The IRCC recently approved a new language test for economic class immigration applicants. The test is expected to be implemented by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in early to mid-2023.
The name of the new test has been changed in response to information requests from various authorities. Language tests are currently assigned to four organizations.
- IELTS and CELPIP for English, and
- TEF and TCF for French.
It is worth noting that in order to be admitted, the majority of Canada’s economic class immigration programmes require candidates to pass English or French language tests.
According to Canadian government research, a person’s ability to integrate into the Canadian society and the economy is largely determined by their language skills.
Despite some initial difficulties during the pandemic, the number of designated testing organisations continues to meet the demand of immigration and citizenship applicants, according to IRCC.
However, the growing number of language test provider organisations seeking designation is causing IRCC to look for ways to improve.
Currently, the process for designating an organization is lengthy, complex, and “insufficiently transparent.”
IRCC Assessing CLB Alignment with CEFR
The IRCC is currently investigating the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), which some belief is too granular for testing purposes when compared to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Instead of a one-to-seven scale, CEFR test takers are graded on an alphanumeric scale: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.
According to the memo, more research on the CLB levels is needed to ensure that all approved language test constructs are equivalent in terms of difficulty and test purpose.
French Testing Must Not Be Ignored
These initiatives’ policy intent and design would need to be aligned with other department priorities, — especially IRCC’s mandate to support francophone immigration across the country.
There is a greater need for French-designated organizations to improve their testing capabilities. As a result, in addition to TEF and TCF, new French-appointed testing has been added to assess the potential increase in demand.
The History of Language Tests
Since 2010, IRCC only accepted language test results from nominated organisations as proof of language proficiency. This process of proving the language’s ability ensures that it is fair and transparent.
The authorities will first designate and then approve a language testing organisation to evaluate the language ability of immigration applicants, and this role has now been delegated to the Director of Economic Immigration Programs and Policies.
This type of designation process has been established by the department based on various factors. The department can initiate a designation process for any language test organisation based on various factors, policies, regulatory requirements, and programme objectives.
Who Needs a Language Test?
The majority of Canada’s economic class immigration programmes require candidates to pass a language test in either English or French. The language proficiency test is important in testing candidates’ language competency in order for the Canadian government to establish the Canadian economy.
Ancestry and refugee class immigrants are exempt from taking a language test because they are accepted to Canada for social and humanitarian reasons.
Candidates between the ages of 18 and 54 who apply for Canadian citizenship must prove language proficiency in either English or French. The results will indicate proficiency, which will later be approved by IRCC.
The Canadian Government’s rules and regulations for this language proficiency demonstration vary depending on the designated learning institution in Canada, and these rules are part of the study permit approval process.