In order to encourage new migrants and to support the growth of the Francophone community, the Honorable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in October 2020 announced that bilingual and French-speaking candidates would receive additional points under the Express Entry processing system.
The CRS scores of all profiles currently in the pool were then updated automatically before the next invitation round. This took about two weeks to implement.
We have made improvements to the Express Entry system.
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is an online system used to manage permanent residency applications for skilled workers. There are three programs under the Express Entry namely:
- Federal Skilled Workers Program
- Federal Skilled Trade Program
- Canadian Experience Class
Eligible candidates are then scored based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Points are given for human capital factors such as age, work experience, education, and language ability in English or French.
The highest-scoring candidates are then given the Invitation to Apply (ITAs) through regular Express Entry draws.
Once an applicant receives the ITA, only then can they apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) normally carry out Express Entry draws every two weeks.
In recent times, IRCC has been holding bigger draws than ever before. The draw on October 14, 2020, gave 4,500 ITAs to Express Entry candidates. As of June 30, 2021, there have been 88,715 ITAs issued.
The ratio of French-speakers invited to apply for permanent residence got to 5.6 percent in 2019, up from 4.5 percent in 2018.
In Canada, immigration is a responsibility shared between the federal and provincial governments, the permanent residency status can only be approved by the federal immigration department called IRCC.
Additional points to aid French-speaking migrants
Although French-speaking immigration to Canada beyond Quebec has been increasing, recent data indicates that existing screening tools will not be sufficient to reach the 4.4% target by 2023.
Awarding additional points to candidates with strong French language skills through Express Entry could increase French-speaking immigrant admissions to reach the 4.4% goal by 2023.
Progress towards this goal will be facilitated by an eventual loosening of restrictions on the travel associated with the global pandemic.
This change was aimed solely at meeting the government’s commitment to reach the target of 4.4% admissions of French-speaking immigrants beyond Quebec by the year 2023.
This initiative is a great opportunity for those people who by age, currently do not have enough points.
The announced change has increased the current number of points from 15 to 25 for French-speaking candidates and from 30 to 50 for bilingual candidates.
This comes after the initially awarded points in June 2017 to candidates with strong French language skills.
It is worth mentioning that in order to benefit from these points, you must have combinations between C1 and C2 levels of English and French, which practically means that the candidate must be completely bilingual in the official languages of Canada.