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Home » IELTS Requirement for Canada: Things You Need To Know

IELTS Requirement for Canada: Things You Need To Know


Canada is renowned for having an excellent and fruitful educational system. To get admitted to one of Canada’s recognized institutions or colleges, international students must achieve the IELTS requirements for Canada. More than 140 countries recognize the International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, as proof of English language proficiency for immigration, education, and professional purposes. IELTS evaluates non-native English speakers’ command of the language. Students who do not speak English as their first language must pass the IELTS test with a high score. IELTS is essential for international students to thrive in English-based educational settings.

Do You Know?

Canada outlines new plans to ease PR process for international students and foreign workers – Economic Times

IELTS was the initial test recognized by CIC and Immigration Quebec for language proficiency for Express Entry, Quebec-selected skilled workers, and Provincial Nominee programs.

There are various procedures you can apply through if you want to apply for citizenship or permanent residency in Canada. Let’s have a look at those processes in this blog.

IELTS Band Requirement For Canada

A minimum IELTS band score of 6 is required to get admitted to Canadian universities. International students must get IELTS scores of at least 5.5 in each of the IELTS bands in order to be eligible to apply for a study, work permit, or visa for Canada. Varying undergraduate and graduate programs at Canadian universities will have different minimum score requirements. For pupils who are over the age of 12, the minimum band requirements are 5.5 in each of the four categories of writing, reading, speaking, and listening. The IELTS exam has four distinct bands, and it’s crucial to understand each of those bands in order to assess each section’s proficiency.

The overall grade for undergraduate courses would be close to 6.0. International students will need higher grades and band criteria for the post-graduation courses. All four IELTS sections must be at least 6 for the pupils to pass, and their overall score must be greater than 6.5. For a student visa, you must meet the minimal requirements for eligibility and IELTS band. International students in 2021 can meet the IELTS band criteria for a Canada student visa with the following scores. In addition to the IELTS band score, students must ensure they satisfy all other conditions.

To know about writing topics, refer to our IELTS writing topics blog post!

IELTS score requirement in Canada for UG & PG

For UG programs, the IELTS score requirement typically ranges from an overall band score of 6.0, with no individual band score lower than 5.5. Some competitive programs or universities might have higher requirements.

For PG programs, the IELTS score requirement is often higher. It usually ranges from an overall band score of 6.5, with no individual band score lower than 6.0. Again, this can vary based on the institution and program.

Here’s the required IELTS score list for various Canadian university course levels.

Education LevelIELTS Score Requirement
Bachelor’s/Diploma/Certificate CoursesIELTS: 6/6.5
Post-graduate/Master’s CourseIELTS: 6.5 Overall with no bands less than 6

New Update: Canada New Rules for IELTS 2023

Here are some of the latest updates regarding IELTS score requirements in Canada:

  1. Effective August 10, 2023, changes have been introduced to Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) IELTS requirements, streamlining the process for study permit applicants.
  2. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have eliminated the previous requirement of a minimum score of 6.0 bands in each individual section.
  3. Under the new rules, IELTS Academic test takers applying through SDS only need an overall band score of 6.0, without the necessity of achieving a minimum score in each section.
  4. IDP Education, a recognized authority in IELTS, expressed satisfaction with this change, emphasizing that it acknowledges students’ comprehensive abilities rather than just individual band scores.
  5. This alteration is anticipated to amplify opportunities for international students seeking education in Canada, demonstrating authorities’ confidence in the IELTS exam.
  6. Canada’s SDS accelerates study permit processing for chosen institutions, gaining appeal from the revised IELTS criteria.
  7. The IELTS exam’s wide availability, including paper-based and computer-delivered tests in numerous locations, contributes to its convenience for candidates.
  8. IDP Education also plans to introduce IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) in India, providing candidates the flexibility to retake a single section of the test.
  9. Prospective Canadian students should utilize the updated English test criteria, offering a comprehensive and inclusive assessment method.

IELTS Score Requirement For Canada PR

In Canada, there are three routes to obtain permanent resident status:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

Ensure your IELTS test results are valid for the entire six-month IRCC processing period.

Express Entry requires a minimum CLB 7 score for language proficiency or an IELTS score of 6.0 overall to qualify for permanent residency.


IELTS Requirement For Canada Student Visa

You must carry out the procedures listed below in order to apply for a student visa to Canada:

  • Check for the university you want to apply in
  • Verify your eligibility for a student visa.
  • On the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, submit an application for a student visa.
  • Keep all necessary documentation on hand, including:
  1. A form for requesting a student visa.
  2. Letter of acceptance from your university
  3. Valid Passport
  4. In case you are applying for a university in Quebec province, you also need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate
  5. Study permit fee receipt
  • In Canada, authorities recognize five English language competence tests as valid (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, and C1 Advanced).
  • You must book a biometrics appointment.

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IELTS Requirement For Canadian Universities

Canadian educational institutions enforce stringent IELTS eligibility criteria due to the significance of English language proficiency for studying in Canada. Admission of international students will depend upon the admission requirements and IELTS score. One of the most important eligibility criteria is meeting the requirements for an IELTS score. Every university and college set an IELTS score as per recognition and value. The IELTS score requirement will not be the same for all Canadian universities. Educational institutions with better rank and value require high IELTS scores. Even for Canadian scholarship programs, the IELTS score plays a vital role.

The table below depicts the IELTS band requirements for Canada’s top 10 universities:

UniversityQS World University RankingIELTS Requirements
The University of Toronto266.50 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
McGill University276.50 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of British Columbia466.50 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of Montreal111Not Specified
University of Alberta1266.50 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
McMaster University1406.50 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of Waterloo1496.5 to 7.0
Western University1706.50 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of Ottawa2306.5 (with 6.5 bands in writing)
University of Calgary2358.0 (with no band less than 7.0 in each section)


If you are looking forward to migrating to Canada for study or work purposes, this blog will be very much helpful and informative for you. This blog provides detailed information about every band and eligibility guidelines before migrating to Canada, and it is certainly going to assist you in checking off your checkboxes and igniting your dream of moving to Canada.

Still in ambiguity? Why not talk to our highly experienced counselors at iDreamCareer?

iDreamCareer is on a mission to reach every state and every child in order to ensure that talent is aptly delivered into the industry. Talk to our study abroad experts who have 20+ years of experience to know yourself in and out! We have helped several brilliant but confused minds like Aayush, Tapan and many more with an aim to select their most-suited career choices.

Also Read:

IELTS Requirement for Canada: FAQs

How many IELTS bands are required for a Canada study visa?

IELTS scores of at least 5.5 in each of the four IELTS sections and an overall minimum score of 6.0 bands or higher are required for international students applying for undergraduate and diploma programs in Canada.

Can I get a Canada study visa without IELTS?

The new visa laws in Canada state that even if you lack IELTS scores, getting a student visa would not be difficult. According to the most recent regulations, if you are admitted to Canada without using IELTS, you would be qualified for a study visa without providing IELTS results.

How to get PR in Canada after 2 years of study?

The ability to apply for a post-graduate work permit won’t be available to you until you’ve finished two years of studies in Canada. International students can obtain work experience in Canada with the aid of a post-graduate work permit, enabling them to become eligible for permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class (under the Express Entry system). You must confirm that you have spent the required amount of time in Canada as an international student.

Is GRE required to study in Canada?

The GRE is necessary for master’s level admission to study in Canada, and some colleges and programs may also require a high GRE score. This test aids Canadian institutions or colleges in determining a student’s readiness for higher study.

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