Additional Express Entry Points for French-Speakers to Immigrate to Canada

April 13, 2021


  • Nicky Van Zyl

Recent changes to Canada’s Express Entry immigration system will increase French-speaking candidates’ chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and immigrating to Canada. Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, announced that French-speaking and bilingual candidates will receive additional points under the Express Entry system. This follows shortly after the equally as exciting news that Canada plans to welcome 400, 000 newcomers each year for the next 3 years. Learn more about how you can be one of more than 1-million new residents of Canada by 2023. 

Why French-speakers Are Celebrating Express Entry Changes

A few more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points can make all the difference in receiving an ITA or staying in the Express Entry pool of candidates. French-speaking candidates will now receive 25 additional points for their French language skills, up from 15. Bilingual candidates will now get 50 points, compared to 30 from before. The change will help Canada reach its intake of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec, up from 2.82% in previous years.  In light of National Francophone Immigration Week, Canada’s Immigration Minister tweeted his support for the initiative and welcomed French speakers across the world to apply to immigrate to Canada.

More than 60,000 French-speaking immigrants from countries such as Belgium, Senegal, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Switzerland came to Canada between 2003 and 2019. Canada is a bilingual country with English and French being its two official languages. About 7.2 million Canadians speak French out of a population of 37 million. With the help of the new immigration targets, the country aims to improve the French minority communities outside of Quebec by preserving the culture and increasing economic growth.   

Express Entry: How to Immigrate to Canada as a French-Speaker 

The Express Entry is an immigration system used by the federal government of Canada to select eligible skilled foreign workers for permanent residency from an online pool of candidates. It’s suitably called Express Entry because the system processes applications for permanent residency in a record time of 6 months.  Candidates in the Express Entry pool are scored against a points-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Each candidate is given a score for eligibility criteria such as their age, amount of work experience, English or French language proficiency, level of education, their spouses’ credentials, etc. The highest-scoring candidates receive Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in bi-weekly draws. If a candidate receives an ITA they can formally apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to move to Canada.  It’s important to note that the Express Entry system manages three Federal Skilled Worker Programs. Learn more about each program and their minimum requirements below:
Express Entry Program Minimum Requirements
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) Skilled foreign workers with at least 1-year of work experience in NOC A, O, or B.  Minimum of secondary education (high-school). CLB level 7 for all language abilities in French or English or both.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) Skilled foreign workers with at least 2-years of work experience in NOC  B. Valid job offer OR a certificate of qualification in your trade issued by a Canadian authority. CLB level 5 for speaking and listening and CLB level 4 for reading and writing in either French or English or both.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Skilled foreign workers with at least 1-year of Canadian work experience in NOC A, O, or B.  Minimum of secondary education (high-school). CLB level 7 for all language abilities in French or English or both.

National Occupation Classification (NOC) Codes

Jobs in which workers from overseas have experience are grouped in different categories based on the type of duties and responsibilities. The main groups are:  NOC A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, such as doctors, dentists, architects NOC 0: management jobs such as restaurant managers, mine managers, and IT managers NOC B: technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as plumbers, electricians, and chefs

How to Work in Canada as a French-Speaker?

Business men working
Francophones and French-speakers who would like to work in Canada temporarily and outside of Quebec can apply through the International Mobility Program (IMP) for an employer-specific work permit. You must have a job offer from an employer in Canada and an offer of employment number. You may also be asked to prove your language abilities by completing either a TEF or TCF language test. Even better, you could qualify for 2-week application processing if your job is at the NOC 0 or A level!  Your employer must submit an offer of employment to IRCC and pay a $230 employer compliance fee. Working in Canada is a great way to adapt to Canadian culture and gain significant work experience that will make the move to Canada easier and quicker. 

How We Can Help You

You should not think twice about immigrating to Canada if you’re a French-speaker because Canada will welcome you with open arms. The important thing is to submit a complete and optimized application to the right immigration program - we can help. MDC is a leading immigration agency situated in Vancouver that provides professional services to our international clients to help them succeed in their goals of living and working in Canada.  We have a team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are in good standing with the Canadian government and may legally handle the entire intricate visa application process on your behalf to ensure the best results possible! Click on the link below to start your journey with industry experts.