canada student visa ielts band requirements

IELTS Requirement For Canada Student Visa: Minimum IELTS Score For Canada Study

Updated on 14 October, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Canada is known for its esteemed and rewarding educational system. International students who choose to study in Canada need to meet the IELTS band requirements to get admission to one of the prestigious universities/colleges. The International English Language Test System, popularly known as IELTS, is widely accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by more than 140 nations for immigration, education, and professional purposes. It tests the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Students whose first language is not English, need to qualify the IELTS examination with a good score. IELTS is important to ensure that all international students are able to manage their studies in an environment where the medium of instruction and education is English.


The band scores in the IELTS examination depict the level of English proficiency among students. The IELTS score for Canada ranges between 1 to 9. The better the band, the better the university the students can opt for. Let us understand in detail about the minimum IELTS band requirements for international students for Canadian visas. 

Minimum IELTS Score to Study in Canada

To secure a seat at Canadian universities, a minimum IELTS band score of 6 is necessary. To apply for a Canadian study permit or visa, international students need to score a minimum of 5.5 IELTS scores in each of the IELTS bands. The minimum score requirement will be different for various undergraduate and postgraduate programs at Canadian universities. The minimum band requirements for students after 12 are 5.5 in each of the four sections--- writing, reading, speaking, and listening. All four sections of the IELTS exam hold separate marks, and that band is important to judge the capability in each of the sections. 

The aggregate score would be around 6.0 for the undergraduate courses. For the post-graduation courses, international students will have higher scores and band requirements. The students need to score a minimum of 6 in all four IELTS sections and the total score should be more than 6.5. This is the minimum eligibility and IELTS band requirement to get a student visa. The band score requirements below will help international students to fulfill the Canada student visa IELTS band requirements for the year 2021. Also, students need to make sure that all other requirements are met along with the IELTS band score.

Level ReadingWritingListeningSpeaking


IELTS Band Requirement for Canada Student Visa

IELTS is a standardized examination that tests the efficiency of the English language in non-native English speakers. Since the medium of education in Canada is mostly English, it is important to judge the proficiency of students in terms of writing, reading, speaking, and listening. There are a few prerequisites for the Canadian student Visa IELTS band requirement. The IELTS requirement is conducted, overseen, and evaluated based on Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). The examination focuses on recognizing, quantifying, and defining the proficiency of the English language.

 The CLB starts from a rank of 1 to 9, where every section of the examination holds a particular score. The IELTS test results will demonstrate the English proficiency level within the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) standards. When it comes to undergraduate degrees and courses, the required IELTS band will be 5.5 for every band and the total score will be 6. For postgraduate courses and degrees, the band is a minimum of 6 for every section, and the overall score is 6.5 and above.

Level of studyIELTS Score Requirement
UndergraduateIELTS: 6.0 (with no bands less than 5.5 in each section)
PostgraduateIELTS: 6.5 (with no bands less than 6 in each section)


Minimum IELTS Score for Canada Immigration

Canada is one of the most immigration-friendly countries, but the eligibility criteria in terms of IELTS score is quite strict. The need for English language proficiency among international students aspiring to get admission to Canadian universities is important. The mode of study and communication is purely in English. It is important to judge the capabilities of students in terms of all four sections.

Immigration to Canada means students can apply for a work visa or permanent residency after completion of a course or program. In this case, the applicants need to qualify for the IELTS score as depicted by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The visa application process will take around 6 months and for quick processing, a Student Direct Stream program is applicable. The IELTS score requirement for Canadian immigration in 2021 would be CLB 7. That is at least 6.0 in every band for each of the four sections of the examination. The Canadian Language Benchmark standards set the immigration IELTS score requirement for all students applying to settle in Canada. 

Important Resources to Read:

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Minimum IELTS Score for Canadian Universities

Universities and colleges in Canada impose strict eligibility criteria when it comes to IELTS as  English language proficiency is important for studying in Canada. Admission of international students will depend upon the admission requirements and IELTS score. One of the most important eligibility criteria is meeting the requirements for an IELTS score. Every university and college sets an IELTS score as per recognition and value. The IELTS score requirement will not be the same for all Canadian universities. Educational institutions with better rank and value require high IELTS scores. Even for Canadian scholarship programs, the IELTS score plays a vital role. 

IELTS Requirements for Top Universities in Canada 

The below table shows the IELTS band requirements for Canada’s Top 10 Universities:

University QS World University RankingMinimum IELTS score requirement 
The University of Toronto 266.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
McGill University 276.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of British Columbia 466.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of Montreal111Not specified 
University of Alberta 1266.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
McMaster University 1406.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of Waterloo 1496.5 to 7.0 
Western University 1706.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in each section)
University of Ottawa 2306.5 (with 6.5 bands in Writing)
University of Calgary 2358.0 (with no band less than 7.0 in each section)


How to Get a Study Visa for Canada?

To apply for a Canadian student visa, you need to follow the steps mentioned below: 

  1. Select the university you want to apply to 
  2. Check whether you are eligible for a student visa
  3. Apply for a student visa on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website
  4. Keep all the required documents ready which includes:
  • A student visa application form
  • Letter of acceptance from your university
  • Valid passport
  • Proof that you will be able to support yourself financially during your study program and stay
  • Letter of intent
  • In case you are applying for a university in Quebec province, you also need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate
  • Proof that you have paid your study permit fee
  • 5. Clear English language proficiency exams accepted in Canada( IELTSTOEFLPTE Academic, and C1 Advanced) 
  • 6. Book your biometrics appointment

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International students seeking admission to Canadian universities need to prove their English language proficiency as English is the standard language for education and communication in Canada. Canadian universities and colleges solely check the eligibility criteria in terms of IELTS scores. The judgment is made on proficiency based on four sections of IELTS test-writing, speaking, reading, and listening. The requirements for IELTS are different for student visas and immigration. The IELTS band requirements are set as per the Canadian Language Benchmark standards. International students need to fulfill the basic eligibility criteria of an IELTS score so that they can get admission, even apply for a work visa and permanent residency in Canada.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the minimum IELTS score required for a Canadian student visa in 2022?

If you are a student applying for an undergraduate program, you need to fulfill the IELTS score requirement of an overall  6.0 band with 5.5 bands in each section. Whereas, if you are applying for a postgraduate program, you need an overall band score of 6.5 with 6 bands in each section.

Q. What are the student visa requirements for Canada?

To apply for a student visa in Canada you need a valid passport, letter of acceptance from your university, proof of finances, letter of intent, Quebec Acceptance Certificate (when applying for a university in Quebec province), and proof that you have paid your study permit fee.

Q. How to apply for a Canadian student visa?

Applying for a student visa in Canada involves selecting the university you want to apply in, checking the eligibility criteria, filling out the visa application form on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, collecting the required documents, clearing the English language proficiency exams( IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, and C1 Advanced) and booking the biometrics appointment.

Q. Can I apply for a Canadian study visa with 6 bands?

Yes, you can apply for the Canada study visa with 6 bands as it is the minimum band score required for applying to Canadian universities.

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