Canada expands the Francophone Mobility Program to increase Francophone immigration
June 15, 2023, Ottawa – Francophone immigration is at the heart of the Government of Canada's priorities. The country has always been a forerunner in its initiatives to welcome as many French-speaking nationals as possible, by implementing innovative initiatives to foster the contribution of newcomers to minority communities and thus maintain the social fabric of our country.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the expansion of the Francophone Mobility Program, for a period of two years, which allows a Canadian employer to make a job offer to an eligible candidate with a moderate command of French for all National Occupation Classification with the exception of jobs in primary agriculture. This measure, initially reserved for highly skilled French-speaking temporary foreign workers, now opens doors to more French-speaking immigrants by offering them the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and potentially qualify for permanent residence.
The French language proficiency criteria are also updated for all foreign nationals applying for a work permit under the Francophone Mobility Program. The temporary foreign national must have a moderate language proficiency of French for oral comprehension and oral expression. This is equivalent to a level 5 of the language requirements. These new language requirements meet the French language needs for all of these occupations and will expand the pool of eligible French-speaking foreign nationals.
In addition, 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 a French-language institution.
These changes, as part of the Francophone Mobility Program, allow the Government of Canada to solidify its commitment to fostering population growth and economic prosperity in the country. They also make it possible to pursue its quest to contribute to the vitality of Francophone minority communities and address the labour shortage.
“Our government is committed to increasing the presence of French-speaking immigrants from coast to coast to coast. The changes to the Francophone Mobility Program opens the possibility for this and provides supports 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.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“As a proud Franco-Ontarian, I believe we need to do everything we can to protect the French culture and language. Increasing Francophone immigration outside Quebec remains one of our top priorities. That’s why we will always advocate for the expansion of programs, like the Francophone Mobility Program, that support the vitality of Francophone minority communities across Canada.”
– Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
In 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched the Francophone Mobility Program under the International Mobility Program's to help employers recruit highly skilled French-speaking temporary foreign workers from Francophone communities outside Quebec.
The Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption from the Francophone Mobility Program makes it easier for employers to hire skilled French-speaking temporary foreign workers to work and gain valuable work experience in Francophone minority communities in Canada outside Quebec.
The program also helps French-speaking temporary foreign workers qualify for 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 Express Entry system.
- In 2019, IRCC issued 1,900 work permits (including extensions) under this program and these volumes remained the same in 2020 and 2021.
- From June 2016 to December 2020, 1,080 out of 5,700 temporary work permit holders transitioned to permanent residence.
- Nearly 2/3 of applicants to the Francophone Mobility Program work in professional sectors that require post-secondary college or apprenticeship training from six months to two years.
Contacts for media only:
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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