Today, Canada’s immigration minister announced a significant expansion of the Francophone Mobility Program which will make it easier for more French-speaking individuals to come and obtain work permits to work in Canada.
The Francophone Mobility Program was originally launched in 2016 to promote Francophone immigration to Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec, it exempts Canadian employers (outside of Quebec) from having to go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment system, making it much easier for them to hire French-speaking workers from abroad.
Today’s changes significantly expand the program for a period of two years by:
- Making it available to candidates with a moderate command of French speaking and listening (i.e. NCLC 5 or higher). Previously, applicants had to show that French was their habitual language of daily use – i.e. NCLC level 7 or higher.
- Opening it to all occupations (except jobs in primary agriculture). Previously, the Francophone Mobility Program was only available when Canadian employers were offering “high-skilled” jobs.
With this expansion of the program, the government has also introduced a requirement for proof of French language ability. Proof of French language ability can include:
- A French evaluation test
- A diploma or degree from a French-language college or university
- A document confirming studies at a French-language institution
While this is a work-permit program and not a direct or sure path towards permanent residence, it is hoped that obtaining a work permit through the Francophone Mobility Program might allow many individuals to gain the type of Canadian work experience that may allow them to qualify for permanent residence.
While the program is open to virtually all occupations and no longer requires that the offered work be considered “high-skilled”, applicants who hope to later qualify for permanent residence should be mindful that some types of work experience will be more likely to support permanent residence than others; for example, individuals whose Canadian work experience is considered “low-skilled” will generally have very limited opportunity to qualify for permanent residence.
The full announcement regarding the expansion of the Francophone Mobility Program can be found here.