Operational Bulletin 187 – February 19, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Amendment of application forms for temporary and permanent residence to incorporate a question on official languages


The purpose of this operational bulletin is to inform you of the addition of a question related to official languages on applications for temporary and permanent residence.


The 2006 Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities seeks to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants destined to communities outside Quebec. The objective is to attain 4.4% French speaking immigrants as a percentage of total immigration (this target is intended for 2023 with an intermediary target of 1.8% for 2013).

The 2006 Strategic Plan redefined the term French-speaking immigrant as follows:

“French-speaking immigrant” is an immigrant whose mother tongue is French, or whose first official language is French if the mother tongue is a language other than French or English.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada committed to modify its application forms, guides and its processing system (Global Case Management System – GCMS) to reflect this definition and capture more accurately the number of French-speaking immigrants coming to Canada.

What has changed

Starting in January 2010 application forms for permanent and temporary residence and instruction guides have been amended to include the following question:

If your native language is not English or French, which language do you use most frequently?

English – French – Neither

The addition of this question in no way modifies the information on language currently collected on various application forms. As well, this question is not intended to be used for selection purposes.

This information will be captured in GCMS as visa offices begin using the system starting in June 2010.

Most applicants obtain forms and guides from CIC’s website or through the Call Centre. Nevertheless, some offices may keep a small stock of forms and guides to distribute to applicants without access to the website or the Call Centre. Any such stock that pre-dates the above mentioned changes should be destroyed.

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