Enhancing Francophone Immigration: Changes to the Francophone Mobility Program
In a recent announcement, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), unveiled significant changes to the Francophone Mobility Program. These measures are effective as of June 15th, 2023 and aim to provide more opportunities for French-speaking foreign nationals to obtain Canadian work permits and potentially gain permanent residence to Canada.
The Francophone Mobility Program provides French speaking foreign nationals, with a valid Canadian job offer outside of Quebec, a work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Work permits are valid for up to three years and can be extended, provided the worker still holds a valid job offer and can demonstrate their French language proficiency.
Prior to the June 15th announcement, foreign nationals were required to prove French is their habitual language, achieving a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 or higher in their French ability. Furthermore, only those with skilled job offers could participate.
Expanded to all Skill Levels
As of June 15th, the Francophone Mobility Program includes moderate French language proficiency candidates with a Canadian job offer in any TEER category of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) System, with the exception of primary agriculture. This means that Canadian employers seeking to fill low or semi-skilled positions can now take advantage of this program. All candidates are eligible for a work permit valid up to 3 years with the possibility of extensions, provided they still meet the minimum French language proficiency.
Updated French Language Proficiency Criteria
Foreign nationals applying for a work permit must possess a moderate command of the French language, specifically for oral comprehension and oral expression. This requirement corresponds to a CLB level 5 proficiency.
Acceptable proof of French language proficiency may include French evaluation test results, French competencies tests, diplomas or degrees from French-language institutions, or documents confirming studies at French-language educational institutions.
Benefits for French-Speaking Immigrants and Communities
The enhancements to the Francophone Mobility Program offer numerous advantages for both foreign nationals and Francophone minority communities across Canada. By opening doors to individuals with moderate French language skills, the program creates opportunities for foreign nationals to gain Canadian work experience, which can be a stepping stone towards permanent residency.
To learn more, please contact our immigration team.