On March 17, 2016 Citizenship & Immigration Canada announced a new program which is designed to attract skilled francophone workers to Canada and encourage them to settle in communities outside of Quebec. The new international mobility program will launch on 1 June 2016.
“We want francophone minority communities in Canada to continue to be vibrant and growing,” Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Canada, John McCallum said
That’s why we’re going to encourage skilled francophone workers to come to Canada and settle in communities outside of Quebec, and we’re going to encourage them to apply for permanent residence if they would like to stay.”
“Canada’s diversity is enriched by our francophone minority communities all across the country,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly.
“We want to see these communities flourish across Canada and immigration is strategic to preserving their vitality and prosperity.”
Giving foreign workers who arrive in Canada under this stream the means to transition to permanent resident status is a clear goal of the government.
At the time of writing, it remains unclear exactly what criteria may be applied by Citizenship & Immigration Canada in order to define which communities will be able to participate in the Mobilité Francophone stream.
While the majority of francophone’s in Canada live and work in the province of Quebec, many regions across the country continue to have healthy francophone communities including Ontario and New Brunswick.
Labour Market Impact Assessment Exemption
Starting June 1, 2016, the Mobilité Francophone stream will exempt employers from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process when they hire francophone workers in managerial, professional and technical/skilled trades occupations from abroad to work in francophone minority communities outside of Quebec.
A LMIA is a document that serves as proof that there will be a positive or neutral impact to the Canadian labour market if an employer hires a foreign national in certain situations. The IMP is an umbrella program that includes all streams of work permit applications that are exempt from this requirement.
Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on:
- broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
- reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.
- The goal of Citizenship & Immigration Canada is to have francophone newcomers make up at least 4% of all economic immigrants settling outside of Quebec by 2018. The overall target for francophone immigration outside Quebec is 4.4% by 2023.
- Since 2014, reforms to the International Mobility Program have ensured that it meets the objective of allowing temporary workers to come to Canada when they advance Canada’s economic and cultural interests.