Canada has two official languages of equal status: French and English. In its commitment to maintaining and increasing the use of the French language, and to ensure that French language communities prosper throughout Canada, the federal government has modified and created immigration pathways for French speakers to settle outside the province of Québec, where most Francophones in Canada reside. While many French-speaking immigrants may wish to settle in Québec, it is worth considering other provinces and territories as well, since French speakers wishing to immigrate have a great advantage over non-French-speakers.
The government has been increasing its target for French-speaking immigrants. The target of 4.4% French speakers outside of Quebec in 2023 was surpassed, and for 2024 this target will be 6%, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026.
In the points-based Express Entry immigration system, people who are bilingual in French and English are awarded more points. Further, those with strong French skills but basic English skills get more points than those with strong English skills but basic French skills. If you are fluent in both, you have a big advantage.
Since 2023, the federal government has also performed targeted Express Entry draws just for Francophones. Francophones are very much in demand, as the government has performed these draws more than any other draw for in-demand occupations, such as skilled trades, healthcare, STEM, transportation, and agriculture.
Outside of Québec, almost all permanent residence programs by the provincial and territorial governments also favour Francophones. Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have targeted programs just for French speakers while the other provinces and territories award extra points for French speakers.
Additionally, for foreigners wishing to work or those wishing to hire workers, the Mobilité Francophone work permit is now easier to obtain than before. The language score requirement has been loosened so that those with an intermediate level of French may be eligible. A job offer is required, but now any job at any skill level outside of agriculture is eligible. Previously, only high-skilled jobs were eligible. With a Mobilité Francophone work permit, a person’s Canadian work experience can count for points towards their permanent residence, offering another pathway towards immigrating permanently to Canada.
If you would like to know more about the French immigration programs or would like to assess your or an employee’s eligibility, reach out to one of our Canadian immigration legal professionals today. We can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.