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New! Use Canadian CAEL results for Canadian Study Permits!

Proof of English language proficiency is often required either for the purposes of admission to a degree or diploma program in Canada, or for the purposes of study permit applications to Canada, or often for both of these steps. This can be the case even for students who have studied in English medium for many years. The CAEL test has long been officially accepted by professional organizations, colleges, universities, and employers across Canada but not for student visa purposes.

Now for the first time, achieving the CAEL test benchmark has been approved as proof of English proficiency by Canada Immigration for study permit Student Direct Stream applicants (SDS).

From August 10, 2023, test takers will be able to use their CAEL test results from a test centre in applications for SDS applications.

See: CAEL tests are currently available in three of the countries in which Canada has adopted the SDS system: India, the Philippines and China and we can look for more offerings in other countries where Canada offers the SDS system for study permit applications. As Canada’s leader in international student recruitment, the CUAC can confirm that the CAEL test was widely recognized across Canada by its higher educational institutions from the time we launched CUAC in 1997. This is a made-in-Canada test with a very strong academic reputation and widespread recognition across Canada. Its sister test, the CELPIP, has long been accepted as the standard test for those applying to immigrate to Canada.


On-line Version While we expect CAEL centres will be open in more countries where Canada has adopted the SDS system, there is already a CAEL Online option in in Canada, Mexico, the USA, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Scores for the CAEL taken at a Test Centre or Online are identical though users should confirm that the online version is accepted by the program or programs the student is applying for.

However, the online version is not yet recognized for SDS purposes. The SDS System The CUAC also expects Canada to continue to expand the list of countries in which the SDS system is available as this has been widely regarded in the countries in which it has been in effect.. The basis to the SDS is that it is to simplify proof of financial capacity by requiring the prepaying of tuition fees and making deposits into Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) with Canadian banks. The CUAC works with Canadian banking partners to facilitate these proofs for international student sponsors.

See: for more information on our banking and other partners. For more information on the SDS system see:

CUAC Support for CAEL test registration and other procedures

The CUAC can help ensure you only take an English proficiency test where necessary, and that it is valid for the purposes of either the program applied for or the study permit process or both. It can also ensure that the applicant is clear on the benchmark score that will be needed to be admitted by a program or recognized for study permit processes.

The CUAC can also help facilitate CAEL registration where currently available.

For more information and free workshops on the CAEL test see:

For more information on how to prepare for and register for CAEL, or on Canada's SDS system, or how you can follow all the proper steps to study diplomas or degrees in Canada, start by completing our free assessment online form at For more information about us, see: For student and sponsor testimonials about CUAC see For comments about this blog or for blog ideas, write us at


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