July 5, 2011

IELTS Training Tests

Posted by admin - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Q: I am a Registered Nurse and I would like to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker. I am required to take two IELTS tests, the academic and general but I understand that is not the case for everyone. Why is this?

A: Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires all Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applicants to submit the results of the IELTS general training test. However, many professions such as Registered Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Pharmacists require applicants to submit the results of the IELTS academic training test.

This means some immigrants are required to take two IELTS examinations; one for licensure and one for immigration. The listening and speaking sections of the two training tests are identical. Only the reading and writing sections differ. In fact, the reading and writing sections are set at a higher standard than the general. Despite the fact that the academic is set at a higher standard, CIC will not accept the results of IELTS academic in addition to IELTS general training and treat the two examinations at par when awarding points for language proficiency.

CIC’s reasoning for this is the following:

The policy behind the acceptance of the General Training Test is based on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), specifically R 79(4) which requires that the test results of a designated language testing organization or institution be correlated with the Canadian Language benchmarks (CLB) in order to be considered conclusive evidence of a skilled worker’s proficiency in the official languages of Canada.

As the IELTS Academic test results have not been correlated to the CLB, they cannot be used to determine the language proficiency of the applicant. The decision and costs related to the submission of the Academic test for designation by CIC rests entirely with Cambridge ESOL, the British Council, and IDP Australia which administer IELTS tests.

To date, only the IELTS General Training (GT) test, the CELPIP General test and Test d’Évaluation de Français have been correlated to the CLB and designated by CIC for immigration purposes.

It should also be noted that IELTS test results are valid for only two years.