Immigration Support for French Speakers

Earlier this year, Canada announced that a massive $40.8 million in funding has been allocated to the Action Plan for Official Languages: Investing in Our Future initiative. Of this budget, $12.6 million has been used to create an initiative, known as the Francophone Immigration Strategy, which is set to be implemented over a 3 year period. It is aimed at creating programs and activities to support and integrate French-speaking newcomers who would like to immigrate to Canada. With this comprehensive plan set in motion, the Canadian Government not only hopes to contribute to the diversity of the country but also to promote the official languages of the country, especially in minority communities.

There are 14 Welcoming Francophone Communities which fall under the program:

  • Prince George (British Columbia);
  • Calgary (Alberta);
  • Moose Jaw and Gravelbourg (Saskatchewan);
  • Seine River Region (Manitoba);
  • Hamilton (Ontario);
  • Hawkesbury (Ontario);
  • Sudbury (Ontario);
  • Labrador City-Wabush (Newfoundland and Labrador);
  • Haut-Saint-Jean (New Brunswick);
  • Municipality of Clare (Nova Scotia);
  • Évangeline Region (Prince Edward Island);
  • Whitehorse (Yukon);
  • Yellowknife (Northwest Territories); and
  • Iqaluit (Nunavut)

Visit our blog here for the top 5 francophone destination choices and more information on why you should consider immigrating to Canada as a French-speaker.

How Does the Francophone Immigration Strategy Benefit French-speaking Nationals?

French woman walking down street with baguettes and flowers in Canada

The Francophone Immigration Strategy is a collaborative approach, partnering with federal, provincial, territorial and community partners and is a testament to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen’s, dedication towards supporting Canada’s labour and community needs.

In the past 6 months, 4.5% of candidates who were invited to apply for permanent residency under the Express Entry System where French-speakers. This indicates a 1.6% increase compared to 2017, which only saw 2.9% invitations issued. The projected target is to increase Francophone immigration to 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec by 2023, thereby strengthening the capacity of these communities.

These momentous investments have already received an effusive response amongst French-speaking newcomers and are constantly looking for ways to improve and expand its initiatives, such as the introduction of the Francophone Integration Pathway, which is designed to offer settlement services to immigrants nationwide. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced an approach focused on supporting French-speaking candidates in their hopes of immigrating to Canada. This approach offers a number of benefits geared specifically at French-speaking nationals in the following ways:

1. Express Entry System Offers Additional Points

Those with strong French- and English-language skills are awarded extra points, which almost definitely ensures success in the application process.

2. Improved Access to French Tests

A second French-language tester has been assigned to language proficiency tests. This tester has been designated specifically for candidates applying under economic immigration programs. This not only assists in making these tests more accessible but also more affordable.

3. Support for Temporary Residents

In June 2016, the Mobilité Francophone stream was launched, allowing French-speaking foreign nationals, including international students and temporary workers, to find employment and gain the necessary work experience needed to qualify for permanent residency.

4. Accessibility of Public Services

Public services in various sectors have been provided, in French, in order to improve sustainability and retention of French-speaking nationals into these communities. Access to settlement services helps to improve social integration as well as build long-lasting connections with their community. Below are some of the services offered:

Top 5 Settlement Services Offered to French-Speaking Nationals
Access to affordable housing;
Access to enhanced employment opportunities;
Access to healthcare;
Access to education; and
Presence of family and social networks.

5. Increased Employer Engagement

Newcomers who are fluent in both official languages are more likely to find employment, earn a higher salary and have greater potential for growth in earnings than other immigrants. The government has also made a concerted effort to improve information services in order to assist employers interested in recruiting French-speaking skilled workers. By helping employers to navigate the immigration system, more employment opportunities have been made available to these newcomers.

6. Study in French

French-speaking nationals have the added bonus of receiving a world-class education in French at some of the most prestigious institutions in Canada. For more information on eligibility and criteria, visit our blog here.

7. Promotion of Diversity and Inclusiveness

A number of pilot projects have been launched to support the vitality of Francophone and Acadian communities outside of Quebec. These campaigns help to successfully integrate newcomers into their communities.

8. Programs Specifically Aimed at French-speakers

Some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP’s) have categories designed specifically for French-speaking nationals. For example, the Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, which falls under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), gives French-speaking immigrants with strong English language abilities the opportunity to apply for employment and residency in the province.

Canadian flag waving with Parliament Buildings hill in the background Ottawa Ontario Canada

With all these benefits on offer, why waste any time in actualising your aspirations of relocating Canada. Your linguistic duality is an asset that gives you an edge in the immigration process and our knowledgeable RCIC professionals are standing by to guide you in your choice of over 70 programs. The immigration process can be complex and confusing but with us by your side, it no longer has to be. Simply sign up for your assessment today and optimize your chances of success in applying for your Canadian visa.