Francophone Immigration

Canada Celebrates French-Speaking Immigration

Published on: November 11th, 2021
Last updated: April 7th, 2022

This week, Canada celebrates the contributions of French-speaking immigrants across the country. Canadian Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, has described National Francophone Immigration Week as an opportunity for Canada to highlight the country’s efforts to welcome more French-speaking immigrants by 2023.

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The Government of Canada has been making substantial efforts to welcome more French-speaking newcomers to provinces outside of Quebec. In 2019, French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec made up 2.82% of all Canadian newcomers. The Canadian government plans to increase this to 4.4% by 2023.

French immigration is viewed by the Canadian government as vital to the maintaining the bilingual nature of the country. Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced several new immigration programs aimed at recruiting French-speakers to the country.

Express Entry

In October 2020, IRCC announced that the number of additional points granted to French-speaking candidates in the Express Entry system increased from 15 to 25. The number of additional points awarded to bilingual candidates increased from 30 to 50. These additional points gave French-speaking candidates a stronger chance in the Express Entry pool and increased chance of receiving an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

PNP options for French-speakers

Many provinces also host nominee programs in order to recruit their own French-speaking skilled workers. Most of these provinces operate by inviting candidates directly from the Express Entry pool. Others require an Expression of Interest to be submitted to the province’s pool of candidates.

Ontario has a stream for Express Entry candidates with French and English language proficiency. The province of Nova Scotia also regularly invites French-speaking candidates directly from the Express Entry pool. Other provinces, such as Saskatchewan, may allocate additional points for French language proficiency.

TR to PR Pathway

In May 2021, IRCC introduced a new public policy granting permanent resident status to temporary workers and international graduates working in Canada with sought-after skills. While the General streams had an intake cap of between 20,000-40,000, the streams’ French-speaking counterparts accepted an unlimited number of applications until closing on November 5, 2021.

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