Due to COVID-19 pandemic immigration Canada had to close many of its test centers to reduce the spread of corona virus.

Unfortunately, this has caused delays for applicants that are looking to apply for permanent residence as most PR applications require an IELTS and CELPIP to submit an application.

Applications that have been affected by this include:

However, recently most provinces in Canada have opened or planning to open their test centers to allow candidates to complete their IELTS and CELPIP tests for their immigration matter.

It is mandatory for skilled workers to complete either a English or French language test that is officially recognized in Canada to allow them to secure permanent residence to Canada.

The higher the test language scores the better the chance of receiving an invitation to apply to Canada.

Below you will see a detailed comparison between IELTS and CELPIP tests and which one would be more favourable based on your personal preference.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) are designed to measuring applicants’ English proficiency.

Both IELTS and CELPIP are very much similar, however certain parts of the tests are seen a bit easier or difficult by certain individuals.

CELPIP test uses Canadian speakers only; while IELTS test their speakers can be from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA in the listening section.

Most individuals find CELPIP listening section a bit more understandable and allow you to adjust volume in the headphones.

IELTS Speaking section allows you to have live conversation with the examiner, while during CELPIP test you have to record your voice on the computer. So depending on your comfort level you can choose the test that will work best for you.

So if you are applying for Canadian immigration most PR applications require you to take a test to determine your level of proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

See chart below of detailed comparison between IELTS and CELPIP.

Comparison Table of Task for IELTS and CELPIP

  • 7 components
  • 40-46 questions (40 scored)
  • 47-55 minutes
  • 4 components
  • 40 questions
  • 30 minutes
  • 4 components
  • 38-45 questions (38 scored)
  • 55-60 minutes
  • 3 components
  • 40 questions
  • 30 minutes
  • 2 components
  • Writing an email
  • Answering a survey question
  • 53-60 minutes
  • 2 components
  • Writing a letter and responding to a point of view
  • Argument or problem
  • 60 minutes
  • 8 components
  • 8 shorts answer questions
  • 15-20 minutes
  • 3 components
  • Introduction, Individual Speech and Two-Way Discussion
  • 11-14 minutes
  • Computer Based Only
  • Paper Based Only
  • Some test centres may offer computer based
  • 1-12 for each section
  • Score of 1-9 for each section
  • 3 hours
  • 2 hours and 45 min
  • About 10-12 days to receive results
  • If you need results sooner, CELPIP offers express 3 business day results for $100 extra fee
  • About 13 days to receive results
  • Good for 2 years from the date of the test
  • Good for 2 years from the day of the test

CELPIP Equivalency Chart

10 10 10 10 10
9 9 9 9 9
8 8 8 8 8
7 7 7 7 7
6 6 6 6 6
5 5 5 5 5
4 4 4 4 4

IELTS Equivalency Chart

10 8.0 7.5 8.5 7.5
9 7.0 7.0 8.0 7.0
8 6.5 6.5 7.5 6.5
7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
6 5.0 5.5 5.5 5.5
5 4.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
4 3.5 4.0 4.5 4.0

You will need at least a CLB 7, which is a minimum of 6.0 for each section of the IELTS or CELPIP to apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry route which consists of three different pathways:

When you apply PR under Express Entry make sure your IELTS results are valid as they are only good for 2 years and it typically take 6 months for IRCC to process the application and rendering a decision on it.

Contact Akrami & Associates

When applying for Canadian immigration either tests is equally appropriate for your immigration needs. The chart above summarizes the differences and choosing one over the other is a matter of personal preference.

If you are not tech savvy person then it is recommended to the IELTS test as it paper based, but if your writing is not clear or more comfortable typing then CELPIP would be the better choice.

If you have recently received your IELTS or CELPIP results and not sure if you qualify to apply under one of the immigration routes for permanent residency then contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 or email us at for more information

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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