IELTS Band Score Requirements for Canadian Visa


Moving to a foreign country for your higher education abroad can introduce you to some changes and challenges and for that, you should be well prepared. Although Canada is one of the most popular countries for higher education, there are certain things that international students should be unaware of before.
Canada’s education system, diverse population, bilingualism, and job opportunities make it the top choice for international students. Owning too many international students applying to Canadian universities, the process has been ironed out to facilitate an easy admission process.

One of the ways to improve your chances of getting admission to a Canadian university is your IELTS score. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a globally recognized test conducted to assess the communication skills of non-English speakers and is divided into four parts- Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading. It is required by many top universities in Canada and hence, plays an important role in enhancing your overall performance. If you are planning to study in Canada anytime soon, you would need a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (overall). However, it also depends on the program you are choosing. IELTS is also an important criterion for obtaining a Student Visa for Canada.


IELTS Test Format

There are two types of IELTS tests, namely, Academic and General Training. Both have the same IELTS Listening and IELTS Speaking tests. However, the Reading and the Writing sections differ depending on which test you plan on taking. Academic IELTS is highly popular among students planning to study in Canada whereas General is preferred by those who are migrating to Canada or any other English-speaking country for work or other purposes. They are usually tested on everyday use of the language with more focus on social or workplace situations.


Minimum IELTS Score to Study in Canada

In any country, the minimum IELTS score requirement is above band 6. Canada always holds high values when it comes to selecting international or Indian students. But still, you can take admission or even get Canadian immigration with a 5.5 IELTS score.

Various undergraduate and postgraduate programs at Canadian universities will have different score requirements. In each of the four sections – reading, writing, listening, and speaking, the minimum band requirement for students after 12 is 5.5. The band score is very important to judge the capability of the student in each of the sections but all four sections of the IELTS exam hold separate marks.

The post-graduation course for international students will have high expectations and need to be above the 6.0 band. The IELTS band score for each section is mentioned, in the table below:

IELTS Level Reading Section Writing  Section Listening Section Speaking Section
10 8 7.0 – 7.5 8.5 7.0 – 7.5
9 7 7 8 7
8 6.5 6.0 – 6.5 7.0 – 7.5 6.0 – 6.5
7 6.0 – 6.5 6.0 – 6.6 6.0 – 6.7 6.0 – 6.8
6 5.5 5.0 – 5.5 5.0 – 5.6 5.0 – 5.7
5 5.5 5 5 5
4 4 4 4 4

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Canada IELTS Band Requirements for Student Visa

For Undergraduate/Diploma/Certificate Courses- A minimum 5.5 band is required in every section, along with an overall score of 6.0

Postgraduate/Master’s Courses – A Minimum 6.0 band is required in every section along with an overall score of 6.5 or above


Eligibility Criteria for Canada Student Visa

To apply for a Canada Study visa you have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • You have been accepted by a designated learning institute (DLI).
  • You need to show that you have adequate funds to pay your tuition fee and living expenses.
  • You need to show that you have a clean background and no criminal record. The aspirants need to submit a police verification certificate to prove this.
  • You need to submit a medical certificate and do a health checkup that certifies that you are in good health.
  • You need to convince the visa officer at the time of the visa interview that you will leave Canada once you complete your studies.


IELTS Band Score Requirement for the Canada Student Visa

The IELTS is an EP English Proficiency Test that judges a candidate’s ability to speak and write in English. For non-native English speakers, this test is mandatory for immigration and visas. It is essential to judge the proficiency of the students in terms of all IELTS sections. There are a few prerequisites for Canadian Students’ IELTS and Canadian immigration.

Canada has its own benchmark system which sets the level for the 12 distinct abilities for four IELTS sections: Writing, Listening, Reading, and Speaking. The benchmark is known as the Canadian Language Benchmark.

The CLB is divided into 3 stages, from the basic to the advanced level. The table is given below:

Canadian Languages Benchmarks Scale of Ability According to the IELTS Band Requirement Basic Stage I 1+2+3+4
Intermediate Stage II 5+6+7+8
Advanced Stage III 9+10+11+12

Level of study for the Undergraduate and Postgraduate,

Undergraduate: requires between the IELTS band of 6 – 6.5 IELTS score.

Postgraduate: required more than the 6.6 IELTS Score. And the CLB of Canada set more parameters for the immigration process.


IELTS Score in Canada Immigration Points For Minimum Requirement

Immigration in a country like Canada is lengthy. The provision is followed strictly and Immigration in Canadian universities requires a lot of paperwork and means applying for the PR or Permanent Residency after completing a PG or UG course. In this case, the applicants need to qualify for the IELTS Score as a remark for their SOPs, and it will be connected by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


Top 8 Best IELTS 5.5 Band Colleges in Canada

The 8 best Colleges that accept IELTS 5.5 in Canada & 5.5 band colleges in Canada Ontario are

  • Charles Sturt University
  • The University of Alberta
  • Brock University
  • St. Clair College for Applied Arts and Technology,
  • Niagara College Canada
  • Welland Campus
  • Canadore College
  • Camosun College


Criteria for 5.5 Band IELTS Canada Work Permit & Visa Permit Application

For students who can’t get an IELTS score of 6, the 5.5 in one module or 5.5 in two modules Canada visa is ideal. A student can be admitted to Canadian universities and colleges with a 5.5 IELTS band score. Some students might get a chance to apply for Canada PR with an IELTS score of 5.5.


Take Alternative EP Tests in Canada

For those who are not able to get an IELTS academic good score then there are several universities that provide alternative EP tests like CanTEST, CAEL, etc. to help you get into Canadian universities under 5.5 in one module Canada visa.


ESL or English as a Second Language

Even though the student cannot make up the required score, they should register in the ESL for further change under 5.5 in one module Canada visa. Some colleges in Canada accept the 5.5 bands in one module, providing an alternative ESL course before taking any admissions.


An Application to the MIA

This is for those students who get an IELTS score of 5.5, the student requires issuing a certificate from the previous institution whose medium of study is the English language. It is recommended that the student should apply for the course before applying for the IELTS exam at a university.


The Documents Required for the Application Process

Documents required for the application process are an application form, a resume, an SOP or Statement of Purpose, School Certificates, College Transcripts, a Health Insurance Certificate, a Proof of Bank Statement, a Valid Passport, or a Permanent Resident Card, a Letter of Intent, Proof of the payment of the fee (Receipts).


How to Crack IELTS to Study in Canada

While applying to UG or PG study programs in Canada, many students simultaneously start their IELTS preparation. A lot of study materials and books are available for IELTS preparation. It is imperative to give attention to each section and take multiple mock exams before appearing for the IELTS test. For the Writing section, it is important to have cohesiveness and a strong vocabulary whereas for Speaking it is important to be clear, expressive, and confident. Since the Writing and the Speaking sections are subjective, it is difficult to self-evaluate. It is essential to be well-prepared and have a good strategy to score a good band in IELTS. Hence, Students opt for IELTS Coaching Classes to master their communication skills and acquire their target band.

Your IELTS test result will demonstrate your English proficiency level within the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) standards. Check out the chart below to understand the IELTS band requirement better.

CLB Level IELTS Reading IELTS Writing IELTS Listening IELTS Speaking
10 8.0 7.5 8.5 7.5
9 7.0 7.0 8.0 7.0
8 6.5 6.5 7.5 6.5
7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
6 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
5 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
4 4.0 4.0 4.5 4.0


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Is it true that Canada accepts an IELTS Band score of 5.5 for immigration purposes?

Yes, Canada’s federal skilled worker program currently accepts an IELTS Band Score of 5.5 for immigration purposes. However, this score is only applicable to individuals applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program and is subject to change at any time.

Can I still apply for a study or immigration program in Canada if I have a Band Score of 5.5?

Yes, it is possible to apply for some study or immigration programs in Canada with a Band Score of 5.5. However, it is essential to note that these programs are generally more limited and may have additional requirements or restrictions.

What are some study or immigration programs in Canada that accept a Band score of 5.5?

Some study or immigration programs in Canada that may accept a Band score of 5.5 include language training programs, community college programs, and some provincial nominee programs.

Are there any other language proficiency tests that I can take to meet the requirements for Canada?

Yes, there are several other language proficiency tests that are accepted for study and immigration purposes in Canada, including the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).

Which Colleges Accept IELTS 5.5 in Canada Other than the Best 8?

The other colleges that accept average IELTS scores in Canada are

  • Lethbridge College
  • Algonquin College
  • Royal Roads University
  • Concordia University
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

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