Canada's government-funded language courses

Residence in Canada is a dream for many, so the Canadian government is running a program to help adult new immigrants better adjust to life in bilingual Canada. What is this program and can it benefit you?

Students and a Teacher at a desk by By Mosborne01 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Teacher and Students by Mosborne01 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

 

What is the Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program?

The Canadian Federal Government offers adult permanent residents (or approved applicants for permanent residence) the opportunity to attend free language classes (either in English or in French) in order to improve their language skills and to prepare them for a fulfilling future life in Canada. The LINC courses are conducted in a number of centres throughout all of Canada's provinces and territories. The centres near your location you can find here. Note that children under the age of 18 without a high-school diploma will be learning English and French in school, and are not eligible for these courses.
 

Are the government-funded language courses mandatory?

No. They are simply an opportunity to improve your skills, and can help you integrate better. Note that if you are aged 18 to 54, in order to be granted Canadian Citizenship, you must have English or French language skills at the Canadian Language Benchmarks/NCLC Level 4, and you must provide an acceptable document as proof of your skills. There are also similar requirements when applying for some jobs or to an institution of higher education. You can perform a self-assessment test to verify your language skills level here.
 

Who can enlist for a course?

To enlist for a language course you must be either a Canadian citizen born outside of Canada or a permanent resident of Canada, and an adult. In some territories and provinces you can join the course if you are an applicant for permanent residence in Canada (that includes refugee claimants), and have been informed by letter by CIC of the initial approval of your application. You should check your province's website for newcomers for more information:

Alberta New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Yukon
British Columbia Newfoundland and Labrador Nunavut Quebec  
Manitoba Northwest Territories Ontario Saskatchewan  

 

How much does it cost to enlist?

The course is completely free.
 

How do I register for the course?

In order to enrol you must visit one of the certified centres (you can find one near your location here), and say that you are interested in taking language classes. First you will be scheduled to attend an assessment to find out your current language skills, and to determine what course is best suited for your needs. You will need to bring your original immigration document (PR card, Canadian Refugee Travel Document or Certificate of Identity, Canadian Citizenship Certificate, or, if you are a PR applicant - the letter by CIC, informing you of the initial approval of your application for permanent residence) to the assessment centre, alongside photo identification document (driver's license, passport, etc.). After you have had the assessment, you will be provided a referral to a school, suited to your needs, to begin your classes. The classes can be either part-time or full-time. You can participate either at the school/centre, or in your home via LINC Home Study. Do note that different provinces and the many different schools and education centres may have circumstantial differences, for example whether or not they teach both official languages, hours of operation, etc. You need to discuss and clarify these with the school or centre before attending.


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