Francophone work-permit stream opens today

1 Jun 16

CANADA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The new Mobilité Francophone program – a work-permit stream for French-speaking foreign nationals intending to work outside of Quebec – opens today.

What does the change mean? Employers will be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment process when hiring French-speaking workers from abroad in managerial, professional and technical/skilled trades occupations in minority francophone communities outside of Quebec.

  • Implementation time frame: June 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: LMIA-exempt work permits under the International Mobility Program.
  • Who is affected: French-speaking foreign nationals intending to work outside of Quebec.
  • Business impact: The stream provides a significant benefit to companies hiring French-speaking foreign nationals as they may avoid the lengthy LMIA process.

Background: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is introducing the Mobilité Francophone stream to fulfill its target of expanding French-speaking immigration to 4 percent of all economic immigrants outside of Quebec by 2018 and 4.4 percent by 2023. A similar program was discontinued in 2014.

Foreign nationals will be eligible if they have been recruited through a francophone immigration promotional event coordinated between the federal government and francophone minority communities, are destined to work in a province or territory outside of Quebec, and are qualified in a job with a National Occupation Classification of O, A or B. Foreign applicants may not apply within Canada; initial applications must be submitted online or through an overseas mission.

Employers must submit an offer of employment and pay the employer compliance fee. Although the offer of employment does not require French language ability, the IRCC officer must be satisfied that the applicant’s habitual language is French.

BAL Analysis: The stream provides an option for employers extending job offers to eligible francophone or bilingual foreign workers in skilled jobs outside of Quebec without having to prove that qualified Canadian workers are unavailable for the role. Individuals with a work permit under the Mobilité Francophone stream will acquire Canadian work experience that can help them earn points under the Express Entry scoring system for permanent residency.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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