This morning, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller announced a series of initiatives that will support Francophone immigration outside of Quebec.
The measures include a new Francophone immigration policy, the renewal and expansion of the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiatives, a new program to support Francophone immigration, and the implementation of the Action Plan for Official Languages.
The Minister said the new Francophone immigration policy will promote the growth of Francophone minority communities and increasing the weight of these communities. The policy includes measures such as promotion and recruitment support efforts in order to address labour shortages.
Through the renewal of the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiatives, 14 Canadian communities will continue to receive funding to help integrate French-speaking newcomers. The initiative will be expanded to allow the Canadian Government to select up to 10 more Canadian communities that will be able to support French-speaking newcomer integration.
The new Francophone Immigration Support Program will fund projects that will work to eliminate barriers to Francophone immigration.
Finally, the Minister highlighted that the target of 4.4% French speaking residents admissions outside of Quebec was surpassed in December of 2023, reaching about 4.7%. IRCC has previously announced that this target is 6% for 2024, 7% in 2025 and 8$ for 2026.
“Francophone immigration plays a crucial role in strengthening our national identity," he said. "The numerous measures we are implementing will attract skilled Francophone workers who will support the economic and cultural development of these communities. Our efforts to ensure the successful reception and integration of French-speaking newcomers support our unwavering commitment to restoring and increasing the demographic weight of Francophone minority communities.”
Francophone immigration targets initiatives
In 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced new selection criteria for candidates applying through Canada’s Express Entry system of programs (including the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)).
Among these new selection criteria (which focused primarily on professional experience of candidates within in-demand occupations in Canada) were candidates who held proficiency in French. Individuals eligible for this category would need to prove a proficiency in French equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 or higher, in reading, listening, writing and speaking.