency is assessed. In an interview with CICS News, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) Alex Khadempour said applicants would need to focus more on language under the new rules:

“If you are looking to apply for the new Federal Skilled Worker program, it’s best to start by understanding the new language requirements and to write your exam as soon as possible so that you don’t miss the window of opportunity before the quota fills up.”

“CIC plans to significantly increase the maximum points awarded for proficiency in the English and French languages from 24 points to 28 points, making language the single biggest factor in an application’s chances of being accepted,” he added.

Details of the proposed changes

First Official Language:

According to a bulletin released by CIC, an applicant must prove a minimum proficiency in each of the four language abilities, speaking, listening, reading and writing, that is at the Canadian Language Benchmark 7 (CLB 7) level for English or is at the Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien 7 (NCLC 7) level for French, in order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) program.

For the English language requirement, CLB 7 is equivalent to scoring 6 on the IELTS. For the French language requirement, NCLC 7 is equivalent to scoring 309, 248, 206 and 309 on the speaking, listening, reading and writing modules of the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF), respectively. 4 points are awarded for each of the four language abilities, meaning that all candidates that meet the mandatory minimums on all language abilities will have at least 16 points.

The bulletin also states that applicants will be awarded one extra point for each language ability for which they score CLB 8 or NCLC 8 and two extra points if they score CLB 9 or NCLC 9 (for a maximum of 24 points).

The IELTS equivalent to CLB 8 is 7.5, 6.5, 6.5 and 6.5 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The TEF equivalent to NCLC 8 is 349, 280, 233, and 349 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, respectively.

The IELTS equivalent to CLB 9 is 7.5+, 6.5+, 6.5+, and 6.5+ on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The TEF equivalent to NCLC 9 is 349+, 280+, 233+, and 349+ on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, respectively.

Second Official Language:

The number of points awarded for proficiency in a second official language will be reduced from 8 to 4 under the new rules, making focusing on studying a single language a more viable strategy for those seeking to qualify for immigration to Canada.

This entry was posted in CLB, federal skilled worker, Federal Skilled Worker Program, IELTS, language requirements and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

99 Responses to New Language Requirements Under the Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program – CLB to IELTS

  1. Saeid says:

    thank you for information and assistance, regard to your information that you have provided by Mr. Alex Khadempour if one need 20 points for language efficiency it means h/she should achieve IELTS in benchmark 8 and if one need 21 he/she have to get one extra score over 7.5 for listening or more than 6.5 for other skills so I would be grateful if you consider it.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Monica says:

    Thank you for your info.

    I took CELPIP exam and my scores are
    Speaking: 4H
    Reading: 4L
    Listening: 4L
    Writing: 3H
    Would you please let me know what would be my points in each skill based on the new FSW regulations effective from Jan 2013.

  3. CICS Immigration editor says:

    CELPIP Level CLB Equivalencies Points Awarded (under FSW Class)
    Level 5 Effective Proficiency – CLB 9, 10, 11 and 12 4
    Level 4H Adequate Proficiency – CLB 8 4
    Level 4L Adequate Proficiency – CLB 7 2
    Level 3H Developing Proficiency – CLB 6 2
    Level 3L Developing Proficiency – CLB 5 1
    Level 2H Minimal Proficiency – CLB 4 1
    Level 2L Minimal Proficiency – CLB 3 0
    Level 1 No Proficiency – CLB 1 and 2 0
    Level 0 Did not attempt or insufficient information to assess 0

    • Timi says:

      Sir I got 4 all my ielts exam. Is it valiable to go in Canada because I have applied for immigration visa in Canada. Is sufficient this score please write to me. Thank you very much

  4. Shahid says:

    Dear Consultant,

    Hello there,

    I would like to know about new NOC list (Federal Skilled) which will applicable for jan 2013 onward.



  5. Nelson says:

    “The IELTS equivalent to CLB 8 is 7.5, 6.5, 6.5 and 6.5 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking…. The IELTS equivalent to CLB 9 is 7.5+, 6.5+, 6.5+, and 6.5+ on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.”
    The information shows that there is no difference in CLB 8 &9, as the IELTS scores look alike in both catogories. Can any one say if I would be given 24 points or 20???
    I would prefer 24 to 20 :-).
    Is it likely that a higher IELTS score be demanded for scoring the maximum 24 points???

  6. cid alvarez says:

    hi. im a bit confused with the conversion. can u help me converting these scores? :
    listening 6
    reading 7.5
    writing 6.5
    speaking 6.5

    thank u so much

  7. RHEA says:


    For skilled worker NOC A, the new requirement is a CLB 7 (IELTS score of 6 in each ability). Will it still quality if one of the IELTS abilities is 5 or 5.5 (CLB6) but 2 abilities is CLB 7 and the other one is CLB 8? Is there any ability that can be on CLB6 to quality?

  8. Navdeep says:

    Thanks a lot cics for updating regarding language requirement. sir i hv a little query in the sense that will canada will award points for each module of ielts differnetly For eg. if some gets Reading – 8 , listening – 7.5 , speaking. – 6.5, writing – 6. then wld he be awarded CLB diff. for each module like may be 8 or 9 for reading and so on and. points wld be calculated for each clb ? plz update. shall be highly thankful.

    • CICS Immigration editor says:

      Yes points will be awarded for each module of IELTS differently. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will award points for each language ability independently.

      • Bharat Regmi says:

        My Score is L: 7.5 , R : 6.5 , S : 6.0 , W : 6.0
        What is the score I will be getting for FSW. I mean does my listening and reading scores 5 and 5 points or in total I get 16 points only! Because getting 18 points I am Eligible and getting only 16 points does not qualify me.
        Please help me sir for confirmation.
        Thank you,
        Bharat Regmi

  9. karen says:

    Hi sir/Maam,
    I would like to ask regarding my ielts score because I am a bit confused about the interpratation, below is my ielts score

    listening 7.5
    reading 6.5
    writing 5.5
    speaking 7… what would be my clb if these are my score? do I have to retake my test to obtain a clb of 7 since I have 5.5?thank you..

    • CICS Immigration editor says:

      Hi, yes you would need to retake the IELTS and get 6 or above on the writing portion in order to obtain a CLB of 7 on it.

  10. Alyshia says:

    Will i need to retake the IELTS if my score are
    Listening: 5.5
    Reading: 6.0
    writing: 7.5
    Speaking: 7.5

  11. Joe says:

    Hi Can anyone help me knowing how many point I will again in the new CLB conversion from IELTS since I got the beow score :

    English IELTS Score
    Listening 6.5
    Reading 5.5
    Writing 6
    Speaking 7
    Overall Band Score 6.5

  12. Rufat says:

    Hi guys, I am confused a little bit, so, the minimum language requirement for FSW program (IELTS) was L 7.5, others 6.5….The question: Is language requirement for new FSTW program decreased or remains the same….?

  13. AD says:

    Hi guys,
    According to the last update on Jan 2, 2013, basic language proficiency in either English or French at the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing are required.
    Please see the following link,

  14. swapna says:

    My IELTS scores are as follows
    L 6.5
    R 7.5
    W 7
    S 7 do i fall in CLb 7 or 8? pls help

  15. Nelson says:
    Can anyone say if the link given above is reliable?

  16. Nelson says:

    And what should I do when I get news as given below…
    It says more mark for reading than listening….
    Can anyone give us a reliable link?

  17. Santy says:

    my ielts score are as follows:

    listening: 5.5
    reading: 6
    writing: 7.5
    speaking: 7

    am i eligible to apply under skilled worker category? hoping for you immediate response! thank you!

  18. Sajad Ali says:

    Dear Sir,

    For last couple of months I am confused with my current IELTS result which is 6.0 Overall, I do not know what should I do? Do I write for IELTS again? Or My current score is OK.

    Listening 6.5
    Writing 7.0
    Speaking 5.5
    Reading 5.0

    Please let me know ASAP.

  19. Mahjabeen says:

    I got:
    writing 6.5, listening 6.0, reading 5.5 and speaking 6.5
    should I have to sit the exam again?
    pls rply asap….

  20. Mahjabeen says:

    my spouse got,
    wfiting 6.0 reading 6.0 speaking 6.5, listening 5.5
    should he need to sit the examagain?

  21. Nisar Zaffar says:

    Hello my overall IEL

  22. Nisar Zaffar says:

    Please advise for my IELTS score
    Overall 7
    Listening 7.5
    Reading 7
    Writing 6
    Speaking 6.5
    Do I qualify?

  23. babak says:

    Please advise for my IELTS score:
    Overall 6
    Listening 5.5
    Reading 6.5
    Writing 6.5
    Speaking 6
    Do I qualify for immigration?

  24. Shashi says:

    Hi sir/mam,
    I’m a bit confused with the IELTS to CLB conversion. So just wondering that, am I eligible if I have a overall score of 6.5 with listening -6.5, reading-6.0, writing-5.5 speaking- 7.5. And also want to know that do I need to a job offer from canadian organisation to apply for the residence.
    Please help with this.


  25. Maulik says:

    IELTS CLB 7 score points work individual or overall. I mean If i didnt get score in one module then I didnt get point for but I pass the score 67 then

    • CICS Immigration Editor says:

      You are required to get at least CLB 7 in each language module in order to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker program.

  26. mike says:



  27. vijay says:

    I am in the US since 2 years as a student, basically from india. Do I need to submit
    IELTS? I cleared IELTS before coming to US which was expired few months ago.


  28. vijay says:

    Hi ,
    this is vijay. I have graduated in USA and currently in US . I am planning to apply for skilled worker program. Do I need to fulfill language requirements. I am basically from India. But in US since 2 years.

    thank you

  29. nirob says:

    Dear Sir,
    I want to know about which module of ielts (Academic module or General module)
    will be needed for Federal Skilled Worker Program.

    Please inform me.

  30. vikas says:

    my ielts score is listening -8.0 , reading -6.5, writing -6.0, speaking-6.0 ,,,,plz tell me how much points i will get for english language

  31. Vijay says:

    I got 7.0, 6.5, 6.5, and 6.5 for Listening, Reading, writing and speaking.
    How many point can I expect as per new FSWP language rules.
    Thanks in advance

  32. Muhammad Tanveer Qamar says:

    I have been living in united kingdom for past 30 months, Before I came to UK I scored 7 in ILETS,
    Listening 7.5
    Reading 6.5
    Writing 6.5
    Speaking 7.5
    But this was three years ago after that I did postgraduate in UK and have been working for 1 year as well do. So, do I have to take an IELTS examination again or not ?

    Muhammad Tanveer

  33. jinni says:

    Hello sir,
    I got 7.5 in speaking and7 in each of writing listening and writing.can i take the total points as 20 wchich will be awarded differently for each module or the combination of 7.5 L and 6.5 in W,S and R is required to obtain 20 points

  34. Ervin says:

    I have IELTS overall score 7, I am married and I am the principal applicant?
    Should my spouse also have an IELTS certificate?

    Thank you very much

  35. Furqan says:

    i will be really grateful if you please clarify me that my score is equal to CLB 7 and i do not need to retake it….
    Listening : 7.5
    Speaking : 6.5
    Writing : 6
    Reading : 5.5

    and also i will be getting 1 extra point for achieving CLB 8 in Speaking and Listening.

  36. Kamal Giri says:

    Hi.. Anyone there??
    I would like to now my English level. I had my ESL test last 2 month ago and my score in (Reading-6, Speaking-6,Writing-3,Listening-3) Could you let me know that how to convert in IELTS? Or is this good score for Federal skilled category? I am a Cabinet maker and my NOC is B category. Please let me know ASAP..

  37. gabb17 says:

    i think, in order to qualify for the FSWP we need to obtain a band score of 6 and up in the 4 modules. So, it is understood that once you get 6 below in any of the modules you need to retake the exam. acquiring 6 band score in the 4 modules, that is equivalent to 16 points if i’m not mistaken. ;-)

  38. Amrisha says:

    I got
    Listening 8
    Reading 7.5
    Writing 8
    Speaking 7 in IELTS

    Wats the total number of points I will get under federal skilled labor category

  39. pradeep says:

    Hi My ILETS Score is

    Listening 7.0
    Reading 6.5
    Writing 5.5
    Speaking 7.5
    Overall 6.5

    can you please help me understand my CBL equivalent
    and also if i am Eligible under CEC Skill A class

  40. Kazeem says:

    My IELTS scores are: listening 6, reading 6, writing 6.5 & speaking 7.5 (overall score is 6.5)
    . What is the Canadian Language Band level for this? Do i qualify to apply as a skilled worker with NOC 0601 in view?

  41. jackdaniels7886 says:

    Hi my IELTS score is
    Listening : 6.5
    Reading : 7.0
    Writing : 6.5
    Speaking : 7.0
    Overall : 7.0
    Is this score sufficient for FSWP? Does this fall under CLB 7 or CLB 8?
    If I need to get CLB 8 I need to retake IELTS again. But is it worth retaking IELTS again? Please let me know.

  42. Ameera says:

    Hello i would like to know if my spouse has to do the ilets exam as well and if yes what score is required from him inorder to be accepte ?

  43. Jackielou Antonio says:

    I need to know if academic is acceptable for canadian immigration under federal skilled worker category?

  44. Ulupi says:

    Hi, I would like to know if an Academic score can be taken into consideration for the FSW program. I have recently returned from UK with a masters degree for which I took an academic IELTS. Do I have to take a general IELTS for immigration under the FSW category?

  45. simran says:

    hello sir,
    i got following bands in ielts
    reading -6
    writing – 6.5
    m i qualify pls tell me sir pls pls pls

  46. Jahangir says:

    Could you tell me what is the minimum requirement for spouse in IELTS. I, being the principal applicant have already secured 7 (listening), 7.5 (reading), 7.5 (writing) & 7.5 (speaking) with overall 7.5

    She has 5.5 overall. Would it be okay or does she need to retake it for FSW program (Canada Immigration)?

    Pls help! I am desperate to know


  47. bob says:

    I got 5 overall band score im I qualified for immigration with my wife

  48. Hassam says:

    Sir, i need 21 score in my IELTS exam , consulatnt told me if your spouse can do the IELTS as well.than 5 point will added in your points.and you only required 16 points.

    Pls clarify.

  49. parasbagthalia says:

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    My name is Paras Bagthalia, my nationality is INDIAN. I am in United Kingdom from Last 7 years and i have done my IELTS in 2005 and got 6 Bands.

    I have stayed in English Speaking country for more then 7 Years, do i need to give IELTS for Canada Permanent Residency?

    Please reply me as soon as you can.

    Thanks in Advance.

  50. NanT says:

    I am applying for FSWP which is opening on 4th May 2013.
    My IELTS score is
    L 7.5
    R 6.5
    W 6.5
    S 7

    How many points I earn??

  51. MELLY says:

    If you are applying for the FSW category, your IELTS score should not be lower than 6 in all the four skills(Listening, reading, writing and Speaking). That is already a rule so if you have one score band that is below 6. YOU HAVE TO RETAKE IELTS! It’s quite disgusting because you have to pass through the eye of a needle before you can migrate to Canada… But.. try and try until you reach the required band. CHEERS!

  52. MELLY says:

    And if your dependent falls under the low skilled category, he/she must take the IELTS too with a band score of 4 in all the skills. So if your score is 6 and above and your dependent is 4 in all the skills, CONGRATULATIONS! you made it to the FSW category..

  53. Nom says:

    My IELTS is
    Listening: 6.5
    Reading 7
    Writing 6.5
    Speaking 6.5

    What are the points in CLB equivalency? Please reply.

  54. nave says:

    if you sore in ILETS as


    so would you claim 16 points (4 point per ability) in language ability or 18 points ?(4 points each for reading, writing, reading and 6 points for listing as its equal to CLB 9)

    Can any one help on clarfying above query

  55. nave says:

    small correction:

    so would you claim 16 points (4 point per ability) in language ability or 18 points ?(4 points each for reading, writing, listing and 6 points for speaking as its equal to CLB 9)

  56. Abdelhamid says:

    I took the IELTS exam just recently with the following bandscore: S- 7.5, L- 7.5, W-6.5 and R- 6.0 with an OBS of 7.0

    Does anyone know how many points can i get for immigration to Canada? Thanks for any info’

  57. nave says:

    hi abdel,

    pls visit following site to get your req. info

  58. tess says:

    hi i got my ielts
    L 6.5
    W 5.5
    R 5.0
    S 5.0
    Am I qualified to apply for FSW in Canada?

  59. Sneha says:

    Respected Sir,

    I have a question that if my spouse is already settled in Canada then am i suppose to pass IELTS to join him in Canada?

  60. Satish Boddu says:

    My IELTS SCORE is as below , please suggest whether am i eligible for FSW-P Canada.

    Please tell my CLB score …..!
    Please sugget me , i am very confused about points calculation.

  61. myna says:

    Dear Sir,

    I had recently taken IELTS exam , I received 7.5,6.0,5.0 and 7 and over all is 6.5.
    Am staying in Canada for more than a year.Would like to know ,if I need to take exam again or an I eligible for FSW. Does , my scores make any changes if English is my “Second official language” ? Kindly suggest asap

    Thank you

  62. Ashish says:

    I got the following scrore,
    Listening: 7.5
    Reading, Writing & Speaking: 6.5. Could you please tell me what CLB level i meet and how much i would be getting. I see i meet CLB 8, so will i be given 1 point extra as mentioned above??? If so on total what would be my point 20/24?

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  65. rogelio says:

    Hi, my over all score is 5.5,…listening 5.5,reading 4.5,writing 6.5, speaking 6.0…im qualified for the butcher work?

  66. gagandeep kaur says:

    Respected Sir
    I want to confirm about my eligibility for canada under skilled worker .I got 6 brands in overall IELTS Exam. but in each I got Listening=6.5 speaking 6, reading= 4.5 and in writing = 6.0.Please check about my eligibility.

  67. Michael says:


    I got speaking 7.5, writing 6.5, listening 6.0 and writing 5.5 in IELTS.
    How does these scores translate to CLB for FSWP Canada?

    Your candid reply would be greatly appreciated!

  68. Sajjad says:


    Can any body tells me that this new language requirement also applied on old application filed before this new rule …I am worried because my overall band is 5.5 and I also get PR approval on March 2012

    Please help me


  69. Faryal uzma says:

    Please can someone calculate following points for me i am really confused,
    Listing 8.5 Reading 9.0 Writing 7.0 Speaking 6.5
    please let know know how much points he will score out of 24,
    I am not sure if we can mix if reading falls in CBL 9 and speaking falls in CBL 8
    so we point respective Reading 6 and Speaking 5.. can we mix CBL for each ability
    If you can’t give me details just score the above IELTS points i would really appreciate

  70. Timi says:

    Sir I got 4 all my ielts exam. Is it valiable to go in Canada because I have applied for immigration visa in Canada. Is sufficient this score please write to me. Thank you very much

  71. Freeman says:

    Please,I got a reply from cqnada to do ielts since 2011 July.I did it and scored
    I want to do another IELTS,please hope the letter of 2011 can still be used?

  72. sabahat naz says:

    I got overall 6 band in ielts:
    speaking 6
    reading 6.5
    listening 5.0
    writting 7.0
    should i eligible for FSW or do i take ielts again? pls suggest.

  73. Abiyu says:

    hi I got an IELTS Score of
    Listening 7.0
    Reading 7.0
    Writing 6.5
    Speaking 6.5
    What will be my CLB Level

  74. Goavrdhan says:

    Hi, my over all score is 6,…listening 6,reading6,writing 5.5, speaking 6.0…Will I qualif for CEC for software engineer.

  75. Bud says:

    It’s a useful website.

    Please let me know what is the minimum requirement in IELTS and French language for Self Employed category.

    Thank you beforehand.

  76. vibs says:


    I am trying to migrate to Canada and in ielts my score is L- 6.5 , R- 5.5 , W- 7, S- 7… After re-taking in writing section it is 5.5 and in other sections its 6 above..

    Can we combine 2 ielts results?? as i scored 6 above in each module, but 2 different exams.

    Also, my real brother is holding a PR, and am not falling short of points required for immigration ( i.e. 67)

    Is there any alternative for above scores?? as my agent is saying 6 is required in each module in one exam, and we cannot combine 2 ielts results..

    or i have to re-take exam?? please advise its urgent..

    Best Regards,

  77. reigns says:

    i don’t understand what the second language means. for me english is my first language.

    can someone tell me what second language means

    • Khandaker Akramul Huda says:

      English n French is required for Canada immigration.
      (Which one you know better, select that first Language)
      if English first for you, French is Second for you.
      if French is first for you, English is Second for you.

  78. Wasif says:

    I got 6.5,6.5,7 and 5.5 can i apply for FSW in 2014 intake my overall score is 6.5.

  79. Sameer khan says:


    I am mechanical engineer with 5 years of International Exp,I got IELTS bands as follows,

    Am I eligible for FSWP Canada ?

  80. srinivas says:

    Primary applicant
    Overall-6.5( Will I get 18 Points Here)

    Overall-5 (My wife will contribute 5 Points Here)

    Can you please help

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