A new English language test for economic immigration has been approved by Canada’s immigration department.
The Pearson PTE Essential test will join the CELPIP and IELTS tests already accepted for Canada permanent residence through the federal Express Entry-linked programs.
The test is expected to begin being accepted by the end of 2023, according to a Pearson press release.
It is expected to be accepted for Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class applications.
Pearson CEO Andy Bird said: “I’m delighted PTE Essential is now accepted in Canada for economic visas and proud of the innovation and rigor that sits behind the quick and high-quality experience our test provides to test takers.”
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The test is digital and delivered through the company’s platform, Pearson VUE.
It uses Artificial Intelligence technology for score the test, collect biometric data and for voice recognition in the speaking part of the test.
“These cutting-edge technologies ensure the provision of an impartial and highly accurate test of people’s English language proficiency,” Pearson said.
Candidates can book online up to 24 hours in advance for year-round worldwide test centre slots and get their results within two days.
The UK, Australian and New Zealand governments already accept Pearson tests for all visa applications.
The Pearson PTE test “has a more vocational, real-life and non-academic focus that meets IRCC’s language proficiency requirements”, Pearson said.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada require candidates to be tested on four language disciplines: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Candidates must obtain a minimum level of CLB or NCLC 7 for the first official language in all four language areas. To receive points for a second official language, candidates must meet the minimum level of CLB or NCLC 5 in all four language areas.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Candidates must obtain a minimum level of CLB or NCLC 5 in speaking and listening abilities, and CLB or NCLC 4 in reading and writing abilities.
Canadian Experience Class
The skills a candidate needs for this program depend on the job classification under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC):
- TEER 0 or 1:: CLB / NCLC 7 +
- TEER 2 or 3: CLB / NCLC 5 and 6
Canada also requires minimum language levels for citizenship and many other immigration programs, including provincial and business.
To measure the language levels, the immigration authorities use the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for English and the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French.