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Canada Expands Francophone Mobility Program to Attract French-speaking Immigrants

Francophone Mobility Program

The Francophone Mobility Program will be expanded by the Canadian government for a period of two years.

The Francophone Mobility Program allows a Canadian employer to make a job offer to an eligible candidate with a moderate command of French for all National Occupation Classifications, with the exception of a job in primary agriculture.

This measure, initially reserved for highly skilled French-speaking temporary foreign employers and workers, now opens doors to more French-speaking immigrants by offering them the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and potentially qualify for (PR) permanent residence.

“Our government is committed to increasing the number of immigrants who speak French from coast to coast.” The changes to the Francophone Mobility Program open the possibility for this and support the development of the Francophone minority communities that welcome them. By attracting more French-speaking individuals, we embrace a wealth of linguistic talents and cultural perspectives, and a shared heritage that enriches the cultural tapestry of our great nation,” Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), said.

For foreign nationals applying for a work permit under the Francophone Mobility Program, the proficiency requirements in French have also been updated.

The temporary foreign national must have moderate proficiency in French for oral expression and comprehension. This is equivalent to level 5 of the languages requirements. These new languages requirements meet the French language needs for all of these occupations and will expand the pool of qualified/eligible French-speaking foreign nationals.

In addition, candidates and applicants must now provide proof that they meet these language requirements. This documentary evidence may be, but is not limited to: a French evaluation test or the French competencies test, a diploma or degree from a French college or university, or a document confirming studies at an online French-language.

Employers can now more easily hire skilled French-speaking temporary foreign workers to work in Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec and gain valuable work experience thanks to the Labor Market Impact Assessment exemption from the Francophone Mobility Program.

The program also helps French-speaking temporary international workers qualify for (PR) permanent resident programs and increases the likelihood that they will be invited to apply for permanent residence if they have submitted a profile in the Canada Express Entry system.

2019, IRCC issued 1,900 work permits Canada under this program, and these volumes remained the same in 2020 and 2021.

1,080 out of 5,700 people who had temporary work permits changed their status to a permanent residence between June 2016 and December 2020.

Nearly 2/3 of applicants to the Francophone Mobility Program work in professional sectors that require post-secondary college or apprenticeship training ranging from six months to two years.

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