January 15, 2024

Canada’s Plan for a Strong Francophone Community: Immigration 2024-2026

Canada, known for its commitment to diversity, is charting a distinctive course in its Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026. The plan, unveiled by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), reflects a strategic push to welcome a growing number of French-speaking Permanent Residents (PRs) outside Quebec. In 2025, the target is set at 31,500, rising to 36,000 in 2026. Let's embark on a comprehensive exploration of this intriguing shift and the underlying motivations.

Decoding the Immigration Levels Plan

The annual Immigration Levels Plan is akin to a roadmap, guiding the nation on the number of new PRs to be admitted over the next three years. This roadmap is divided into three crucial classes: economic, family, and refugee/humanitarian. While the overall admissions target remains steady at 500,000 for both 2025 and 2026, a singular category stands out with a projected increase - French-speaking PRs outside Quebec.

A Unique Surge in French-speaking PR Admissions

In a distinctive move, IRCC foresees a notable rise of 4,500 in the admissions target for "overall French-speaking Permanent Resident Admissions outside Quebec" in 2026. This distinction is crucial, emphasizing Quebec's autonomy in immigration rules compared to the rest of Canada. Surprisingly, it stands as the only category with a rising target in the final two years of the Immigration Levels Plan.

Navigating the Economic Pilots Category

Contrastingly, the "Economic Pilots" category, embracing the Agri-Food Pilot, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and Economic Mobility Pathways Project, is poised to witness a reduction from 14,750 in 2025 to 13,750 in 2026.

Unraveling the Why

Behind this strategic focus on French-speaking PRs lies Canada's recent strategic report titled "An Immigration System for Canada's Future." Released in collaboration with the Canadian government, this report outlines a novel strategy for the nation's immigration system. A key element is the aspiration to invigorate "the vitality of Francophone minority communities," extending beyond Quebec.

Action Points from IRCC

IRCC's action plan encompasses multiple initiatives, including:

  1. New Francophone Immigration Policy: Designed to "restore and increase the demographic weight" of Francophone minority communities.
  2. Promotion and Selection Efforts: Intensifying efforts to select and promote French-speaking PRs.
  3. Support for Settlement and Integration: A commitment to facilitate the settlement and integration of French-speaking immigrants in Francophone minority communities.
  4. Ambitious Yet Attainable Targets: Establishing progressive targets for increasing Francophone PR admissions.

Recent Success and Ongoing Initiatives

In November, Immigration Minister Marc Miller emphasized the importance of Francophone immigration during National Francophone Immigration Week. This aligns seamlessly with Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages 2023-2028, earmarking funds for the growth of official languages, including substantial investments in promoting and supporting Francophone immigration globally.

Express Entry and French-language Proficiency

Canada's commitment extends to its immigration system, specifically the Express Entry Canada system. Candidates with French-language proficiency gain additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, heightening their chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence. The new category-based draw system dedicates a specific category to candidates with French-language proficiency.

In Conclusion

Canada's deliberate focus on increasing French-speaking PRs outside Quebec aligns with a strategic vision outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026. With successful initiatives, ongoing support, and a commitment to diversity, Canada aims to fortify Francophone communities, contributing significantly to the nation's cultural, demographic, and economic tapestry.

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