May 27, 2008

Substituted Evaluation: IELTS Examination

Here's a question I received from one of my readers:

I was required by the Visa Officer to take the IELTS examination and based on the result, I'll get 66 points only. What options do I have? If I submit my IELTS Examination result, will my application be automatically refused?

To answer this question, there are several factors to be considered.

Technically, your application may be refused if you did not meet the passmark which is currently 67 points. This passmark is subject to changes, of course. It used to be 75 points. But I digress.

If you've noticed, I said that your application MAY BE REFUSED if you did not meet the passmark. The operative word there is MAY. That's because if the Visa Officer believes the total points is not a sufficient indicator of whether or not the applicant may become economically established in Canada, he may use a substituted evaluation.

Substituted evaluation is considered on a case-by-case basis. If the Visa Officer opted to use substitued evaluation in case the application did not meet the passmark, the applicant may be called in for a personal interview and or be required to submit additional documents. Substituted Evaluation is different from Humanitarian and Compassionate consideration (this will require a separate entry).

Now, to the question.

First off, major consideration here is your and your spouse's profile (if applicable): education, work experience, family support in Canada, cash in bank, etc.

On submitting your IELTS examination result, be sure to write a cover letter and present your profile in such a way that the Visa Officer may be impressed with the end in view of making him use the substituted evaluation. How you make that letter will make a huge difference.

I actually have a client who was required to update her documents last year. She did not take the IELTS examination. Few months after, she received a letter from the Visa Officer requiring her to take the IELTS Examination. She took the examination but unfortunately she got only a total of 8 points for language proficiency factor, giving her a total of 66 points only. One point short to qualify.

I advised her to submit the result just the same, with a good cover letter of course. And just recently, she received a notice from the Visa Officer about her interview schedule this coming July. I am confident that she will make it.

Should you have questions about Canada Visa Application please feel free to leave your comments here.