Canada: No Language Requirement For Non-Express Entry

Written by

Alisha Azeem

Fact check by

Divyansh Chaudhari

Updated on

Jul 14,2024

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Being fluent in the language of the country you want to immigrate to is a mandatory requirement for most countries. Without being able to speak the language of the locals, you will be unable to communicate or adjust to the new country. 

However, Canada has recently scrapped their language requirement mandate for immigrants applying via the Provincial Nominee Program through the Non-Express Entry system. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, known as IRCC, Canada’s immigration authority, recently announced that applicants seeking immigration to Canada via the Provincial Nominee Program who apply via non-express entry do not need to submit proof of their fluency in either one of the two languages spoken in Canada - French and English. 

This new update to Canada’s immigration procedures came into effect on April 18, 2024. The aim behind this step is to promote PNP immigration and streamline their processes, particularly the ones who apply through non-express entry. 

Before this, all applications, including the ones through PNP, had to adhere to the mandatory language testing laws. They must be fluent in either English or French as both languages are equally spoken in Canada. 

However, it is important to know that while mandatory language testing is no longer a requirement, it is still recommended that you know one of the two languages very well. It will enable you to communicate with the people there and adjust to Canadian life. Not knowing one of the two languages can be a huge challenge to navigate through. 

What Is The Provincial Nominee Program?

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an immigration pathway that allows you to immigrate to one of the provinces or territories of Canada. Under Canadian law, each province is entitled to be a part of the immigration process and overlook the applicants who wish to move to their province. 

The Provincial Nominee Program allows the Provincial governments to nominate certain select individuals who they deem are a perfect fit for their province. This initiative was launched in 1988 to boost skilled worker immigration to Canada’s local provinces. 

Each one of the provinces and territories in Canada has different expectations from their respective applicants and has different (although mostly similar) procedures. 

Every province has its own PNP program. Each one of these PNP programs has one stream aligned with the express entry process and one with non-express entry as well. 

Here are all the Provincial Nominee Programs you should know about:

  • Alberta Advantage Immigration Program 

  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program 

  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program 

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program 

  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program 

  • Nova Scotia Nominee Program 

  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program 

  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program 

  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program 

  • Northwest Territories Nominee Program 

  • Yukon Nominee Program

Express Entry And Non-Express Entry Programs

These two pathways essentially determine the process of your PR application to Canada, and how long the process time might be. Express Entry is available for applicants who qualify for:

  • Canadian Experience Class Visa

  • Federal Skilled Worker Visa 

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program 

If you qualify for one of these three categories, you qualify for Express Entry and can apply for a nomination by a provincial government, thereby seeking a PNP application. 

All other applications are processed under non-express entry. If you directly apply for a nomination by a provincial government, you will most likely go through the non-express entry process. 


By removing the mandatory clause of submitting proof of language fluency, Canada has made PNP applications more accessible for citizens around the globe. No IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP, or PTE scores are required for PNP applicants via the non-express entry system anymore. However, while the proof of language is no longer a mandate, it is still important for you to know one of the two languages very fluently. If you do not know how to speak French or English, you will have a very hard time communicating or getting by in the country. So, the language remains important even if you do not need to submit proof of knowing it!

We at TerraTern have all the expert teams and professionals to help you know more about language requirements for immigration!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I immigrate to Canada without taking a language test?

Yes, you can! If you apply via the provincial nominee program get nominated, and receive an invitation to apply via the non-express entry program, you do not need to take a language test and can directly apply for immigration to Canada.

What are some commonly taken language exams in Canada?

The commonly taken language exams in Canada are IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP, and PTE for English and TEF Canada and TCF Canada for French.

Is Canada PNP easy to get?

PNP is often regarded as the easiest and fastest way to get permanent residency status in Canada.

What is a good IELTS score?

Anything above Band 6.5 is acceptable for Canadian immigration.