CIMM - Francophone Immigration Outside Quebec - Nov 25, 2020
The Government recognizes that immigration plays an important role in supporting the vitality of Francophone minority communities across the country and in maintaining the bilingual nature of the country.
On October 27, the Government announced additional points for French-speaking and bilingual candidates under the Express Entry system to increase Francophone immigration outside Quebec. This change could increase French-speaking immigrant admissions outside Quebec and help reach the target of 4.4% by 2023.
Our ability to meet the 4.4% target has been impacted by travel restrictions associated with the pandemic.
In 2019, French-speaking admissions represented 2.82% of all immigrants admitted to Canada outside Quebec, an increase from previous years.
The Government is working towards achieving its 4.4% target for French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by 2023.
On October 27, 2020, the Government announced that the number of additional points awarded under the Express Entry system had increased from 15 to 25 for French-speaking candidates and from 30 to 50 for bilingual candidates. This change will increase the likelihood of these candidates receiving an invitation to apply to come to Canada through Express Entry.
The evolving COVID-19 situation may impact the Government’s ability to achieve its Francophone target commitment. Analysis of the Francophone target was done pre-COVID-19 and the full magnitude of the impact has yet to be determined. The Department is monitoring the situation on a weekly basis and tracking the number of Francophones entering the Express Entry pool, receiving invitations to apply, and landing in Canada, in order to assess impacts and develop appropriate responses.
In 2019, we announced the Francophone Immigration Strategy. The change to the Express Entry system contributes to the achievement of the goals of the Strategy.
The Department is also committed to the initiatives of the Strategy, including expanding promotion activities and consolidating a Francophone Integration Pathway.
Support for Francophone organizations
The consolidation of a Francophone Integration Pathway includes measures such as adapted language training for French-speaking newcomers, support for the Francophone Welcoming Communities initiative, and capacity building for Francophone settlement service provider organizations.
The sector's capacity building component aims to equip Francophone service providers with tools and trainings in French so that they can provide high-quality settlement and integration services. This includes projects aimed at sharing best practices in employer engagement.
Since April 2020, the Department has been funding a number of capacity building projects to help Francophone service providers adequately meet the needs of specific groups of French-speaking immigrants, such as women, seniors and families.
The Department is pursuing year-round targeted promotion activities in Canada and abroad to expand the pool of potential qualified French-speaking candidates.
The 16th edition of the flagship event Destination Canada initially planned in November 2020 in Paris and Brussels has been postponed to February 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A virtual format will allow to diversify pools of talents, attract a growing number of candidates from around the world, and will facilitate the participation of various IRCC offices overseas. The virtual format requires lower investments for employers and exhibitors in Canada, which could increase the number of job offers and of booths, and allow all provinces and territories to participate.
Promotion activities being held on virtual platforms enable the Department to engage with new pools of French-speaking and bilingual talents, such as in the Maghreb and in West Africa. During the pandemic, social media continue to be a key tool to promote Francophone immigration.
Supporting facts and figures
From 2003 to 2019, more than 60,000 French-speaking immigrants were admitted to Canada in communities outside Quebec, about 8,465 in 2019 alone.
In 2019, the percentage of French-speaking immigrants admitted to Canada outside Quebec represented 2.82%, an increase from previous years.
In 2019, about 5,500 French-speaking permanent resident admissions outside Quebec were selected via the Economic Class, representing approximately 65% of all French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.
Based on projections made in January 2020, awarding additional points for candidates with strong French language skills via Express Entry could increase French-speaking admissions by up to 4.5% by 2023. However, a range of scenarios related to the evolving COVID situation are plausible and could affect French-speaking immigration, impacting the Government’s ability to reach its target commitment.
In 2019, the Department delivered about 400 promotion activities worldwide and 180 recruiting events in Canada targeted at Francophone immigration.
Since April 2020, the Department has been funding about 10 projects of national scope aimed at strengthening the capacity of Francophone service providers, 7 of which are funded by the Action Plan for Official Languages (approximately $2.1M).
In 2019, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship 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 2019, 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.
In collaboration with provinces and territories, the Department is also advancing the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec. This Action Plan enables federal/provincial/territorial governments, in collaboration with stakeholders, to improve the promotion, selection, settlement, integration and retention of French-speaking immigrants in official language minority communities.
In the 2018 Budget, the Government of Canada provided $40.8M over five years to the Department to support the consolidation of a 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.