June 11, 2018 – Canada has created a Francophone Immigration Policy Hub in its latest bid to increase the number of French-speaking new permanent residents.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada hopes the move will allow better coordination of attempts to increase Francophone immigration.
It is designed to improve communication between federal, provincial and territorial officials on ways to hit Francophone immigration targets.
A key task of the hub will be to finalize a departmental strategy on how to hit Francophone immigration targets.
The aim is to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec to 4.4 per cent of all immigrants by 2023.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in March 2018 the Canadian government would spend an extra $40.8 million over five years on Francophone immigration.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said: “The department is committed to working in collaboration with Francophone organizations and institutions to ensure that our immigration strategy reflects the needs of Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec.”
How Is Canada Boosting Francophone Immigration?
- Mobilite Francophone
Under Mobilite Francophone, certain high-skilled workers with French language ability are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment requirements. Mobilite Francophone is a specific stream under the International Mobility Program and can be used to support a permanent job offer under Express Entry.
- Additional Express Entry points
In June 2017, up to 30 additional Express Entry points were made available for candidates with strong French language skills.
- Annex to Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement
An annex to the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement announcement in April 2018 will see a focus on welcoming French-speaking immigrants to Canada’s largest province. Ontario has recently been conducted weekly draws for its French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream.
- Several Other Provincial Programs
Several of Canada’s provincial immigration programs have policies aimed at fast-tracking French-speaking candidates.
Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec
- Promoting awareness of Francophone immigration opportunities, immigration pathways and settlement services to prospective French-speaking applicants;
- Increasing employer engagement in French-speaking immigrant recruitment and employment;
- Increasing the availability, awareness and accessibility of French language services; and
- Supporting diverse and inclusive Francophone communities.
The Action Plan supports the following outcomes:
- an increased number of French-speaking immigrants settling in Canada outside Quebec;
- an increased participation rate of French-speaking immigrants in local labour markets; and
- an increased participation rate of French-speaking immigrants in broader communities and social networks.
Francophone immigration numbers fell far short of the Canadian federal government’s ambitious target in 2016.
Just 4,400 French-speaking immigrants, or 1.8 per cent of total, settled outside Quebec in 2016, despite several policies aimed at increasing the numbers.
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