The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has approved Pearson Test of English for Canadian immigration applications
For Canadian immigration applications, PTE will join IELTS and CELPIP as one of three English-language tests available to economic class candidates.
Pearson Test of English has been approved by the IRCC for Canadian immigration applications.
To demonstrate their English language proficiency to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), economic class candidates will be able to complete the Pearson Test of English (PTE) beginning in “late 2023”, along with CELPIP and IELTS General Training.
Pearson has developed PTE Essential to meet the language proficiency requirements for Canadian immigration applicants set forth by IRCC. IRCC has different language criteria for study permit applicants, which means that international students generally need to take the “Academic” version of a language proficiency test.
With the approval of PTE Essential, economic class immigrants now have five total language tests to choose from – on top of the three English language tests mentioned above, IRCC has designated TEF Canada and TCF Canada as French language tests.
Candidates for the economic class must pass language proficiency tests in order to demonstrate their ability to establish themselves economically in Canada. In Canada, strong English and/or French language proficiency is a strong predictor of economic integration, according to Statistics Canada.
The IRCC has not specified when applicants will be able to submit PTE Essential as part of their Canadian immigration applications, but wrote on its website that it expects to be able to do so by the end of 2023.
According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Express Entry are the leading admissions pathways for economic class immigrants. Additionally, applicants for economic class paths, such as IRCC pilot programs, Atlantic Immigration Programs, and Quebec skilled worker programs, must pass a language test set by IRCC.
For each pathway, candidates must also achieve the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score set by IRCC. Under the popular Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), applicants must attain a CLB of at least 7 in all four abilities (writing, reading, listening, and speaking). For certain programs, a CLB of 4 is required.
There are certain pathways, such as Express Entry and expressions of interest managed by the provinces and territories, where candidates receive more points the higher their CLB score.
An internal memo obtained by CIC News in 2022 confirmed that the IRCC had approved a new language test for Canadian immigration purposes. It also outlined potential language testing reforms the department was considering.