IELTS and CELPIP websites are working again

Immigration candidates in Canada can go ahead and book their General tests in support of their applications for the new permanent residence programs launching on May 6. Some 90,000 PR applications will be accepted.

Essential workers, international graduates, and other immigration candidates currently living in Canada now have the ability to book their language tests again.

Those looking to apply for an economic class immigration program in Canada need to take a General test provided by either IELTS or CELPIP.

Both IELTS and CELPIP saw their websites crash on April 15 after Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced Canada would enable some 90,000 essential workers, international graduates, and francophones in Canada to apply for permanent residence through six new limited-time immigration programs. The programs launch on May 6 and close on November 5, or when application caps for the programs are reached.

The announcement of these programs created significant demand among those in Canada to book their language tests as quickly as possible. Candidates are looking to complete their language tests in the coming weeks so they can be among the 90,000 applicants for the programs.

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A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 4 is required for the worker streams and a CLB 5 is required for the new student streams.

Few test spots in the coming weeks appear to be available on both the IELTS and CELPIP websites. It remains to be seen if the test providers will be able to offer more test spots to meet the demand of candidates looking to complete their General tests leading up to, or shortly after, the May 6 launch of the new programs. Complicating matters is the COVID-19 pandemic, which is resulting in both IELTS and CELPIP to operate their test centres at reduced capacity in order to protect the healthy and safety of their staff and immigration candidates.

Nonetheless, offering more tests is a matter that they are exploring.

In a written statement to CIC News on Friday, Betty Chan, Vice-President of Operations at Paragon, which operates the CELPIP, said “We expect to expand our operations in the coming weeks to meet this new demand for our proficiency tests…In the meantime, test takers can rest assured that we are continuing to reliably deliver tests at our centres across Canada and internationally.”

90,000 spots available to essential workers, international graduates, and francophones

The new programs launching on May 6 are available to essential temporary foreign workers in 40 healthcare occupations and 95 other essential occupations. They are also available to recent international graduates. Applicants must be residing in Canada in any province or territory except for Quebec (the programs are not available to those living in Quebec).

The application caps for the programs are:

  • 40,000 international student graduates
  • 20,000 temporary foreign workers in healthcare occupations
  • 30,000 temporary foreign workers in other essential occupations

Canada will also accept an unlimited number of applications from candidates who speak French.

The new programs are meant to help Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) achieve their target of welcoming 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. IRCC is focusing on transitioning more people living in Canada to permanent residence. This approach is a result of coronavirus travel restrictions which are preventing some approved permanent residence applicants overseas from currently entering Canada. Another major way IRCC is aiming to facilitate such transitions is through major Express Entry draws targeting Canadian Experience Class candidates, such as the draw that took place this past Friday night.

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