IELTS and Immigration Canada
Applications under the Federal Skilled Worker programme are processed under two distinct procedures and guidelines.
Application filed on or after February 27th, 2008 are being subjected against a set of guidelines wherein they should be employed in and have experience of at least one year of continuous full time or equivalent paid work experience in any of the 38 highly sought-after occupations, such as IT Managers or Accountants.
Such applications will be processed faster and within 12-24 months.
Applications filed before 27th 2008 will continue to be assessed as per the previous guidelines.
One major differentiator between the two regulations is the Point Credit System for English language proficiency under the IELTS test.
Point Credit System against IELTS score – Federal skilled worker applications filed before February 27th, 2008
Under the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker programme, the points for English language proficiency are credited for each individual IELTS module and then added up. One can score a maximum of 4 points in each of the test modules – Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading.
- IELTS score of 7.0 to 9.0 gets a credit of 4 points
- IELTS score of 5.0 to 6.9 gets a credit of 2 points
- IELTS score below 5.0 gets no credit.
For instance, an applicant who gets a band of 7.0 each in reading and writing (4 points each) and of 6.0 in listening and speaking (2 points each), he can claim a maximum of 12 points out of 16 under the English language proficiency factor. However, a candidate getting less than 7.0 band but more then 5.0 in each of the test modules can claim 8 points out of a maximum 16.
The applicant will then add on these points – 12 or 8 points as the case may be, to other selection factors and check whether or not he is meeting the current pass mark requirement of 67 points or not.
Point credit system against IELTS score – Federal Skilled Worker applications filed on/ after February 27th, 2008
- For reading, writing and speaking, the IELTS score of 6.5 to 9.0 gets a credit of 4 points each.
- For listening, the IELTS score of 7.5 to 9.0 gets a credit of 4 points.
- For speaking and writing, the IELTS score of 5.5 to 6.0 gets a credit of 2 points.
- For reading, the IELTS score of 5.0 to 6.0 gets a credit of 2 points.
- For listening, the IELTS score of 5.5 to 7.0 gets a credit of 2 points.
- For speaking and writing, the IELTS score of 4.0 to 5.0 gets a credit of 1 point and IELTS score of less than 4.0 gets 0 points.
- For reading, the IELTS score of 3.5 to 4. 5 gets a credit of 1 point and an IELTS score of less than 3.5 gets 0 points.
- For listening, the IELTS score of 4.5 to 5.0 gets a credit of 1 point and an IELTS score of less than 4.5 gets 0 points.
For example, an applicant getting 6.0 bands under each module will get 2 points each and a total of 8 points out of a maximum of 16 points.
An applicant getting 5.0 bands in under modules of speaking, writing and listening will get 1 point each and a score of 6.5 in reading will give him only 4 points. Hence, the overall score will be just 7 points out of a maximum of 16 points.
An ideal situation is where the applicant gets a band of 7.5 under listening and 6.5 in each of the other three modules, leading to a maximum of 16 points out of a maximum 16 points under the English language factor in the overall point system.
The new IELTS score credit system for Points under the skilled worker category marks a clear departure from earlier system. In speaking, writing and reading, the new plan is more flexible and favourable to new applicants. As regards Listening module, the new point credit plan is more stringent and requires the applicant to be extra proficient.
While it is clear that IELTS result is a major decisive factor for an application to be approved, the applicants should not be disappointed if their IELTS score is too low and hence, they are not able to meet the minimum pass mark requirements. An experienced immigration specialist can guide him on factors that can help him in getting additional points and compensate for the lost points under the English language proficiency factor. This may include spousal qualifications, blood relations in Canada, job offer from Canadian Employer etc. The author strongly recommends that the applicant should appear in the IELTS test after a thorough preparation. Also, if one can then, one should appear for the test multiple times to score the desired band score. In the end, the key factor that ensures success is the determination of the applicant to Immigrate.