Move to Canada as a French Speaker

Move to Canada as a French Speaker

The Mobilité Francophone: Bringing French to Western Canada


Think of French-speaking Canada and your first thought probably goes to Quebec. As the country’s only province where French is the official language, that’s a natural response.

And while there are French speakers throughout the country, Quebec is the beating heart of the language and resulting community in Canada. Yet, despite its size, its location confines most of the French-centric business and community to the east coast. However, change is on the horizon, as the launch of the Government of Canada’s attempt to immigrate the French language west across the country.

The Mobilité Francophone program was initiated by the government in order to help spread the use of the French language and francophone culture across the country to the west coast of Canada and build up minority francophone communities outside of Quebec.

The details of the program mean that French-speaking foreigners are able to move to French speaking communities and integrate their language and cultured into thew community further.

As a result, this helps to spread the commonality of French as a day-to-day language of social interaction and commercialism beyond the limits of Quebec. However, unlike many other Canadian Governmental schemes to encourage movement of people, the Mobilité francophone does not allow applicants to remain in Canada permanently, rather they can only stay for a finite amount of time, which is dependent on the location and role that they are applying to or appointed for.

Immigrate to Canada with the Mobilité Francophone Program


In order to join the program, an applicant must prove that they can speak French fluently and that they are using it in everyday life, even though the roles they may be applying for do not necessarily require a francophone to fill the position or would not ordinarily if offered outside of the scheme.

French language proficiency can be proven by either taking one of the two government approved French tests, or by providing documents such as school reports or diplomas – proof that the applicant has lived in a French speaking country for a substantial period of time.

Equally, the companies taking part in the scheme must ensure that the jobs they are offering applicants have what is known as a National Occupation Classification TEER code of either 0, 1, or 2.

TEER code 0 jobs are those that are executive or managerial level employees, TEER code 1 is for professional occupations such as doctors, lawyers or teachers, and TEER code 2 includes trade or technical occupations, or occupations that require at least a small level of post-secondary education or training.

However, the government does provide a list of occupations it considers too low skilled to be part of the Mobilité Francophone program, as not ever trade or technical job meets the necessary inclusion requirements.

Benefits of Mobilité Francophone


The benefits of such a scheme mean that the spread of French and francophone influence would extend outwards beyond the limits of Quebec and across the country, so that many more people would be encouraged to speak French generally and take an interest in Canadian French culture, as well as contributing to it.

It is also beneficial for those French speaks who have an interest in staying finitely in Canada outside of the Quebec region and wish to see more of the country than the province provides. The Mobilité Francophone can also be a gateway into obtaining permanent Canadian citizenship for those who are interested, as anyone applying will already be in a highly qualified role already within the Canadian workforce and have access to the Express Entry immigration program that the Government runs to expedite skilled workers wishing to immigrate.

Mobilité Francophone Express Entry


Those who are bilingual French and English speakers often have an increased chance of success in the Express Entry program than those who are monolingual in either language. Bilingualism is a highly desirable and valued skill, especially in Canada where both languages are part of the national identity and daily citizen life, and both French and English proficiency provide a higher number of points which are awarded to individual applicants as part of the Express Entry vetting and selection process.

Bilingual skills are also highly valued as part of the Provincial Nominee Programs which are an alternative way of permanently immigrating, where a territory or province can put forward an applicant who wishes to live and work in that province to the government as someone, they believe will benefit the community if allowed to gain permanent Canadian residency.

How to Apply for Mobilité Francophone


The application process for the Mobilité Francophone is not straightforward, the criteria are high, and the job experience or education level is also high to qualify as an applicant, as previously stated. This can limit the pool of candidates further, and the French fluency requirement, regardless of whether the desired job role needs it may put off some people who are both French and English speaking, as they may see it as redundant to have bilingual fluency, or partial fluency, unless French is the regular language which they speak within their own homes.

Many of the workplaces in Western Canada that use the scheme, do not use French at all as part of their working environment Having said that, the opposite could also be considered to be true for those in Quebec as to the need to speak English.

Overall, the strategy of the Mobilité Francophone is positive, and a good idea to ensure that the French influence in Canada does not stop at the borders of Quebec. Although there can be some issues in the process of applying and achieving a position, ultimately the scheme is positive for the language, the individual and the communities that are united as a result.

The Mobilité Francophone program aims to keep Canadian French alive, recruiting new, habitual French speakers to Canada to work and help create and reaffirm communities outside of Quebec where French is the primary language spoken. These communities, while smaller than cities such ad Montreal have been developing all across Canada, helping to preserve language and create a whole new culture of their own.

The Ontario French Stream

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (ONIP) has a specific initiative known as the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream Program which allows individuals who speak French to gain a work visa in Ontario.

The program provides Ontario’s immigration authorities the power to nominate individuals for the Express Entry pool to the province. These individuals must possess both English and French speaking abilities.

The Ontario province aims to welcome more French-speaking immigrants. Ontario already has over 500,000 Francophone immigrants already living there. The addition of French-speaking immigrants is to complement the existing population of Francophones living in Ontario.

Successful applicants to the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream Program obtain 600 Comprehensive Ranking System points and are then given an Invitation to Apply for permanent Canadian residency.

Compared to other visa programs offered by Canadian immigration authorities, the French-Speaking Stream Program is open to individuals regardless of having or not having a job offer. An individual’s application is based on their “human capital credentials”. Authorities put an emphasis on the English-French speaking and language abilities of candidates.


Ontario French Stream Requirements


To be eligible for the Express Entry of the Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, applicants must:


  • Create a valid profile in the Express Entry pool
  • Be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) or the CEC
  • Exhibit an interest to immigrate to Ontario in the Express Entry program


Applicants must meet specific work and education criteria too. The criteria for work and education include:


  • At least one year of work experience within the past five years
  • At least one year of work experience within the past three years
  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • A minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark with a Level 7 in French
  • Desire to live in Ontario
  • Meet the minimum financial requirements


Ontario French Stream Visa Application Process


The Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream Program’s process can take as few as 12 months to complete. It can take longer and not all applicants can complete the entire process within 12 months.


Applicants must complete the following tasks to gain entry to Canada as part of the French Stream:


  • Create and maintain an Express Entry profile
  • Meet all criteria for the Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream Program
  • Receive a NOI from the OINP
  • Within 45 day of receiving a NOI, applicants must get the OINP certificate
  • Obtain a provincial nomination from the OINP
  • Obtain 600 additional CRS points
  • Submit an application for permanent residence within 60 days
  • Obtain permanent residency in Canada

Other ways to move to Canada as a French Speaker


While Canada is a bilingual country, it has seen a decline in its population of French-speaking people in recent years. This is particularly a problem outside Quebec. Since Quebec is the only Canadian province that has French as the only official language, it is the most attractive option for Canadian French speakers.


International Experience Canada 


This is a program that allows young foreigners to travel to and work in Canada. The program has 3 streams:


  • Working holiday – this closed work permit doesn’t require you to have a job offer. Since it does not require you to work for one employer or work in one location, this is a great option for those who want to earn some money as they travel


  • International Co-op (IEC) – this is an internship program for students that forms part of their academic requirements. It is usually tied to one employer


  • Young Professionals – this is a work permit that’s usually tied to a job offer in the applicant’s field of work.


Express Entry


Run by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), the Express Entry program awards points for high proficiency in French. What’s more?  Candidates who are proficient in both English and French get more points. For instance, applicants who have a Canadian Language Benchmark  (CLB) of level 5 in English and level 7 in French get an extra 15 points.


Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)


Through the Provincial Nominee Program, Canadian provinces manage their own unique immigration programs. Some have designed streams to recruit French-speaking immigrants. Some even go as far as helping the immigrants integrate into the local Francophone communities. Provinces that have streams designed for French speakers include:


  • Ontario – this province’s Immigrant Nominee Program has a stream called Ontario French -speaking Skilled Worker Stream. It helps French-speaking skilled Express Entry candidates to live and work in the province permanently.


  • Nova Scotia – this province’s Provincial Nominee Program has a Labor Market Priorities Stream that usually invites French-speaking Express Entry candidates to apply


Ultimately, many Provincial Nomination Programs consider French just as important as English.


Rural and Northern Immigration 


Through this pilot program, the Canadian government is trying to encourage immigrants to move to the rural and remote parts of British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. By far the most interesting thing about this pilot is that it allows community members to directly support the immigration of a skilled worker.


Due to this, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canadian Government have been encouraging Francophone communities to participate. One of the key ways that the IRCC will assess participants is by looking at any French language services that the community will avail to the French-speaking immigrants.

Migration Consultant Alexander King
Migration Consultant at Migration Consultant LLC | Website

Alexander King is a leading authority in the field of migration, holding a prominent role as a Head of Compliance at Migration Consultant LLC ( With years of expertise under his belt, King has guided countless individuals and families on their journey to immigrating to Australia and Canada, shaping countless lives with his professional advice and in-depth knowledge of immigration law and procedures.

His profound understanding of the complexities of immigration coupled with his unparalleled skills in tackling these challenges has earned him a reputation as a trusted expert in his field. This expertise is shared in his groundbreaking book, "How to Immigrate to Canada," a comprehensive guide designed to streamline the process for those aspiring to call Canada their new home.

King's dedicated, compassionate approach to helping others stems from his own experiences. Born and raised in a multicultural community, he grew up witnessing the struggles and triumphs of people striving to start new lives in new countries. This drove his passion for guiding others through their immigration journey, a passion that he pours into his work and writing.

Authoring "How to Immigrate to Canada" has been an endeavor close to his heart. King hopes that through his words, he can demystify the often daunting process of immigration, making it accessible and achievable for everyone.