If you want to become a citizen of Canada, you must have sufficient language skills. This is an important requirement for those who plan to adhere to the country’s customs and culture. IRCC requires applicants to demonstrate their English proficiency at the citizenship interview. The test is administered by an immigration officer. Applicants who have disabilities can request a waiver for this requirement.
If you plan to apply for citizenship, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient language skills. These skills are measured by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). The benchmark is set at CLB 4 for both listening and speaking. This means that you must be able to understand casual talk among friends and follow simple instructions. You must also be able to read short news reports and advertisements.
Several ways to meet this requirement include taking a third-party test and providing the results. However, these tests must be approved by IRCC. The tests are not free and can cost up to $300.
Diplomas and transcripts from secondary or post-secondary schools are another way to prove your language skills. However, the diploma must be from a school that offers courses in English. This includes universities from other countries. For example, John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, or American University of Beirut in Lebanon are acceptable.
You can also submit a certificate from a provincially-backed language program. These programs are administered by government-funded institutions in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. The programs must have been completed since 2008. Alternatively, you can submit a document from the federally-backed Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) or the Canadian Language Learning for Immigration Centers in Quebec (CLIC). You must ensure that you achieve at least CLB 4 in listening and speaking.
Canada Citizenship Language Eligibility Requirements
If you are applying for citizenship in Canada, you must prove that you have basic language skills in either English or French. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will reject your Canada citizenship application if you cannot provide acceptable proof that you meet the language requirement. Generally speaking, you must have at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 in order to qualify for citizenship.
There are many ways that you can prove your English or French proficiency. For example, you can submit a transcript, diploma, or certificate from an English-speaking secondary or post-secondary institution. Alternatively, you can take a language test such as CELPIP or IELTS and receive a score that meets the IRCC’s requirements. You can also enroll in a LINC or CLIC course. These courses are provided by the federal government and are designed to prepare you for the citizenship test.
You can also submit a medical statement from a doctor. This document must be signed by a licensed physician who can attest that you have a hearing, speech, or psychiatric condition that prevents you from meeting the language requirement. If you are exempt from this criterion, you can still apply for citizenship as long as you have evidence of your exemption. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will change its language rules on November 1, 2012. Applicants aged 18 to 54 will be required to provide upfront proof of English or French proficiency up to CLB Level 4. For more information about this regulation change, see the Canada Gazette Notice.