Published by Gabriel Oliveira
on October 12, 2020

Express Entry Without IELTS - Is It Possible?

Yes, you can create an Express Entry profile, and even receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) without IELTS, but you still need to do one of the four accepted language tests.

Why you need a language test

Express Entry selects immigrants for 3 different programs*:

And all of them require some level of language skills, which require a language test.

*Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) might also recrute immigrants through Express Entry. In that case, each province/program will have it's own criteria.

Accepted Language Tests

You can choose to use your English or French abilities. Any of these tests is accepted:

Each test has its own format, cost and availability.

IELTS is for sure the one most commonly one, and there are lots of study resources about it available, when comparing to the others. But the choice of which one is better for you is fully yours.

Different Scales of Results

Each of those 4 tests have its own scale of scores. For an example, a 7 on IELTS might be different than a 7 on CELPIP.

To make it easier to understand what the minimum requirements for each are, IRCC converts the results into one of these scales:

For an example, a 7 in Reading on IELTS is equivalent to a CLB 9. Click here for the full table of conversions

Minimum Scores Required

Express Entry manages three different programs, and each of them have minimum scores required:

Program English French
Federal Skilled Worker
  • Reading: CLB 7
  • Writing: CLB 7
  • Speaking: CLB 7
  • Listening: CLB 7
  • Reading: NCLC 7
  • Writing: NCLC 7
  • Speaking: NCLC 7
  • Listening: NCLC 7
Canadian Experience Class

Management and Professional jobs (NOC 0 or A)

  • Reading: CLB 7
  • Writing: CLB 7
  • Speaking: CLB 7
  • Listening: CLB 7

Technical jobs (NOC B)

  • Reading: CLB 5
  • Writing: CLB 5
  • Speaking: CLB 5
  • Listening: CLB 5

Management and Professional jobs (NOC 0 or A)

  • Reading: NCLC 7
  • Writing: NCLC 7
  • Speaking: NCLC 7
  • Listening: NCLC 7

Technical jobs (NOC B)

  • Reading: NCLC 5
  • Writing: NCLC 5
  • Speaking: NCLC 5
  • Listening: NCLC 5

Federal Skilled Trades
  • Reading: CLB 4
  • Writing: CLB 4
  • Speaking: CLB 5
  • Listening: CLB 5
  • Reading: NCLC 4
  • Writing: NCLC 4
  • Speaking: NCLC 5
  • Listening: NCLC 5

Note that these are minimum values. You will probably need better scores than those to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Read our article about How CRS score is calculated to understand the impact of the language test score on the final result.

Nowhere to run

If English skills is the one big thing on your way to immigrating to Canada, I'm sorry to say, but there is really no way around it. Not even shortcuts. Put up your learning pants and get to it. Good journey :)


Express Entry - Process in place to select candidates to become permanent residents based on their skills. Express Entry is used for different immigration programs, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program

CRS Score - Comprehensive Ranking System score. It is the system in place to calculate a score for each Express Entry candidate, based on their information such as age, skills, education, etc.

ITA - Invitation To Apply - After you submit your Express Entry profile, if you have enough points, IRCC will invite you to apply for permanent residence. This invitation is called ITA.

CLB - Canadian Language Benchmark - System that converts results from different English tests (IELTS and CELPIP) into a single scale.

NOC - National Occupational Classification - Classification that attributes a unique skill level and code to each profession.



Jorge Flores Aug 20, 2021 15:50:20

Great info Gabriel. Thanks.

Gabriel (Author) Aug 20, 2021 21:56:43

A pleasure Jorge!

Extremely anxious Sep 02, 2021 13:03:07

Hi Gabriel, you only get an ITA without IELTS if your score is good enough without even it right, how else will they pick you then. Please let me know if I’m missing something here. For example, I haven’t given my IELTS yet (unfortunately I only have TOEFL) but I can’t apply for express entry or hope to get an ITA without them because my hitting the benchmark is heavily dependent on my IELTS scores, get it?

Gabriel (Author) Sep 14, 2021 19:29:02

Hi there. Hmmm no. You need to have a language test. That's a fact. Now, it doesn't necessarely have to be IELTS - it can be CELPIP or one of the French ones. But you need a language test, no matter what. Even if you have a super big score without it, you still need it. It's a minimum requirement.

Vaishali Rathod Oct 11, 2021 12:29:32

Hi I required job in logistics field so it is mendetory to apply ielts for the same ?

Gabriel (Author) Dec 06, 2021 05:06:46

Hi, yes it is. Unless you get a job offer from abroad, which can be really hard. But even then, you might need IELTS

Fatima Nov 24, 2021 10:30:52

How to apply in express entry without English test?

Nadeem iqbal Nov 24, 2021 20:11:20


Gabriel (Author) Dec 26, 2021 03:59:36

Hi Fatima, sorry for the delay. You need either English or French test.

Nadeem iqbal Nov 24, 2021 20:11:42


Nadeem iqbal Nov 24, 2021 20:11:55


Syed abid Hussain Dec 06, 2021 08:23:50

Is it possible that I apply for Atlantic immigration pilot program without IELTS and give IELTS exam in after reached to Canada

Syed abid Hussain Dec 06, 2021 08:24:55

Please reply my email (

Gabriel (Author) Dec 26, 2021 04:00:44

Hi Syed, sorry for the delay. I believe you need IELTS for AIP at the moment of application.

KAT Dec 23, 2021 02:34:33

Hi, If I get a PNP certificate through a Province's pathway that does not require language testing, do I still need to do Language testing exam before I can get confirmation of PR from IRCC?

Gabriel (Author) Dec 26, 2021 04:01:43

Hi Kat. If you have a province nomination, you should be fine.

Zurah Jan 06, 2022 19:19:37

Hi what are the score for federal skilled trades in ielts ...i didnt under stand well..please

Tunku Jan 10, 2022 06:13:29

I am doing my pr process without ielts. I have an offer letter from canadian University enghilish language course. In this way can I go to canada . please reply

Bobby Jan 13, 2022 22:33:02

hi Gabriel can I apply for a federal skilled worker program, without IELTS

Narayan Feb 11, 2022 09:47:55

How much score required for IELTS for express entry

Laarni Feb 13, 2022 16:36:08

Hello. I have ielts 6 score, i have my wes already. an agent have said he cant proceed with FSW as his initial feedback. but he will try possible options, which i suggested through PNP . from my end, can i still submit my express entry profile?

monir Oct 22, 2022 06:49:19

can this NOC 6421 need ILTS

Godfred Boateng Jan 07, 2023 08:03:54

Good morning sir. Please I want to know if the ielts is the only English language proficiency test the Canada Express Entry requires...Thank you.

Nikita Jan 27, 2023 00:57:34

Hi good day to you Sir, I need to dolly for my PR , I have wetting 6 Speaking 6.5 Listening 4.5 Reading 4 in ILETS I was told listening I need 5 If not I can’t apply , is it correct Please reply me , thanks

Nikita Jan 27, 2023 01:04:01

Correction above I need to apply for PR I have written 6 Speaking 6.5 Listening 4.5 Reading 4 In IELTS I was told that I need listening 5 Without it I cannot apply Is this correct Sorry for the mistakes on the above text Thanks

Leave a comment: