Study in Canada Without IELTS

By Samarpita Goswami Updated On - Jul 05, 2022 11:48 AM

In order to encourage international students to study in Canada, the Canadian government has eased restrictions related to IELTS scores. Now, students can study in Canada without IELTS. The alternatives are given in the article.

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Studying in Canada comes with a long list of prerequisites including scores on English proficiency tests. However, when it comes to IELTS, international students can study in Canada without IELTS. The IELTS exam is not only costly but also time-consuming, which is often not feasible. Moreover, some students find it difficult to crack the examination with a good IELTS score.  

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System which is a globally-recognised English language proficiency test that students require to qualify in order to prove their expertise in the English language and study in English-speaking countries.

Though IELTS is required by most of the universities in Canada, there are other alternatives and exceptions which allow students to study in Canada without IELTS. Nowadays, students can also attend online courses from Canadian universities without submitting IELTS scores.

Can You Study in Canada Without IELTS?

Yes, it is possible to study in Canada without IELTS. Students can check the English language requirements of Canadian universities and can appear for alternative examinations. Also, if they have previously studied in institutions where English was the first language, then they do not require to submit IELTS scores.

Some Canadian universities also exempt students from a few countries from providing proof of English language proficiency tests. Some Canadian universities require Letters of Recommendation from academic institutions.

Check out other countries where you can study abroad without IELTS:

Study in UAE Without IELTS

Study in UK Without IELTS

Study in USA Without IELTS

Study in Ireland Without IELTS

Study in Germany Without IELTS

Study in NZ Without IELTS

Study in France Without IELTS

Study in Australia Without IELTS

As a non-native speaker of English, if you are finding it difficult to prepare for your IELTS exam or other exams like TOEFL, Duolingo, PTE Academic, our study abroad experts can help you with your test preparation.

Get Expert Advice on IELTS Alternatives to Study in Canada! 

IELTS Alternatives to Study in Canada

Several universities accept international students without IELTS in Canada. The universities accept scores of other English proficiency tests and also have their own English language programs that help to bridge the gap between the pre-existing knowledge of the student and the knowledge required for the courses.

International students can adopt the following alternatives to study in Canada without IELTS:

  • The students can submit proof of any other English language proficiency test like TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo and Cambridge English Assessment. They are equally reliable and fair and are often accepted instead of IELTS.

  • They can submit proof of having studied with English as the medium of instruction for at least four years. The Canadian universities accept this as sufficient evidence of the English proficiency level of the students.

  • If the applicant belongs to an English-speaking country, then they do not need IELTS to study in Canada. This makes education in Canada accessible to international students.

  • Students can enrol in English language courses in Canadian universities. By completing the course at the university, they can prove their English proficiency.

Alternative English Proficiency Tests in Canada

The alternative English language proficiency tests that are accepted in Canada are:

English Language Proficiency Test

Score Accepted by Canadian Universities

Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)


Pearson Test of English (PTE)



120 and above

Few other English language proficiency tests that are accepted in Canada are:

  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment – CAEL, CAEL-CE, CAEL online,

  • Cambridge Assessment English (C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency),

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP),

  • Academic English Program for University and College Entry (AEPUCE).

Admission Process to Study in Canada Without IELTS 

Once you have known the universities in Canada where you can apply for admission without IELTS, you can begin the admission process. The general admission procedure followed in universities to study without IELTS in Canada are:

  • Step 1: Choose the course and the university.

  • Step 2: Find out the entry requirements and English language requirements of the university.

  • Step 3: Apply to the university by filling up the application form.

  • Step 4: Prepare the paperwork and submit them.

  • Step 5: Wait to get admitted and then complete visa formalities.

Completion of the above steps will ensure smooth admission to study in Canada without IELTS.

Top Universities to Study in Canada Without IELTS

Here is a list of universities to study in Canada without IELTS. We have also provided the alternatives which the students can choose from while applying to these universities.


IELTS Alternatives

Cambrian University

TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo are accepted.

The English proficiency of students is assessed on arrival and if needed, students have to take English language courses at the university.

Concordia University

TOEFL, PTE, DET, CAEL, CAE and CPE are accepted here.

The candidates have to show evidence that they have completed at least four years of study with English as the medium of instruction in their school.

International Baccalaureate in English Literature is accepted.

Intensive English Language Program (IELP) is offered on conditional admission.

Seneca College

CAEL CE, Duolingo, PTE and TOEFL exams are the other alternatives here.

The student must have completed two years of education at an English-language academic institution.

The student must complete an English language program.

Carleton University

TOEFL, PTE and CAEL are accepted.

The student must have studied for three years in a school where English is the primary language.

Okanagan College

Duolingo is accepted.

University of Saskatchewan

TOEFL iBT, CanTEST, CAEL, MELAB, PTE Academic, CAE and Duolingo are the alternative English language proficiency tests accepted here.

The students can complete an English language course from the university.

Proof of study in English medium institution.

University of Winnipeg

Duolingo English Test, PTE, Cambridge Assessment English, CanTest, and Canadian Academic English Language Assessment are acknowledged in place of IELTS.

The students can complete English Language Program at the university. 

Brock University

The university also accepts CAEL Assessment, CAE (A1 Advanced), CPE (C2 Proficiency), Duolingo, TOEFL, and PTE.

The students can enrol in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

University of Regina

CAEL, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CanTEST, MELAB, TOEFL, UofR ESL, and Duolingo are accepted here.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

TOEFL and CAEL are accepted.

The students can take part in the English language programme.

Can I Get Canada Study Visa without IELTS?

Now, it is possible to get a Canada study visa without IELTS according to the new regulations. International students who wish to study in Canada are required to show proof of their admission to the Canadian university, making them eligible for a Canada study permit. The student must provide proof that the university does not require IELTS scores for admission.

The rules have been eased by the Canadian government to attract international students to study in Canada without IELTS.

Students can contact their nearest Canadian embassy and enquire about their acceptance of the study permit application without IELTS. They may also be asked to give a letter from the DLI in Canada stating that it does not require submission of IELTS scores to participate in the program.

In case students do not have their IELTS scores, they will have to have a proficiency letter from their previous school that will testify to their proficiency in English. This will guarantee their Canada study visa without IELTS.

With Canada's recent changes to permanent residency, there has been no better time to study in Canada. The country saw nearly 450,000 new study permits take effect in 2021, a figure that broke the previous all-time record set in 2019. Another major contributor to this record was Canada’s easing of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) rules. So, hurry up and apply to Canadian universities without IELTS scores. 

Ways to Apply for Canada PR Without IELTS

For international students in Canada, it is possible to apply for Canada PR without IELTS. The alternatives which are commonly adopted to get PR in Canada without IELTS are:

  • Qualifying for other English proficiency tests like TOEFL, PTE or CELPIP,

  • Family members who are permanent residents in Canada can sponsor the applicants through the sponsorship programme,

  • Canada Language Benchmar k(CLB)  measures and assesses the English language skills of the applicants and checks if they are eligible for Canada PR.

Canadian Immigration Programs to Apply for Without IELTS

Given below are a few Canadian Permanent Residency Programs for which you can apply without IELTS:

  • Canadian Experience Class - Applicants need to have a high proficiency in English. The score on the English language proficiency test should be equivalent to CLB 7 or higher. They must be eligible for a Skill type 0 or A job.

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program - Good English language skills are required in the form of a test score equivalent to CLB 7 if applicants are applying for a job of skill type 0, A or B.

  • Federal Skilled Trade - Proof of English Language Proficiency with a CLB score equivalent to 5 in listening and speaking and a CLB score equivalent to 4 in writing and reading test is required.

  • Provincial Nominee Program - English language skill is required.

  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot - An English language test score equivalent to CLB 4 is required for this program.

Our experienced study abroad consultants have assisted numerous Indian students to study abroad without taking the IELTS exam. Get in touch with them at

Find the Right Canadian University to Study Without IELTS!

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