Exam for im­mi­gra­tion pur­poses

Jamaica Gleaner - - IMMIGRATIO­N CORNER - Dei­dre S. Pow­ell Dei­dre S. Pow­ell is a lawyer, me­di­a­tor and no­tary pub­lic with of­fice in Ottawa, On­tario. Sub­mit your ques­tions and com­ments to: Email: info@dei­drepow­ell. com. Sub­ject line: Im­mi­gra­tion. Find her on Face­book, Twit­ter, LinkedIn and In­sta­gra

Dear Ms Pow­ell,

IHEAR that there are ex­ams you have to do if you want to im­mi­grate to Canada as a skilled worker? Is that true for per­sons liv­ing in Ja­maica? Why is the test needed? I have a bach­e­lor’s de­gree. What if I want to study? Do I need to do an exam if I’m study­ing too? How can I en­sure I’m suc­cess­ful? Are the ex­ams on­line?

– G.G.

Dear G.G.,

Im­mi­gra­tion Refugee and Cit­i­zen­ship Canada (IRCC) re­quires that per­sons who wish to live per­ma­nently in Canada will need to pro­vide ev­i­dence of their lan­guage skills. There­fore, you must prove your lan­guage abil­ity in at least one of the two of­fi­cial lan­guages in Canada, English and/or French, re­gard­less of coun­try of ori­gin.


Proof of lan­guage abil­ity is demon­strated by pro­vid­ing ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults from ei­ther the In­ter­na­tional English Lan­guage Test­ing Sys­tem (IELTS), Gen­eral Train­ing or Cana­dian English Lan­guage Pro­fi­ciency In­dex Pro­gram (CELPIP) Gen­eral Ex­ams. The IELTS is one of the three recog­nised lan­guage tests that will be ac­cepted by IRCC. It is there­fore manda­tory that your lan­guage test re­sult be known be­fore you ap­ply. This exam is of­fered at The Univer­sity of the West Indies cam­pus in Ja­maica and Trinidad. Other test cen­tres can be found via https://www.ielts.org/.

The other recog­nised lan­guage tests ac­cept­able are CELPIP and TEF (Test d’eval­u­a­tion de Français). The French exam can be done via your lo­cal Al­liance Français of­fice or in Canada. You can sit the CELPIP exam in Canada and the USA. Find test cen­tres on­line at https:// www.celpip.ca/.


Canada is con­sti­tu­tion­ally a bilin­gual coun­try, with English and French as the of­fi­cial lan­guages. The sub­mis­sion of the test re­sults as­sures IRCC that you can adapt and quickly in­te­grate your­self into the Cana­dian so­ci­ety. It also gives the gov­ern­ment of Canada a fair in­di­ca­tion of your abil­ity to be­come eco­nom­i­cally es­tab­lished in Canada. It also al­lows the gov­ern­ment to as­sess each ap­pli­cant, based on the same cri­te­ria.

The lan­guage tests must be done in per­son and eval­u­ates an ap­pli­cant’s level of pro­fi­ciency based on his lis­ten­ing, read­ing, writ­ing and speak­ing skills.


Please note that for Fed­eral Skilled Worker Class, the min­i­mum bench­mark that will be ac­cepted by Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Canada is Cana­dian Lan­guage Bench­mark 7, which is the na­tional stan­dards used in Canada for mea­sur­ing the English lan­guage pro­fi­ciency of adult im­mi­grants and prospec­tive im­mi­grants. The over­all band re­sult is not the de­ter­mi­na­tive fac­tor. You should there­fore strive to get at least seven in each cat­e­gory to en­ter the pool and a min­i­mum of eight in each cat­e­gory to be com­pet­i­tive.


If you are from an English-speak­ing coun­try, most Cana­dian schools do not re­quire you to do the English exam. How­ever, if English lan­guage re­sults are re­quired, you must sit the IELTS Aca­demic exam. Each school will let you know the test re­quired and the min­i­mum re­quired score.


The ex­am­i­na­tions are not a walkover. You must prac­tise and re­mem­ber that you will need to im­press the ex­am­iner with your elo­quence and writ­ing skills. You should pay at­ten­tion to all skill ar­eas. How­ever, strive to get above 8.5 for your lis­ten­ing and read­ing skills to im­prove your chances of be­ing se­lected. The only way to pass an exam is to pre­pare. Put in the ex­tra time and ef­fort prac­tis­ing. There are sev­eral prac­tice tips on­line, so use all the avail­able on­line re­sources. YouTube is a valu­able re­source chan­nel.

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