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  • By Andrew Carvajal

Learning Moments - Acceptable TEF for Immigration Purposes

This article by Andrew Carvajal is part of the Immigration Education Alliance (IMEDA) weekly column titled "Learning Moments" and published online.

Hello fellow practitioners. Today’s column deals with the acceptable French test for immigration under the federal economic programs, more specifically which version of TEF is accepted by Canadian immigration authorities.

Reader’s question

We recently had a client write the TEF and his test results look different than the results we normally obtain from our clients. Until now, every client had provided the TEF Canada results which lists the scoring on the four language skills and has the CLB/NCLC scale on the bottom.

Our new client’s TEF results do not state “TEF pour le Canada” on the top but rather Test d'Évaluation de Français. The results also show an extra section “lexique et structure”. I asked the client to inquire with the test centre suspecting that he took the wrong test. However, he advises that the Alliance Française of Vancouver confirms that they are the same tests and that they make test takers at the centre take all five sections. Also, he advises that the centre doesn’t print their results as TEF Canada but rather just the regular TEF results.

I just wanted to confirm that TEF results are acceptable for Express Entry purposes even though they do not state TEF Canada.


We wanted to address this question this week because we had the same doubt a few months ago in relation to a Canadian Experience Class application that we were submitting for a client. He also had the results from the “Test d'Évaluation de Français” rather than the usual “Test d'Évaluation de Français pour le Canada”. In order to ensure the acceptability of our client’s TEF results, we inquired from IRCC directly and incidentally received confirmation from IRCC this week that both exams are accepted for the purpose of an electronic Application for permanent residence.

IRCC representatives did warn us that while both tests are suitable for their purposes, when an individual registers for TEF Canada, the Paris-Île-de-France CCI French for Business collects information from the applicant and then sends that data to the Canadian authorities. If the applicant does not allow their information to be sent to the Canadian government, the Canadian authorities will be unable to use the test results to process a Canadian immigration or citizenship application. The being the case, the IRCC representative checked that our client’s specific TEF results, taken in Vancouver, could be verified by IRCC and they confirmed that it was the case.

Our experience confirmed that it is not necessary that a client’s results read Test d'Évaluation de Français pour le Canada to be acceptable for Canadian immigration purposes. It is important, however, to advise clients when writing the TEF that they inform the test centre that it is for Canadian immigration purposes. The results must include an evaluation of all four language abilities (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and the test cannot be the online TEF.


Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer and partner at Desloges Law Group specializing in immigration law, administrative law and Small Claims Court litigation.

Twitter: @CarvajalLaw


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