Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)

What is the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)?

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is a system that evaluates your entry foreign language requirements if you plan to immigrate to Canada.

The system converts Canadian language benchmarks from scores obtained on tests of English or French proficiency, which is a requirement for immigration to Canada.

Candidates who immigrate to Canada through immigration programs in economic categories (Express Entry, Provincial Nominee, Start-up Visa, etc.) are required to demonstrate proficiency in English or French by taking language tests recognized by IRCC. The test results will correspond to a score in the CLB system for each language component being assessed: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Which language tests can be converted to CLB?

There are only four sets of language tests that are recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and can be converted to the CLB standard for immigration programs:


  • IELTS – International English Language Testing System  
  • CELPIP – Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program 


  • TEF Canada (Test d’Évaluation de Français pour le Canada) – French evaluation test for Canada
  • TCF Canada (Test de Connaissance du Français) – French Knowledge Test for Canada

How to convert in a foreign language to a CLB?

IELTS conversion table – General Training and CLB level

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking

Conversion table for CELPIP – General Test and CLB level

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking

 TEF Canada conversion table and CLB level

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking

 Canadian TCF conversion table – General Test and CLB level

CLB LevelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking

Eligibility to join Canadian Immigration Programs through CLB

Foreign language is often one of the mandatory conditions when participating in economic immigration programs (Express Entry, Provincial Nominee, Start-up Visa …). Therefore, candidates must convert their foreign language test scores to CLB.

Canadian immigration programs often have minimum CLB level requirements in order to apply. To achieve a certain level of CLB, the scores of all Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking skills must be equal to or higher than the score according to the above conversion table.

For example, if the IELTS test score is:

  • Reading: 5.0
  • Writing: 6.0
  • Listening: 5.5
  • Speaking: 5.0

If the candidate’s CLB is 5, the candidate is eligible for a foreign language to join the Start-up Visa program .

For example, if the IELTS test score is:

  • Reading: 4.5
  • Writing: 4.0
  • Listening: 5.0
  • Speaking: 4.0

Then the candidate’s CLB is 4, the candidate is eligible to participate in the SINP – (Immigration through job offer letter for skilled workers in Saskatchewan Province) or the AIP (Immigration through job offer letter to work in 4 Atlantic provinces) .

For Express Entry specifically, this is an immigration scoring system and will consider candidates’ scores from the highest to the lowest. The candidates with both English and French language capacity will earn higher scores according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and increase the chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the program. 

CLB information is updated on the Government of Canada’s immigration website here.

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