PTE For Canada Immigration

In February 2023 Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they had approved Pearson to administer a new English language proficiency test for individuals applying for visas under the Canada Immigration program. First called PTE Essential and now PTE Core, we break down what is known about the new English language test for migration including when it is likely to be accepted and how it compares to established English tests for Canada migration like IELTS.

What Is PTE Core?

PTE Core will be a computer based English language proficiency test designed to assess the language abilities of individuals intending to migrate to Canada. It evaluates proficiency in four essential skills: speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

Similar to IELTS General Training, which is already approved for Canada migration, PTE Core will look to assess English proficiency in relation to practical, vocational, and real-life scenarios. It aims to evaluate candidates’ language abilities in contexts that reflect their professional and everyday experiences. While PTE has confirmed that a test taker can score between 10 and 90, it is not yet known how the scoring requirements for migration will compare to IELTS General Training score requirements and the CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program). Find more about PTE here.

Is PTE Core Necessary For Canada Immigration?

PTE Core is not a requirement if you’re looking to migrate to Canada, with PTE not yet administering the test and the IRCC not yet accepting it for migration. It is anticipated that PTE Core will begin to be accepted in early 2024, but there has not been any up-dates from PTE or IRCC since early May (when the test was renamed from PTE Essential to PTE Core).

If you’re looking to migrate to Canada and need proof of English proficiency, currently the IELTS General Training and CELPIP tests are accepted. The score requirement you need to prove English proficiency will depend on the Canadian Language Benchmark score needed for the articular migration stream you are applying for. Find out more here:

If you are looking to migrate in 2024 to Canada, check out our IELTS vs. PTE comparison guide!

Will PTE General be accepted for Canada Migration?

The acceptance of PTE General, an English language proficiency test offered by Pearson, for Canada migration has been a topic of interest and debate among prospective immigrants. It is important to acknowledge that currently, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not explicitly accept PTE General as a valid test for immigration purposes.

However, it is crucial to note that the IRCC has requested PTE to develop a new test (PTE Core) that aligns more closely with the specific language requirements for Canadian migration. This indicates that the IRCC recognizes the need for an assessment that accurately reflects the linguistic abilities necessary for successful integration into the Canadian society.

In contrast, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) offers IELTS General Training (GT), that is widely accepted not only by Canada but also by Australia and several other countries for migration purposes. The GT module of IELTS focuses on evaluating language proficiency in everyday contexts, which aligns well with the language requirements for immigration. The acceptance of IELTS GT in multiple countries highlights its authoritative and popular status as an English language proficiency test for migration. Individuals opting for IELTS GT can be confident that their test results will be recognized by various immigration programs and visa categories, including those in Canada.

Score Requirements

The language requirements for Canadian economic immigration programs vary, not all are the same. The specific score you need will be determined by the particular program you’re interested in. 
Moreover, many of these programs work with a points system. This means they consider factors like your age, work history, education, as well as your language skills. Your required language test score might differ based on these factors in your profile, on top of the minimum requirement.

Here’s a tip: give it your all. If your initial results aren’t what you hoped for, don’t worry – you can take the test again to aim for better scores. Just keep in mind, these are tests. Even if you’re confident in your English or French skills, it’s wise to get ready by studying and practicing with sample tests. Click here to know the new minimum SDS English scores for IELTS, PTE and TOEFL!
Remember, with effort and preparation, you can make the most out of your immigration journey to Canada! 

What English Tests are Currently Accepted for Canada Migration?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is widely accepted and remains a popular choice among individuals applying for Canada immigration. IELTS has a long-established reputation and is recognized by numerous institutions and organizations globally.

Many applicants choose IELTS as their preferred English language test for Canadian immigration due to its widespread recognition and availability. It assesses language proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking, and offers different test formats to cater to various immigration categories and requirements.

IELTS offers two main test formats: General Training (GT) and Academic:

The IELTS General Training test is specifically designed for individuals who plan to live, work, or undergo vocational training in an English-speaking country, including Canada. It assesses proficiency, confidence, and comfort in using English for everyday communication in social and workplace contexts.

On the other hand, the IELTS Academic test is intended for students who wish to study abroad, including in English-speaking countries such as Canada. It is designed to evaluate a test taker’s readiness and ability to use English as a medium of study, assessing reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in an academic context.

While PTE Core offers an alternative option for candidates with vocational training and real-life experience, it is worth considering the overall recognition and familiarity of IELTS within the Canadian immigration context. It is advisable to thoroughly research and understand the specific language requirements of your chosen immigration program to determine which test is best suited to your individual circumstances. See more about IELTS here.

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

CELPIP is a Canadian-designed test that evaluates listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, catering specifically to immigration, citizenship, and professional purposes. It offers test takers a unique experience by focusing on everyday English language use and incorporating real-life scenarios. This ensures that candidates can showcase their ability to communicate effectively in various situations encountered in Canadian society. The test assesses practical language skills required for daily interactions, such as communicating with colleagues, understanding instructions, or engaging in conversations.


In summary, individuals aiming to showcase their English language proficiency for Canada immigration have multiple options available, including CELPIP and IELTS currently, with PTE Core also being an option from 2024 onwards. Before sitting in English language proficiency test for Canada migration, it is essential to review the language requirements of your desired immigration program to determine which test will best meet your individual needs and increase your chances of success.

Overall, while each test has its own merits, IELTS continues to be highly regarded and have the widest acceptance by institutions worldwide. Its longstanding reputation, extensive recognition and expansive network of test centres make it a preferred choice for many applicants.

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