Canada Approves PTE Core For Immigration Routes
In Canada, authorities have recently introduced a change in their immigration policies by accepting Pearson Test of English (PTE) Core scores. This modification is applicable to various categories, including Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates, participants in Express Entry managed programs, individuals requiring a language test for other Canadian immigration purposes, and those applying for Canadian citizenship. The Pearson Test of English Core is now an approved language proficiency test for meeting the criteria related to language skills in the immigration process.
The registration process for the PTE Core has already commenced, and the inaugural test under this new provision is scheduled to take place within the next 10 days. The PTE Core is a computer-based language test specifically designed to evaluate candidates’ proficiency in general English, catering to the requirements of Canadian immigration. The test assesses the candidates’ speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills within a two-hour timeframe. It is worth noting that the PTE Essential test had gained approval for Canadian immigration purposes in the previous year.
Presently, Canada recognizes five types of language tests for immigration purposes: CELPIP General Test (English), IELTS General Training (English), PTE Core (English), TEF Canada (French), and TCF Canada (French). The addition of PTE Core as an accepted test showcases the country’s commitment to providing applicants with diverse options to meet language proficiency criteria.
In a notable development from the previous year, Canada had announced the acceptance of PTE Academic Test Centre scores for all Student Direct Stream applications. During that time, there were also modifications to the requirements for IELTS Academic test takers. The previous requirement of achieving a minimum score of 6.0 in all categories—Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking—was replaced with the need for students to achieve a minimum overall band score of 6.0.
Interestingly, these changes in language proficiency testing requirements come amid the government’s announcement to reduce the influx of international students by 35% compared to the figures from 2023. The Immigration minister had officially declared the intention to set an intake cap on international student permit applications for a two-year period to stabilize new growth.
According to a recent press release issued by the immigration minister, the cap for 2024 is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, reflecting a decrease of 35% from the figures in 2023. The release emphasized the implementation of individual provincial and territorial caps, weighted by population, which would lead to more substantial decreases in provinces experiencing the most unsustainable growth in their international student population.
As part of the broader reforms, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will allocate a portion of the cap to each province and territory. These entities will then distribute the allocation among their designated learning institutions. To enforce the cap, the government announced that, effective January 22, 2024, every study permit application submitted to IRCC would require an attestation letter from a province or territory. This attestation letter is expected to play a crucial role in managing the intake of international students and ensuring a fair distribution across various regions.