The decision to immigrate can be a daunting one, as is navigating through all the government terminology and lingo you are likely unfamiliar with.

We’ve listed a few common acronyms you’re likely to come across during the Canadian immigration process. Becoming acquainted with these terms will hopefully make your journey less complex.

Express Entry

An immigration program that helps those who are eligible through a more expedient immigration process towards Canadian permanent residence


This stands for Educational Credential Assessment. This is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma or certificate is valid and equal to a Canadian one. You need to get an ECA for immigration purposes.


The CEC is a permanent residence category for people with skilled work experience in Canada. It was developed for temporary foreign workers and foreign graduates with qualifying Canadian work experience.


The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program, or CELPIP, is an English language assessment tool that measures listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. The test is administered by Paragon Testing Enterprises., a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia.

CLB Level

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) describe 12 levels of ability in each of four different language skills – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The CLB is used in Canada to describe the language ability of people who are learning English.


Comprehensive Ranking System: In 2015, Canada introduced the new Express Entry system for processing applications to most federal economic immigration programs. All three programs under the Express Entry system are highly competitive. Immigration candidates are ranked against one another and only the highest-ranking candidates are selected to become Canadian permanent residents.


To apply for a study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution. A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.
All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated learning institutions. They aren’t included in this list.


The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one of the three programs contained within Canada’s Express Entry system for processing permanent residency applications. All programs within Express Entry are highly competitive, utilizing Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates.


The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for people who are qualified and willing to take up skilled trade jobs in Canada. Applicants skilled in trades can migrate through this program.


The International English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. IELTS assesses all of your English skills—reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, at work, and at play, in your new life abroad.

Inadmissible to Canada

Some people are denied entry into Canada under immigration law. There are different reasons we may not let you into Canada, such as security, criminal or medical reasons.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees, and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada.


National Occupational Classification. This is a system used to classify occupations. Jobs are grouped based on the type of: job duties and work a person does. Immigration programs use the NOC to determine if a job or type of work experience meets their eligibility requirements.


Provincial Nominee Programs. The PNP programs were established to allow each province to attract the kind of skills needed to take its economy forward and benefit both new immigrants and the provinces or territories. Each province in Canada has its own peculiar immigration programs that serve as a pathway to Canada for foreign nationals; in addition to the federal-level immigration programs.


For immigration and citizenship application procedures, the Federal Government of Canada requests proof of the applicants’ linguistic knowledge of French.