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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Mobilité Francophone

and immigration to Canada

by Michael Scott

What is Mobilité Francophone and why is it important to all Canadians? First, it is important not to lose sight that Canada is a country with two official languages, English and French, and second, that the official working language of the province of Quebec is French. Also, there are francophone communities throughout Canada. In Winnipeg we have St. Boniface and outside the city, towns like Notre Dame de Lourdes or St. Jean Baptiste. Third federal and provincial immigration programs often give special considerations to French speaking applicants destined for communities outside of Quebec, and this is where Mobilité Francophone fits in.

On June 1, 2016 IRCC Minister John McCallum announced a new measure to recruit foreign nationals to come to French speaking communities across the land, outside Quebec itself. La belle provence has it’s own immigration program. He spoke about collaborating with Francophone minority communities and organization to ensure that they would be able to bring in temporary workers, exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment. It will be easier for employers in these communities to hire qualified French-speaking applicants from abroad. “Immigration, both temporary and permanent, has a role to play in supporting vital, vibrant Francophone minority communities anywhere across Canada,” Minister McCallum said. “Mobilité Francophone benefits the employers, the newcomers and the minority communities and it enhances our diverse nation.”

OFWs with a Mobilité Francophone temporary work permit will be able to stay in Canada long enough to acquire Canadian work experience. It will help them qualify for permanent residency and increase the chance for selection – an “invitation to apply” – in either the provinces’ nomination programs like that in Manitoba or through the federal Express Entry system. “The implementation of Mobilité Francophone is very good news,” noted Ms Sylviane Lanthier, president of the FCFA, “since the specific objectives is to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants settling in our communities.”

Potential applicants must demonstrate their French language proficiency, which is similar to that required for English language speakers. Potential francophone applicants must provide results of an approved language test such as the Test d’evaluation de français (TEF), which scores similarly to the IELTS General or CELPIP. They will be graded under the familiar four categories reading, listening, writing and speaking: compréhension de l’écrit, compréhension de l’oral, expression écrite et l’expression orale. The results are then graded in terms of CLBT equivalency as part of the assessment process, such as the federal CRS (comprehensive grading system), within Express Entry.

What should this news release mean to expatriate communities who speak third languages, such as Tagalog, which is one of the fastest growing third languages in Canada according Statistics Canada? It means that there are increased chances for immigration if your friends or families abroad are conversant in French. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of French speaking applicants from the Peoples Republic of China because of the option of applying through the Quebec immigration program. “Vous parlez français” is not just a good place to start a conversation but also a reminder to potential applicants. Canada is still a country of two languages and applicants can obtain extra assessment points and other advantages for knowing either or both of Canada’s official languages.

Michael Scott BA (Hon), MA, is a 30-year veteran of Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program who works as an immigration associate with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.

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