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.

276 thoughts on “New Language Requirements Under the Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program – CLB to IELTS

  1. I am the primary applicant for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, yet to appear for the IELTS (I will be going for the general IELTS). My spouse is also planning to study in Canada if our PR application is approved under the Express Entry.
    Would she need to go for the general or the academic IELTS? Would both help adding the extra 5 points to our application?

  2. I got an overall score of 5.5 in the ielts
    And i am qualified for the FSWP ! But i haven’t applied for CIC yet. Am i eligible to apply or i need to re-take test

  3. hi my celpip score is
    L -10
    i think my score doesn’t qualify for FSW
    but do i have to give a entire test again or i can just give celpip Speaking & listening General test.

  4. my husband is applying to canada he take ielts exam then he got score

    hes total score 4.5

    what he would do he need to take exam again…?

    what is your total score need in immigration?

  5. hi there,
    i want to apply for immigration to canada under express entry system. does my spouse need to sit ielts or just me sitting for ielts should be sufficient?

    Kind Regards,

  6. Applicant for canada immigration has GT in ielts. Where as spouse has academic ielts. Is it possible to gain 5 points through academics ielts

      • Hi,
        I would like to know more about the FSW English language scoring.
        What I mean is that I am confused with the current 2014 scoring because there are 2 brackets, one is for “First official language (English/French) and second bracket: “second official language (English/French).
        What does this mean?
        I took IELTS exam of british council so in my report paper the first language written there was “others” because I live in the Philippines and the official language of Philippines which is Filipino and English is not combined in the drop down box of BC so I clicked others instead.
        Does this mean that I can no longer have the maximum 24/28 points since I have not indicated that English is my first official language in the test report form?
        I scored:
        Reading 9
        Listening 8.5
        Writing 7
        Speaking 7
        Overall Band score of 8
        Can you please enlighten me with the FSW

  7. My IELTS L 5. R 5 W4.5 S 5.5so overall 5
    My wife. 4.5 overall
    Can we apply to immigration?
    Can we do session English in Canada after the travel?

  8. Hi there,
    I just want to ask if I am eligible and if I do have a chance to be selected thru EE under FSWP. I had 2 years work experience as a quality assurance manufacturing engineer. As per WES evaluation, my academic equivalency is Master degree. The result of my IELTS exam will come out by next week, and hoping that I’ll get a passing score. Do I need a job offer to be selected in the pool? Thanks in advance. God bless you!!!

  9. Hello Sir,

    I have got L-7 W-6 S-7 R-6 overall 6.5 and CLB -7, but still I not able to submit the profile, also I have studied MSC Aeronautial front UK, and have done ECA from WES which is positive as well, moreover have more than 2 years of experience, am I eligible? Kindly revert me as my consultant suggesting me to take an IELTS again
    Thanks and regards,

    • You do need to score higher in IELTS in order to get enough points to reach the minimum 67 points.

  10. Hi,
    My IELTS score is
    Reading 7, Listening 8, Writing 7, Speaking 8.5 –> Overall 7.5
    I have an intermediate (however a bit rusty) knowledge of french and was thinking of adding French as a second language. What is the minimum score that I need to enhance my scoring.

  11. I got 6 in all modules of General Training i fall in NOC 7202 category. My over all points are also above 67 … should i contact any immigration agent in India or send my Credentials directly to CIC… Please advise friends.

  12. I have an IELTS scores of speaking=7, listening=6.5, writing=6.5, reading=6 and overall band score of 6.5. What do these scores convert to in CLB?

  13. Hi, i sent money to this guy,, and to that are all scammers.
    i paid roufly 5000$ to these guys claiming they could get me ielts certificate. i spend almost two months communicating with them but it was for nothing. i advice you not to contact with them as it is just a waste of time and money as i have found another dealer offering this service and are able to provide service in 10 days, i now got my certificate and advice you not to contact with superioresol for anything as they are just thiefs. taught i can share this with you

  14. Dear Sir / Madam,

    My IELTS score are as follows:
    Listening: 6.5
    Reading: 6.0
    Writing: 6.0
    Speaking: 6.5

    Overall Band Score – 6.5

    Is this ok for the Express Entry Progam if i am the primary applicant or Do I need to re-appear IELTS and score more?

  15. Dear CICS,

    whenever i take the eligibility test and enter my education, work experience, language score,etc… i get accepted if i display my IELTS general test results as follow:
    Speaking: 7.0
    Listening: 7.0
    Reading: 7.0
    Writing: 7.0
    However, my IELTS General Test resuts are as follow:
    Speaking: 7.5
    Listening: 7.0
    Reading: 6.0
    Writing: 6.0

    i tried submitting an Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program Profile with these results and i was ineligible. I believe if i submit my results as 7.0 minimum in all sections, i would be accepted.

    My question is this:

    why am i being rejected under the benchmark of 7.0 in all areas if 6.0 totality is the minimum required result.

    P.S: i have no Canadian experience so perhaps that factor is unrewarding to my overall point assessment (67 minimum points).

    Please reply or email me your results, i strongly need your respond.

    Thank you,

  16. Hi,

    My question is that if you have a Band 8 in IELTS (L-9, S-8,R-7.5 & W-7.5) will I be considered to have CLB 10? As for CLB 10 the IELTS requirement is above 7.87. Or is the individual score that matters as CLB 10 : L-8.5, Reading – 8, S -7.5 and W-7.5?


  17. My IELTS General test Score is L: 7.0 , R : 9.0 , S : 6.5 , W : 6.5
    and overall band score of 7.5. What do these scores convert to CLB? Frankly speaking
    I have a difficulty only with Listening: 7. All “Language test equivalency charts” show no difference between 6 and 7 scores.

    Thanks in advance.

  18. Hi!

    I scored overall 6 points with
    6.5 in speaking
    6.5 in listening
    6 in reading
    5 in writing.
    Please suggest if I can apply for work in canada

  19. I scored overall 6 points with
    6.5 in speaking
    6.0 in listening
    4.5 in reading
    6.0 in writing.

    Can i apply for Express entry or any PNP for Canada. Please suggest if i can apply with this score .

    Thank You

    • For EE, you need at least 6.0 in each ability. For PNP, from time to time, some programs open up that take a limited number of people with certain work experience and education. So it`s not an answer someone can give with the limited information you have given. It`s not just about the language score.

      • Hello ,

        Thanks for your input . 🙂

        I am working in a IT Sector having a work exp of 7 years , so could you please suggest can i apply for any PNP which is currently available for my profile.

        Thanks again!

  20. Hi Doyin,

    My General IELTS English Language Exam score is
    L-7.0, R-5.5, W-6.5, S-6.5 – Overall Band score 6.5

    and my wife score is

    L-6.0, R-5.0, W-6.0, S-7.0 – Overall Band score 6.0

    Do I have the minimum acceptable score eligible to qualify for a Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program? I have a friend leaving in the province willing to sponsor our application. My NOC is 0 & A.


  21. I got 6.5 in IELTS and my PR told me for 7.5 band to go into express entry system. what are the other options for me to go into PNP pool having 8+ years experience in software field.

    And what will be my CLB score as per 6.5 in IELTS ?

  22. i have intentions of migrating to Canada via express entry, I speak both Canada well and French averagely. I intend writing both IELTS and DELF B2. Is it okay to take both? Will it earn me more points?

  23. i have intentions of migrating to Canada via express entry, I speak English well and French averagely. I intend writing both IELTS and DELF B2. Is it okay to take both? Will it earn me more points?

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