VFX in Vancouver: CELPIP Explained


Permanent Residency - the immigration status you want in order to be able to openly work and live in Canada. It’s very similar in nature as the Green Card is to the United States; Not quite a citizen but you get a majority of the benefits a citizen would.

I’ve personally started the process to obtaining permanent residency and in order to gain it, one of the requirements is to complete an English proficiency test. This entails taking a test that judges you on your ability to read, write, listen and speak the English language Regardless of where you are from or your ability, you are required to take it when applying. Honestly, as an American it seems pointless since the only language I’ve ever known is English (like many) but in my best valley girl imitation, “Whatever!”

So lets begin. There are two tests, the IELTS and the CELPIP. Both tests judge the same proficiency but the actual content and formats are a bit different. IELTS is paper based with written responses, while the CELPIP is entirely electronic and done on a computer. The IELTS is also much more geared toward British nomenclature where the CELPIP is more “standard English.”

The test itself is fairly straightforward, especially if you are a native English speaker. That said, it still required some preparation because it’s formatted in a way that can be tricky if you are going in unprepared. Often the wording can be a little open ended requiring your to really pay attention to smaller details or how a word is being used. Many of the questions aren’t just about how you read English words but also how they work in various contexts. I highly recommend taking a look at the practice tests available online to prepare.

The testing environment is very strict; you are not allowed to bring anything into the testing area. Period. Prior to starting you sign in, the rules are read to you, then you are chaperoned to drop off your personal belongings and shown your testing station.

Once the test begins, that’s it. There is no going back unless you want to fail and re-do the entire process. You are allowed to finish the test at your own pace and don’t need to worry about others around you or waiting for the next testing section to begin. It’s estimated that the test takes around 3 hours total to finish. I would say that’s accurate, although I found the writing and speaking section extremely simple and was able to blaze through it in about half the time required making the entire test around 2 hours. Like I said, native English speakers will find certain parts pretty simple and other parks easy, but tricky.

As soon as your done, you must have one of the test givers escort you to your belongings locker and you are free to go! Your test results will be available online in around 10 days after the test. A few days later you should also receive a physical copy of your results which includes some additional specific details for your PR application.

That’s it! Overall, it’s a pretty easy and straightforward test and with a little preparation you should ace it without problems.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or immigration expert. I am merely posting based on my own personal experiences and understanding of the topic. This post is meant to give you some broad knowledge and is not to be considered 100% definitive. Please seek out the correct legal professionals if any of the topics below require concrete answers based on your own personal situation