Language test providers report technical difficulties following unprecedented demand.
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Prospective Canadian immigrants are not able to book language tests after the two English language test providers’ websites went down due to a sudden influx of demand.
Both IELTS and CELPIP reported technical difficulties yesterday, April 15, the day after Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced that Canada would welcome upwards of 90,000 new immigrants through six new limited-time immigration programs. Three of the programs are available to English speakers.
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Language tests are a must for Canadian immigration applicants. Applicants for economic-class immigration programs typically need to demonstrate a certain language proficiency. Canada’s immigration system only recognizes English language test results from the two providers.
CELPIP said the technical difficulties were due to an “unprecedented volume of demand for test registrations.”
Betty Chan, Vice-President of Operations at Paragon, which provides the CELPIP, said the company expects to expand operations in the coming weeks to meet the new demand for language proficiency tests.
“We are eager to help this new group of workers on their journey to becoming permanent residents in Canada, and are working diligently to stabilize the website and simultaneously expand our test availability to accommodate this unprecedented volume of new test takers,” Chan said in an email statement to CIC News.
In the meantime, Chan said test takers should monitor their social media outlets for up-to-date information.
IELTS wrote on the CanadaVisa Forum that their technical difficulties were also a result of a large volume of people trying to book a language test. They said users can check their webpage periodically to see if it is up and running again.
French language test providers do not appear to be experiencing the same technical issues.
New Canadian immigration programs
Canada’s new immigration programs will start accepting applications on May 6. They are available to temporary workers in 40 healthcare occupations and 95 other essential occupations, as well as recent international student graduates in Canada. Applications will close once the programs meet their intake caps, or on November 5, whichever comes first.
Through the new programs, Canada plans to welcome:
- 40,000 international student graduates working in any province other than Quebec;
- 20,000 temporary foreign workers in healthcare occupations working in any province other than Quebec;
- 30,000 temporary foreign workers in other essential occupations working in any province other than Quebec;
The new programs are part of a federal-government strategy to admit 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. They target domestic candidates since Canada’s current travel restrictions do not allow for many approved international candidates to board a flight. International candidates may also have more difficulty acquiring the necessary documents, due to coronavirus-related service disruptions.
Applicants to these new programs need to have a Canadian Language Benchmark of at least four or five, depending on the program, in order to be eligible.