Applying for Canada PR with a 6-Band Score: Is it Possible?

Applying for Canada PR with a 6-Band Score: Is it Possible?
5 min read

Canada's express entry system for permanent residency (PR) has attracted skilled individuals from around the world due to its transparent, points-based approach. One of the crucial factors for determining eligibility in the express entry program is the applicant's language proficiency, usually assessed through IELTS or CELPIP tests. The big question that arises is, "Can I apply for Canada PR with an overall 6-band score in these language tests?" In this blog post, we will explore the possibilities and provide valuable insights for individuals aiming to secure Canada PR with a 6-band score.

Language Proficiency in Express Entry

To be eligible for Canada PR through the Express Entry program, candidates must demonstrate their proficiency in English or French. The language proficiency test scores are crucial as they directly impact the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which plays a pivotal role in determining your eligibility for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR.

In the case of IELTS, the test is divided into four categories: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. For the Express Entry program, candidates are generally required to achieve a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or higher in all four categories. CLB 7 equates to a score of 6.0 in each category, which means a cumulative 6-band score would be inadequate for most express entry programs.

Language Proficiency Requirement by Program

To determine the possibility of applying for Canada PR with a 6-band score, let's examine the language proficiency requirements for the different streams within the Express Entry program:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP):FSWP typically requires a minimum CLB 7 or higher in all four categories of IELTS. This means that, in most cases, a 6-band score would not meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP):FSTP has varying language requirements depending on the occupation. While some trades require CLB 5, others may require CLB 7 or higher. However, a 6-band score would be insufficient in most cases.
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC):The CEC category is for individuals with Canadian work experience. It requires a minimum CLB 5 for NOC 0 or A, and CLB 4 for NOC B occupations. While a 6-band score may be acceptable for some NOC 0 or A positions, it would not meet the requirements for NOC B jobs.
  4. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs):Some provincial nominee programs may have lower language proficiency requirements than the federal programs. However, a 6-band score would still be challenging to meet the minimum requirements.

The Possibility of Applying with a 6-Band Score

While the language requirements in the Express Entry program are generally set at CLB 7 or higher, there are some exceptions. In rare cases, a few provincial nominee programs or employer-driven streams may accept a 6-band score or lower. Additionally, certain low-skilled or semi-skilled positions may have lower language requirements.

However, it's important to understand that meeting the bare minimum language requirements is not sufficient to secure an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canada PR. The Express Entry system operates on a points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), where candidates are awarded points for various factors, including language proficiency, age, education, work experience, and more.

Having a 6-band score could severely limit your CRS score, making it highly unlikely that you would receive an ITA. To increase your chances of securing Canada PR, you would need to compensate for the lower language proficiency score by maximizing points in other areas.

Strategies for Enhancing Your Express Entry Application

If you have a 6-band score and are determined to pursue Canada PR, here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Improve Your Language Skills: The most straightforward approach is to retake the language proficiency test and aim for higher scores. With dedication and practice, you may be able to achieve the required CLB 7 or higher.
  2. Higher Education: Completing additional education or a higher-level degree can earn you more CRS points.
  3. Work Experience: Gaining more work experience, especially in a high-demand occupation, can boost your CRS score.
  4. Job Offer:A valid job offer from a Canadian employer can significantly increase your CRS score and make up for a lower language proficiency score.
  5. Provincial Nominee Programs: Explore provincial nominee programs, as some provinces may have lower language requirements and specific streams for individuals with lower language scores.


While it is technically possible to apply for Canada PR with a 6-band score in language proficiency, it is a challenging path due to the stringent language requirements set by the Express Entry program. To enhance your chances of success, consider improving your language skills or exploring other avenues to increase your CRS score.

The Express Entry system is highly competitive, and applicants are encouraged to strive for higher language proficiency scores and to maximize their points in other areas to secure an Invitation to Apply for Canada PR. Consulting with an immigration expert or a registered Canada immigration consultant can provide valuable guidance and increase your chances of success in your journey towards becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

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