October 27, 2020—Ottawa—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that French-speaking and bilingual candidates will receive additional points under the Express Entry system. Express Entry is an online system used to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers. This change will help deliver on the government’s commitment to reach the target of 4.4% French-speaking immigrant admissions outside Quebec by 2023.
While French-speaking immigration to Canada outside of Quebec has been increasing, recent data indicates that existing selection tools will not be sufficient to reach the 4.4% target by 2023. Awarding additional points to candidates with strong French language skills via Express Entry could increase French-speaking immigrant admissions to the 4.4% target by 2023. Making progress towards reaching this target will be facilitated by an eventual easing of travel restrictions associated with the global pandemic.
The change announced today will see the current number of points increase from 15 to 25 for French-speaking candidates and from 30 to 50 for bilingual candidates. This comes after we initially awarded points in June 2017 to candidates with strong French language skills.
· In 2019, the percentage of French-speaking immigrants admitted to Canada outside Quebec reached 2.82%, an increase from previous years. We have also seen increases in the proportion of French speakers invited to apply each year. That proportion reached 5.6% in 2019, up from 4.5% in 2018.
· From 2003 to 2019, more than 60,000 French-speaking immigrants were admitted to Canada in communities outside Quebec, about 8,465 in 2019 alone.
· Under the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, IRCC is investing $40.8 million over 5 years to support the consolidation of a Francophone integration pathway and horizontal policy development.
· Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels.