Citizenship Language Requirements

Citizenship applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must provide evidence of their knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages ​​on the date of their application. The minimum language abilities that must be met are described in the regulations as the ability to:

  • Engage in daily short conversations;
  • Understand simple instructions and questions;
  • use of basic grammar, simple constructions, and tenses in oral communication;
  • Use appropriate vocabulary for routine oral communication.

The applicant for citizenship must have English or French speaking and listening abilities that meet the language requirements outlined above. Written proficiency is not necessary. The proof of language proficiency must include one of the following:

  • Third party language test results, approved by IRCC, showing CLB or NCLC Level 4 or higher in listening and speaking;
  • Diploma or transcripts showing secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, either in Canada or abroad;
  • Results from a government-funded language course showing CLB or NCLC 4 or higher;

Individuals who took a language test in the process of applying for permanent residence can use these results as proof of proficiency, even if they have since expired.

The language tests currently approved by IRCC for citizenship application purposes are:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP General and LS);
  • TEF, TEFAQ (Test d’évaluation de français pour l’accès au Québec) or TEF pour la naturalisation;
    Test d’évaluation du français adapté au Québec (TEFAQ).
    TEF pour la naturalisation