English language testing is now more available for those who wish to submit a Canadian immigration application.

The two English language tests recognized by Canada’s immigration ministry (IRCC) are the IELTS General Training and the CELPIP.

Candidates need to complete either examination in order to lodge an Express Entry profile or apply for Canadian permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or one of Canada’s other federal or provincial streams.

Express Entry candidates experienced challenges in completing their English testing requirements at the start of the pandemic. COVID-19 led to government-ordered lockdowns around the world. The organizers of the IELTS and CELPIP test complied with local restrictions so they could not offer their tests to immigration candidates at the time.

However, IELTS and CELPIP are now more readily available as governments are gradually relaxing their lockdown restrictions in recent months.

Health and safety measures have been put in place at both IELTS and CELPIP test sites in order to protect candidates and operators of the tests. These include consistent cleaning of their venues, using masks and gloves, and maintaining social distancing techniques in test rooms.

IELTS availability

IELTS indicates on its website that it’s General Training exams are presently available in eighty-nine (89) countries.

The tests are available in popular Canadian permanent residence source countries including Brazil, Bangladesh, Canada (many permanent residents already live in Canada as former foreign workers or international students), China, Colombia, Egypt, Hong Kong, France, India, Ireland, South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Oman, the Philippines, Russia, the UAE, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and many others.

Where can you take CELPIP?

CELPIP is now offered in all Six (6) countries of its operation.

These countries are Canada, the United States, the Philippines, China, the United Arab Emirates, and India.

More CELPIP dates have been made available across the U.S. The United States has become an increasing source of immigrants to Canada in recent years.

Canadian immigration options during COVID-19 Pandemic

The re-start of IELTS and CELPIP operations and the return of all-program draws is a welcome opportunity for more people to go ahead with their Canadian immigration application.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was difficult for many candidates to submit their completed applications or enter the Express Entry pool.

Moreover, some immigration candidates may have paused or delayed their test date or Express Entry submission due to the absence of all-program Express Entry draws.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) normally accounts for the most number of successful Express Entry candidates, however, between March and early July, IRCC was only conducting Express Entry draws for Canadian Experience Class and PNP candidates.

There have been two draws since the last month of July that has included FSWP candidates including a draw held last week.

Hence, it may be in an applicant’s best interest to complete their English language test and lodge their Canadian immigration application now.

Doing so will help them to avoid unnecessary delays in eventually moving to Canada if their applications are successful.

In fact, if you obtain a provincial nomination via an Express Entry-aligned stream, or if your Comprehensive Ranking System score is good enough without a provincial nomination, you may be fortunate enough to get an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence within a short time of entering the Express Entry pool.

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