English Language Requirement for Citizenship

(and application for Permanent Residence)

From April 1 2014, all adults between 14 and 64 who apply for citizenship must send CIC proof that they meet the language requirement for citizenship. For this they must have proof that they meet the Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 – click here to see the CLB 4 description Benchmark description.

If you have completed your secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, you will need a transcript, diploma, certificate or degree to prove this. Note: a single course done in English or French is not enough.

If you already submitted proof of language ability for your application for permanent residence as a Federal Skilled Worker or for the Canadian Experience Class, you will need to send this again.

If you attended an ELSA program (in British Columbia, LINC program in the rest of Canada), you will need to send in proof of achieving CLB 4 in speaking and listening. If you attended ELSA in BC, you will need to send in a certificate or report card from the ELSA program. Note: Initial placement tests by an ELSA assessment  centre and/or attendance at the ESLSAP are not accepted as proof of achieving CLB 4 in speaking and listening.

If you do not have any of these documents, you will need to take an approved English (or French) language test showing that you meet the CLB 4 description Benchmark description.

Accepted English language tests include:

  • CELPIP General (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program General test); or
  • CELPIP General LS – listening and speaking version of the CELPIP General test;      or
  • IELTS – General training (International English Language Testing System); or
  • click here for an approved test for the French language

Sample test materials are held by Sea to Sky Sunshine Coast Welcome Net. Contact your local program manager for access:

Sample test materials can also be found online :

Scoring of the CELPIP

Your CELPIP score will now relate to the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). For example, if you receive a CELPIP score of 5, it means you have achieved a CLB Score of 5 also.

Note: CIC may change the language requirements at any time. Please check the CIC website for up-to-date information.

Remember, you need to achieve Canadian Language Benchmark 4 in listening and speaking only. The IELTS test results are shown in 10 levels, but a level 4 should show a sufficient level of competence.

Find full details of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) requirements at  http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/language.asp

Click here to find out if you have Acceptable documents for the citizenship language requirement