How to Study in Canada without IELTS? | AJV Global

How to Study in Canada without IELTS?

by AJV Global
Published on: 21/Dec/2021
Universities and colleges in Canada waives away the IELTS prerequisite for certain cases. Yes, it is possible to get a study permit for Canada without IELTS. Here's how.


Canada has been the most promising of all the growing destinations for migration, mainly due to its liberal immigration policies. One of the most common ways to come to Canada is a Student Visa. Over half a million international students choose to study in Canada each year. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as of December 31, 2019, there were 642,480 international students in Canada. Indians constitute the major chunk of international students at 34%, followed by China at 22%*.

Three primary reasons for international students to choose Canada are:

  1. Liberal immigration policies.

  2. Canada’s reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society. The country has strong support for the LGBTQIA community.

  3. Canada’s reputation as a safe country

The Canadian government actually needs international students and welcomes them with flexible immigration policies and admission requirements. One of the basic requisites to qualify to study in Canada is that you have to provide evidence of your English Language Proficiency.

The English Language Proficiency Tests

The International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS) is not the only English proficiency test accepted. There are other approved English proficiency tests like the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). Typically, the English language proficiency test result must be written within two years of application. Applicants who meet all admission requirements, including English proficiency, at the time of application are given first priority consideration.

Why are these English tests required?

Since English is the primary language of instruction and communication here, you must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English, regardless of your citizenship status or country of origin. Since all academic activities (lectures, seminars, laboratories, workshops, internships, projects, etc.) are conducted in English, it is essential that all students possess strong English writing, listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills.

It’s true that you need to prove your English language proficiency as an international student. Yet, you should know that these English tests are not the only way to prove. You can still get your dream offer and student visa even without IELTS or any of the other English language tests. Yes, that’s right, you can study in Canada without IELTS. How? Read on.

When can you be exempted?

You will need to provide evidence of an adequate English facility for admission consideration unless you qualify for an exemption. You may qualify for an exemption from the English facility requirement if one of the following applies to you (the exemption is not automatic):

  • Your mother tongue or first language is English.

  • You have completed a formal full-time undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution in a designated English-speaking country where English is the dominant language of instruction and evaluation. Check the list of these countries on the education provider’s official website.

  • You have resided or have been employed for at least three years in a position in which English was the language of business. 

  • You have successfully completed the English Language Programs offered by the education providers with their defined eligibility scores. Available on almost all institutions, these short-term courses give students a solid foundation in English, as well as sound preparation for higher studies.

Remember! Language requirements are not based on citizenship. They are based on your country of study and residence. Refer to the respective education provider’s official website for information on the validity of proof, type of documentation needed and list of exempted countries. The education providers reserve the right to request the results of a language test at any time and to refuse a language test exemption request.

If you are not sure whether you need a language test, contact us. We will be glad to guide you on this.

*According to Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) 


Partner / Author: AJV Global

AJV Global is a New Zealand based ENZ-recognized company. We are an end-to-end education & migration company, with a highly qualified team of advisers licensed by the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority and former immigration officers.

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How to Study in Canada without IELTS?
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Published on: 21/12/2021

Universities and colleges in Canada waives away the IELTS prerequisite for certain cases. Yes, it is possible to get a study permit for Canada without IELTS. Here's how.

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