The government of Canada introduced a program adjustment to allow some francophone foreign nationals to come to Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is being done in an effort to promote francophone immigration in francophone minority communities. “Work that promotes the use of French outside Quebec strengthens and supports the social and cultural fabric of Canadian society while respecting the federal, bilingual, and multicultural character of Canada.”
Who is eligible?
- Foreign nationals who have been recruited abroad for a province or territory outside of Quebec
- Those who qualify under a National Occupation Classification (NOC) 0, A, or B
What are the general criteria?
The employer must submit an Offer of Employment before a work permit application is made. They must then determine that the foreign national intends to work in a province or territory outside of Quebec and that they are qualified to work under NOC 0, A, or B. Officers must be sure that the foreign national’s habitual language of daily use is French. This can be determined by requesting an interview with the applicant or requesting language test results that demonstrate an advanced or intermediate level of French (i.e. Canadian Language Benchmark Scores 7 or higher).
Other Information You Need to Know:
- You are no longer required to recruit through a francophone immigration promotional event. Should you choose to, however, the government continues to offer Destination Canada (an annual job fair in Paris and Brussels).
- Habitual French-speaking abilities are required, but may not for the prospective employment opportunity. In other words, the offer of employment in Canada does not need to have French language ability under these guidelines.
- Applicants cannot apply for a work permit at Canadian ports of entry. Work permits must be submitted online.
So, what does this mean?
In order to increase the number of French-speaking individuals living in Canada (outside of Quebec), the government is allowing some francophone foreign nationals to come to Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
If you qualify under the previously mentioned criteria, you can apply online for a work permit. In your application, be sure to provide a letter of explanation showing how you meet the requirements. Also, ensure that you have your employer:
- Submit an offer of employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
- Pay a $230 employer compliance fee; and
- Provide you with an offer of employment number
Don’t qualify for an LMIA exemption as a francophone?
There a number of international exchange programs offered in Canada that allow individuals to come to Canada without an LMIA. If you do not meet the requirements under the francophone category, perhaps consider applying for the International Experience Class (IEC) under a Working Holiday Visa, Student Co-op program, or Young Professional program.
To learn more about this program, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/foreign-workers/exemption-codes/canadian-interests-significant-benefit-mobilite-francophone-r205-exemption-code-c16.html