Canada Expands the Francophone Mobility Program to Increase Francophone Immigration

Canada to increase Francophone immigration: On June 15, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) 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.

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.

Changes to French Language Proficiency – Canada to Increase Francophone Immigration

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 moderate language proficiency in French for oral comprehension and oral expression. This is equivalent to 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.

Proof of French Language Tests Mandatory

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.

According to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, the changes to the Francophone Mobility Program supports the development of the Francophone minority communities and allow the Government of Canada to contribute to the vitality of Francophone minority communities and address the labour shortage. By attracting more French-speaking individuals, there will be an increase in linguistic talents and cultural perspectives and a shared heritage that enriches the cultural tapestry of our great nation.

LMIA exemption for TEER 4 and 5 workers

As of June 15, 2023, Canadian employers are temporarily exempt from needing a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) to hire French-speaking or bilingual workers outside Quebec who are classified under Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) categories 4 and 5 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) (with the exception of primary agriculture occupations).

This pilot project is valid for a period of 2 years.

Background of the Francophone Mobility Program

The Francophone Mobility Program is a program under Canada’s International Mobility Program 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.

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