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The first test centre for the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) in India is set to open on September 15 in Chandigarh, giving more individuals pursuing immigration to Canada an additional option when proving English language ability.

The project, which is lead by the Vancouver-based CELPIP test developers, Paragon Testing Enterprises, will allow more individuals interested in applying for Canadian permanent residence, including through Express Entry, to sit their test outside Canada. So far, the only other CELPIP test centres existing outside Canada are in New York City, Dubai, and Manila.

Chandigarh CELPIP test centre

  • Opening date for Chandigarh CELPIP test centre: Saturday, September 15th, 2018
  • Price of CELPIP test in Chandigarh: $200.00 CAD
  • Location: Abbotsford Community Services – Chandigarh, Elante Office Complex, Plot 178, Industrial Area, Phase 1

If you are in India and looking to settle as a permanent resident through an economic Canadian immigration program, you may soon consider taking the CELPIP General test as part of the Canadian immigration process. Sitting the CELPIP test in India may allow you either to obtain more points for the program or system you are being considered under as a potential immigrant to Canada, as it may prove simpler for you than the alternative. Moreover, it may save you money, either on the test itself or by reducing the incentive to travel further to sit the test, as it will be available more locally.

The CELPIP General test is an alternative means for Express Entry candidates and applicants to other Canadian economic immigration programs to prove their English ability, with the other option being the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – General Training Test. These tests assess general levels of functional English competency in workplace and community contexts, and consist of four components: speaking, reading, writing, and listening.

However, while both the CELPIP and IELTS tests assess ability across the same four components, the way in which they do so is quite different. Whereas the IELTS test involves the use of a pen or pencil and paper for certain modules, the CELPIP test is conducted entirely on a computer, provided by the test centre. In addition, the CELPIP test has a built-in spellcheck functionality, and generally takes less time to complete. In most jurisdictions, the CELPIP test is also slightly less costly than the IELTS test.

Potential immigrants to Canada under Express Entry need to prove their ability in English or French (or for additional points, both).This includes native English and French speakers, regardless of their nationality, educational background, or any other factor. Proof of language ability is a mandatory step on the road to becoming a Canadian economic immigrant, and proving your ability can influence your points score significantly.

Express Entry candidates receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence if they have been awarded the required minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in one of the periodic Express Entry draws.

India and Express Entry

Since launching in 2015, Express Entry has become the main driver of economic immigration to Canada. In the first year of operation, a total of 6,348 invited candidates, representing 22 percent of the total, were Indian nationals, a figure that rose to 10,499 invited candidates in 2016, or 33 percent of invited candidates, with a further 36,310 invitations issued to Indians in 2017, representing 42 percent of all invitations. Indians have been the top source of invited candidates by country of citizenship over three complete three-year period for which statistics such as these are currently available.

Canada is attracting as more attention as an immigration destination among Indian nationals as ever. With a growing, educated Indian middle class, and immigration systems in alternative destinations such as the United States and the United Kingdom becoming more difficult to navigate, this trend shows little sign of dissipating.

The first test to take place in the Chandigarh CELPIP test centre will be at 09.00 a.m. local time on Saturday, September 15, with another test sitting at 10.00 a.m. the same day. Tests are expected to take place regularly thereafter.

Sitting a CELPIP test: an overview

The CELPIP test is a complete English language testing program that assesses general levels of competency. The test consists of the following components:

Listening (47–55 minutes)Reading (55–60 minutes)Writing (53–60 minutes)Speaking (15–20 minutes)

Total test time is around three hours.

On test day, candidates should bring with them the ID they used to register. Candidates should arrive in good time before the beginning of the test.

The entire test, including the speaking component, is delivered on a computer.

About the author

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Hugo O'Doherty

Canadian Immigration & Integration Specialist
Hugo O’Doherty has over a decade of experience and research in Canadian immigration, establishing him as a recognized authority on immigrant integration and adaptation. His personal and professional experiences with immigration have made him an expert on the practical aspects of successfully moving to and settling in Canada.
Read more about Hugo O'Doherty
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