Ottawa Makes it Easier for Francophones to Work Outside Quebec

A change in the eligibility requirements for the Mobilité Francophone stream of the International Mobility Program will allow Canadian employers outside the province of Quebec to hire French-speaking workers more easily than before.

The following criterion has been removed from the program delivery instructions and is no longer an eligibility requirementThe foreign national has been recruited through a francophone immigration promotional event coordinated between the federal government and francophone-minority communities.

With this change, the recruiting process under Mobilité Francophone just became easier for employers and workers alike.

The Mobilité Francophone stream was established last year in order to help francophone communities outside Quebec enhance their distinct character. In launching the initiative, the federal government noted that businesses would benefit from being able to serve clients in French and English, as well as potentially tap into new markets or new international networks.

As Mobilité Francophone forms part of the International Mobility Program, employers hiring under this stream do not have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the hiring takes place.

Under Mobilité Francophone, the following conditions must be met:

  • The applicant will live and work outside the province of Quebec.
  • The applicant uses French as a habitual language on a daily basis.
    • Assessment of an applicant’s language ability is at the Visa Officer’s discretion.
    • If it is not clear in the initial application that the applicant has the requisite proficiency in French, the Test d’Evaluation Du Français (TEF) may be required. In this case, a result of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or higher is the threshold that must be met by the applicant.

Canadian employers interested in recruiting through Mobilité Francophone should take note of the following:

  • The employer must submit an offer of employment before a work permit application is made. Offers of employment made under the International Mobility Program are submitted through the Employer Portal.
  • The job offer made to the foreign worker must be for a skilled position. Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) system for classifying different occupations lists skilled work as level 0, A or B.
    • Skill level 0: Management jobs.
    • Skill level A: Professional jobs. Workers typically need a university degree in order to be hired for these jobs.
    • Skill level B: Technical jobs and skilled trades. Workers typically need a college diploma or apprentice training to be hired for these jobs.
  • The offer of employment does not have to require French language ability under the job description. However, the worker must have French language ability (see the section above to learn more).
  • An employer compliance fee of $230 is required for each job offer made through the Employer Portal. Once this has been paid, the job offer number may then be transmitted to the applicant (foreign worker), who submits the work permit application.
  • Visa Officers may issue an LMIA-exempt work permit that is valid for the duration of the offer of employment, or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier.