The Government recognizes that immigration plays an important role in supporting the vitality of Francophone minority communities across the country.
In 2020, French-speaking admissions represented 3.61% of all immigrants admitted to Canada outside Quebec, an increase from previous years.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has undertaken many initiatives to reach the 4.4% target by 2023 including allocating additional points for French-speaking and bilingual candidates under the Express Entry system.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada fully supports the Government’s commitment to strengthening the Official Languages Act and to using immigration to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities across the country.
Support for Francophone organizations
Since April 2020, the Department has:
expanded funding from 50 to almost 80 Francophone service providers to deliver settlement services;
renewed pre-arrival services, including the creation of a single window for the online delivery of pre-arrival settlement services in French;
established language training services in both English and French, adapted to the needs of newcomers who settle in official language minority communities and need both French and English for their economic and social integration;
established 14 Welcoming Francophone Communities with an investment of $4.2 million per year over three years; and
invested in building the capacity of Francophone service providers to serve the growing Francophone client population.
The Department is pursuing year-round targeted promotion activities in Canada and abroad to expand the pool of potential qualified French-speaking and bilingual candidates.
The 16th edition of the Destination Canada Mobility Forum was held virtually February 26-28, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-three Canadian employers participated directly and 21 organizations represented employers in their sector or region, listing a total of more than 2,000 positions to fill.
Promotional activities being held on virtual platforms will enable the Department to engage with broader pools of French-speaking and bilingual talent in the Maghreb and West Africa.
Modernization of the Official Languages Act
Canadian Heritage is responsible for the reform of the Official Languages Act. As part of this exercise, a reform document proposes significant legislative and regulatory amendments to modernize the Act, which includes a policy on Francophone immigration, as well as supports and services for Francophone minority communities.
It also includes a new pathway (or “corridor”) aimed at recruiting francophone and French-language teachers – for immersion and second language programs, and for French-language education – to address the shortage of French language teachers in Canada, particularly outside of Quebec. The next Action Plan for Official Languages is an opportunity to support a training and recruitment strategy for French language education and immigration initiatives.
The reform document was published on Canada.ca on February 19, 2021.
The Department is in contact with and will continue to work with federal departments, including Canadian Heritage, and provinces and territories to advance these commitments.
Supporting Facts and Figures
From 2003 to 2020, more than 65,000 French-speaking immigrants were admitted to Canada in communities outside Quebec.
In 2020, about 4,000 French-speaking permanent resident admissions outside Quebec were selected via the Economic Class, representing approximately 70% of all French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.
In 2020, French-speaking admissions under Express Entry represented 58% of all French-speaking admissions outside Quebec, making Express Entry the most promising tool to increase these admissions. The October 2020 Express Entry change for French-speaking and bilingual candidates increases the likelihood of these candidates receiving an invitation to apply to permanent residence. In 2020, 5.2% of invitations to apply through Express Entry were issued to French-speaking and bilingual candidates.
With respect to temporary immigration, from June 2016 to December 2020 – the Department approved 4,366 new work permit applications and 1,823 work permit extension applications through the Mobilité Francophone stream. Of the applications that were processed, the average approval rate is 84%.
In 2019, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced the Meeting Our Objectives: Francophone Immigration Strategy with a goal of achieving a target of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by 2023. The strategy covers the continuum of immigration, from attraction to selection and retention of French-speaking newcomers outside Quebec.
Additional points to candidates with strong French-speaking skills under Express Entry were initially introduced in June 2017 and have been successful at increasing French-speaking admissions outside of Quebec. In 2020, French-speaking admissions under Express Entry represented the majority of French-speaking admissions outside Quebec overall, making Express Entry the most promising tool to increase French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.
Collaboration with provinces and territories is critical. Seven provinces and territories (i.e., New-Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories) have a range of targeted measures in place to increase the number of French-speaking newcomers settling in their jurisdictions.
In the 2018 Budget, the Government of Canada provided $40.8M over five years to the Department to support the consolidation of the Francophone Integration Pathway as well as horizontal policy development. The Francophone Integration Pathway aims to strengthen the resettlement and settlement services offered ‘‘by and for francophone’’ organizations to French-speaking newcomers, and ensure that they are aware of these services throughout their settlement and integration process.
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