Canada is known for its diversity, with residents from all over the world. However, as French is one of the national languages of Canada, French speakers have a high chance of moving to Canada. The immigration programs offered by the government test for proficiency in both languages, meaning that French speakers stand a good chance of success.
Because provinces like Québec are mainly French-speaking, assimilation into daily life in these regions is easy for those from other countries where it’s widely spoken. Now is the time to immigrate as the federal government has revealed plans to welcome over 465,000 immigrants in 2023, while maintaining their heritage, of which French is vital. Find out how to immigrate to Canada as a French-speaker with these perks and programs offered.
Immigration Programs For French Speakers
Various immigration programs allow candidates to settle in French-speaking communities. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is designed to address specific labour market shortages according to province and anyone eligible can apply but all measure French-speaking ability. The federal programs under Express Entry also allow candidates to select French as their first language and to settle anywhere in Canada (except Québec which has its own immigration rules).
Ontario Provincial Nominee Program
Ontario has several streams under the PNP with a stream entirely dedicated to French-speaking workers. The Human Capital Category holds several Express Entry linked streams, including the Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.
The purpose of this stream is for Ontario to nominate French-speaking Express Entry candidates with reasonably strong English proficiency, education, and work experience that will help them establish themselves in one of the province’s communities.
Express Entry System
The Express Entry system was created in 2015 to umbrella the governments federal programs which are the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. The system fast-tracks applications to be processed in as little as six months to address growing labour market concerns in certain sectors of the Canadian economy.
Candidates applying for these programs need to create an online profile detailing their background. Profiles are scored according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which awards points for certain criteria listed below. Profiles are then entered into the Express Entry pool where they are measured against each other and the highest scoring candidates are selected in draws that typically take place every two weeks.
Outside of Quebec, Canada is attempting to recruit more French-speaking immigrants. This will contribute to the life, progress, and prosperity of Canada's Francophone minority communities.
You can present authorized language test results in your second official language if you speak both of Canada's official languages. Candidates can earn extra points if they are fluent in their second official language.
Strong French language abilities will now earn you up to 50 bonus points (even if French is your second language).
CRS Criteria Awards Points For:
- CLB Language proficiency (English and French)
- Level of Education (In and outside Canada)
- Work Experience (In and outside Canada)
- Arranged employment
- Provincial Nomination achieved
- Siblings living in Canada as permanent residents/citizens
- Your spouse’s profile (if married)
Top Provinces For French Speakers
There are numerous Francophone communities to be found across Canada in each of its provinces and territories. Over 21.4% of Canadians speak French. The provinces below are examples of where the highest concentration of French-speaking individuals can be found.
The province of Québec is home to the largest population of French-speaking residents with over eight million people speaking the language, making up 93% of the total citizens. This is also the only province that lists French as its official language with many of the speakers being native Francophones. There are several variations to be found within the province itself but the city of Montreal is the only hub where English is commonly found.
Of the 1.5 million Ontario people who speak French, 622,415 are Franco-Ontarians, making Ontario the province with the greatest Francophone population outside of Québec. The city of Ottawa, the nation’s capital, is known for having the largest population of Franco-Ontarians in the country. These residents are descendant from first-wave French immigrants originally and French government services are available in 25 areas across the province.
Many of Alberta's initial inhabitants were French-Canadian. French, brought by fur traders, was the first European language spoken in Alberta. These French origins are still visible today, with more than 418,000 (or 10.5%) of Albertans having French or French-Canadian ancestors, according to 2016 Census statistics..
New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that is officially listed in the constitution as bilingual with a third of the population identifying as Francophone. Over 26% of the population speaks French in New Brunswick
British Columbia lists nearly 64,213 French speakers. While it is not the most widely spoken language in the province, there are many second-language French speakers due to the region's introduction of French education programs. This means that French immigrants and their children will be able to easily adapt and continue passing on the language even though it may not be with first-generation speakers.
Taking the French Language Test
The Test d'Évaluation du Français (TEF Canada) is an accepted exam for proving French-language proficiency in Express Entry. It is used to assess comprehension and expression skills of non-native speakers of French.
The Test d'Évaluation du Français (TEF Canada) consists of four compulsory tests: oral comprehension, oral expression, written comprehension, and written expression. It is used to evaluate the French level of skilled workers, candidates wishing to immigrate to Canada outside of Québec, and applicants for Canadian citizenship. The test is evaluated on a scale of 7 levels ranging from level 0 (the most basic competency) to level 6 (complete fluency).
Festivals are a wonderful way to celebrate Francophone heritage as well as keep in touch with the French community in Canada. There are quite a few events across Canada in different provinces/territories that help connect these groups and you can join them too once you’re settled.
This celebration features dance and musical performances and is complimented by a market and workshops focussing on different French traditions. This is a great way to get to know Alberta and the Francophone communities.
Franco-Fête de Toronto
Ontario hosts this summer festival which lasts two weeks with plenty of family-oriented activities. This bash honours 400 years of French-speaking residents living in the province.
Festival Acadien de Clare
This particular festival in Nova Scotia is the oldest Acadian festival in the world where food, crafts, dance and music revolves around French heritage. Street marches move through the streets, entertaining residents of all ages.
How Can We Help You
Immigration can be a stressful process when embarking on the path alone but with Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) on your side, you don’t need to worry about the admin of the application process. These professionals have all been through the immigration process themselves and therefore know all about the correct documents to submit as well as when to submit them.
These consultants are also helpful in assessing your profile and qualifications to make the right choice for you and your family moving forward with the immigration process. Boost your points and ease yourself through the application with friendly guidance.
With our expert service, get assessed and receive the best advice about which of the over 100 Canadian immigration and visa programs to apply for. Start your journey to immigrate to Canada as a French speaker today and join one of the most diverse and welcoming communities worldwide.
What is the process for applying to immigrate to Canada as a French-speaker?
The process for applying to immigrate to Canada as a French-speaker is relatively straightforward. The first step is to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system. This system is designed to assess your qualifications and eligibility for immigration to Canada. You must meet the criteria for one of the Federal Economic Class programs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class. Once you meet the criteria, you must complete an online profile and submit it to the Government of Canada.
If you are deemed eligible for immigration to Canada, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the Government of Canada. This is your chance to provide additional documents and information in order to proceed with the immigration process.
What is the language requirement for French-speakers immigrating to Canada?
To be eligible for immigration to Canada as a French-speaker, you must demonstrate proficiency in both French and English. You must provide language test results from a designated testing agency, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) in English as well as the Test d'évaluation de français (TEF) for French language.
Are there any other requirements for French-speakers immigrating to Canada?
In addition to language proficiency, you must also meet the other eligibility criteria for the specific program you have applied for. This includes criteria such as age, education, work experience, and other factors.