CELPIP: Proving English Language Ability for Canadian Immigration

Last updated: 14 March 2023

Under Canada's skilled worker immigration programs, applicants need to demonstrate their language proficiency in either English or French.

Generally speaking, candidates decide to only take an exam in English. The two English exam options are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training exam, and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) exam. The purpose of this CanadaVisa page is to provide you with an overview of the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).

About the CELPIP

The CELPIP has four modules: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. You can complete the entire test in one sitting. It takes about 3 hours to complete.


The Listening component of the CELPIP lasts between 47-55 minutes. It entails listening to passages and answering questions. You will hear passages related to problem solving, daily life, information, news, among other topics.


The Reading component takes 55-60 minutes and entails reading passages and answering questions. You will read a variety of passages such as on information and on different viewpoints.


The Writing component is 53-60 minutes long and entails responding to questions with written answers. You will be asked to write an email and respond to survey questions.


The Speaking component takes 15-20 minutes and entails replying to on-screen prompts verbally. You will be asked to speak on various topics such as giving advice, describing a scene, making predictions, 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to apply to a Canadian skilled worker immigration program, you must take either the CELPIP or IELTS General Training exam in order to demonstrate your English language proficiency.

There are plenty of preparation materials and courses available to help you get ready for your CELPIP exam. For instance, you can take free CELPIP sample tests on the CELPIP website.

Of the two tests, only the CELPIP is accepted for Canadian immigration. Those that wish to study in Canada may wish to take the CAEL.

You can find CELPIP test locations on their website.

The cost depends on your location but generally speaking costs around $300 CAD.

The CELPIP takes about three hours to complete in one sitting:

  • Listening: 47-55 minutes
  • Reading: 55-60 minutes
  • Writing: 53-60 minutes
  • Speaking: 15–20 minutes

CELPIP exam scores are available online 4-5 days after your test.

You can submit a re-evaluation request of some or all components of your CELPIP exam within six months of taking the test. You need to pay a re-evaluation fee. The re-evaluation fee for a given component will be refunded if your CELPIP level changes following the re-evaluation. CELPIP notes that re-evaluations of the Listening and Reading components are unlikely to change your scores since they are computer rated.

In addition, you can repeat the test whenever you wish. New fees will apply.

No. The CELPIP is meant to provide a comprehensive assessment of a candidate's English proficiency at a given time. In order for the results to be accurate, all modules need to be completed within the same time frame.

CELPIP results are valid for a period of two years. CELPIP results issued within 24 months from the date of submission of an application should remain valid throughout the application process.

CELPIP scores correspond with CLB levels. For instance, a CELPIP score of 10 is a CLB level 10. A CELPIP score of 7 is a CLB level 7.

It is only delivered via computer.

The score you need to be eligible for Canadian immigration depends on the skilled worker program you are applying to.

The minimum CLB level that is set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is a CLB 4. Some programs have a CLB level 4 requirement.

Other programs have higher language requirements. The requirements tend to vary between a CLB 5 to a CLB 7.

For some programs, the higher your CLB level, the more points you receive. For other programs, you simply need to prove you meet the minimum level as part of the requirements to be eligible for permanent residence.

Canadian immigration language testing rules are set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They are not set by language testers such as IELTS or CELPIP. Tests such as the CELPIP are meant to test your general English language proficiency, whereas tests to study in Canada are meant to assess your ability to pursue educational programs.

Both exams are accepted for Canadian immigration and both assess your English language skills objectively. Ultimately, you should choose the test you feel most comfortable with.

Contact us for Assistance

Cohen Immigration Law is a leading Canadian immigration law firm with over 45 years of experience. Cohen Immigration Law features over 60 immigration lawyers, paralegals, and professionals who are dedicated to helping you immigrate to Canada.

CanadaVisa.com was founded as the online presence of Cohen Immigration Law. Since its launch in 1994, CanadaVisa has grown into one of the globe's most trusted resources on Canadian immigration. If you want to immigrate to Canada through the PNP or another skilled worker pathway, the first step is to complete a free CanadaVisa assessment form. If you are eligible for Canadian immigration, a member of the Cohen Immigration Law team will reach out to provide you with as much assistance as possible.

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