Why is French language ability an advantage for Canadian immigrants?

Canadian French Immigration

Why is French language ability an advantage for Canadian immigrants?

Those who pay attention to recent Canadian immigration news may find that since 2024, French has become a hot spot for Canadian immigration.
Let us focus on two facts. First, when the EE score exceeded the 530-point mark, the French orientation score was still over 300 points. Then, IRCC announced the establishment of the French Community Immigration Pilot Project (FCIP) to recruit talents for the French community. Did you see it? Canada is actively recruiting permanent residents with French skills!


Why does Canada attach so much importance to French-speaking immigrants? Here’s why.

Canada is a bilingual country. English and French are both official languages, but English is the dominant language in most areas. In order to balance the influence of the two languages, the Canadian Federation released the “2023-2028 Official Language Action Plan” on April 26, 2023.

The federal government plans to invest 4.1 billion in the next five years to promote the development of Canada’s official languages. The first priority is: increasing the number of French-speaking people by attracting French-speaking immigrants!


On November 6, 2023, Immigration Minister Miller said when celebrating Canadian French Immigration Week, “French Immigration Week is an opportunity for Canada to celebrate cultural diversity. Diversity and tolerance make Canada shine. The Canadian government is committed to protecting the French language and supporting Quebec French-speaking communities outside of Canada. We still have a lot of work to do to continue to attract more French-speaking immigrants, which is a key priority for the immigration department in the coming years.

In the 2024-2026 three-year immigration plan released by IRCC, the latest annual targets for French-speaking new immigrants outside Quebec were announced: 6% in 2024, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026. The proportion that increases year by year reflects Canada’s determination to increase French-speaking immigrants.
Note the emphasis here: outside Quebec. Canada is not satisfied with only accepting French-speaking permanent residents in Quebec. They also hope that other provinces will also accept French-speaking immigrants.

So what are the federal and provincial immigration channels suitable for applicants who are fluent in French?

EE French language proficiency

The EE French orientation Stream is a subcategory under the Canadian federal Express Entry orientation category. Like technical occupations and health care, the invitation score is relatively low. The EE French orientation only requires French proficiency. The application conditions are as follows:

  • You must meet the basic entry requirements for Express Entry EE, including at least one year of work experience;
  • French proficiency CLB7 or above;
  • reside outside Quebec;

Ontario’s Express Entry French-speaking Skilled Worker

This project is established by the Ontario Provincial Nominee for English-French bilingual workers. All conditions are the same as the Provincial Nominee Express Entry, but the language requirements have changed to CLB 6 in English and CLB 7 in French. The invitation score for this project is low, with the lowest draw score on January 18 being 317 points.


New Brunswick Strategic Plan

The project is on hold and is scheduled to reopen in 2024. The application conditions are as follows:

  • Age 19-55 years old;
  • High school degree or above;
  • Meet the EOI passing score for NB provincial nomination, 65 points;
  • NCLC level 5 in French, no requirement for English;
  • 2 years of work experience in the past 5 years;
  • Connect with NB Province:
  • Have exploratory visits to NB for more than 5 days in the past year. The purpose of the visit can be to visit employers, real estate agents, settlement service agencies, children’s schools, etc.;
  • Obtain a job offer from an employer in NB;
  • Positions that meet the economic development needs of NB Province;

Nova Scotia labor market priority Stream

New Province’s labor market priority category conducts irregular draws, and sometimes French-speaking candidates are drawn. However, their lottery standards are not uniform, and the required French proficiency ranges from CLB7 to CLB10.

The last draw for French talents was on November 7, 2022. CLB 10 in French and CLB 7 in English are required.

Alberta Express Entry French Talent Targeted Stream

Like Nova Scotia, Alberta’s French-language orientation categories hold irregular draws, but their language standards are fixed. This project needs to meet the common conditions for the Alberta Express Entry nomination, with a minimum CRS score of 300 points and French proficiency of CLB7.

Other provinces do not have separate projects specifically for French-speaking talents, but there are bonus points for candidates with bilingual skills in English and French. For example, BCPNP adds 10 points for bilingual skills (CLB4 and above).

Francophone Community Immigration Pilot Program (FCIP)

This is one of the two pilot projects proposed by IRCC on March 6, 2024, with the purpose of helping employers in the French-speaking community obtain labor in critical occupations that are in short supply and inject new vitality into the Canadian French-speaking community. The project will begin in the fall of 2024.

It can be seen from various measures that vigorously accepting French-speaking talents is a new trend in Canadian immigration, and it is not a temporary phenomenon. But don’t forget that French is still relatively difficult. Applicants need to make choices based on their own circumstances. Don’t blindly join a new track and lose your competitiveness.

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