Canada Wants More French Speakers

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Provincial and regional Premiers call for more control over the selection of newcomers.

The pioneers of Canada’s provinces and territories have consented to achieve an objective of 5% francophone (French-speaking) immigrants outside the Province of Quebec. This target follows the goal of the government that, by 2018, francophone newcomers will represent no less than 4% of all economic immigrants who settle outside Quebec.

The provincial and regional Premiers issued a joint proclamation on the matter at a Council of the Federation held in Whitehorse, Yukon in late July. This denotes the first occasion that the 13 Premiers have together endorsed an immigration target for francophones hoping to settle in Canada.

Settling outside Quebec- With its rich culture and pride in its phonetic legacy, Quebec is regularly the primary spot francophones look to when beginning on their Canadian migration goals. The remainder of Canada has a sizeable francophone populace of more than one million people, speaking to around 4% of the aggregate populace outside Quebec. The government of Canada, including the Premiers, need to maintain and expand on these dynamic communities.

In its year-end Express Entry report, the government bureau of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, once in the past CIC) reported  that, in 2015, 2% of applicants issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency under the Express Entry migration selection system were French speaking, however, they only represented 1% of hopefuls in the Express Entry pool. IRCC expressed that it is currently investigating approaches to build the measure of French-speaking hopefuls hoping to apply through Express Entry.

Mobilite Francophone- Recent developments since the time of the report mirror a promise from the government immigration authorities to empower francophone immigration outside of Quebec. One of these activities is the Mobilité Francophone stream of the International Mobility Program, which kicked off on June 1.

Through Mobilité Francophone, Canadian businesses outside Quebec may now hire French-speaking and bilingual foreign skilled workers without expecting to apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to demonstrate that no Canadian natives or permanent residents can fill the position. The national government has subsequently facilitated recruitment events in nations with French-speaking  populaces, so that employers may invite capable individuals who wish to come to Canada and work.

While Mobilité Francophone is not itself a migration program, it may offer key opportunities to a French-speaking individual who needs to gain work experience in Canada and apply for Canadian permanent residence. To be sure, government Immigration Minister John McCallum has unequivocally expressed that Mobilité Francophone is intended for this reason.

Provinces are already attracting French speakers- While the announcement issued at the Council is optimistic, there are at present, a slew of Canadian immigration options that might be especially appealing to people with French-speaking capabilities.

For instance, the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) permits Express Entry competitors with advanced-intermediate French capacity (Canadian Language Benchmark 7) to acquire an improved OINP provincial nominee certificate. With this, the competitor may receive 600 extra Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and an ITA at a consequent draw from the pool. Competitors who have already been exposed to French may, with a touch of additional effort and amendment, achieve sufficient adequate-intermediate capability and possibly profit by way of this Canadian immigration option.


While the government objective for francophone immigration is to achieve 4% of economic immigrants settling outside Quebec by 2018, Premiers have collectively required an objective of 5%. Provincial and regional delegates are expected to meet with federal authorities in the spring of 2017 to discuss an action plan for expanding the quantities of French speakers settling outside Quebec. A preparatory meeting is expected for October.

“Francophone and bilingual individuals looking to make Canada their home may be encouraged by recent commitments from the federal immigration authorities to developing and strengthening francophone minority communities,” says Attorney David Cohen.

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