Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced two new immigration pilot programs earlier in March. The two new immigration pilot programs were for francophone minority communities across Canada and rural communities. 

During the press conference, Immigration Minister Marc Miller stressed the importance of francophone and rural minority communities across Canada for long-term growth and linguistic vitality. He said that “regional immigration plays a key role in strengthening their economies, connecting businesses and employers in remote communities with the skilled newcomers they need to thrive.” Apart from that francophone immigration will help in enhancing the linguistic vitality and economic growth of the French-speaking minority area.  

Both programs are expected to begin accepting applications from newcomers this fall, although a date has yet to be confirmed. Up to 5,500 applications for permanent residence will be processed annually, following these initiatives of IRCC.

1. Francophone Community Immigration Pilot

    To support the French language outside of Quebec, the only province in Canada where the main language is French, the IRCC has started this program. The main purpose of this program as stated by the IRCC is to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants who settle in Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec, which will then support the community’s economic growth and contribute to its demographic restoration and weight in the country of Canada. 

    The pilot program is an important part of IRCC’s continuous plan to raise the proportion of French speakers in Canada. One of the other recent initiatives was the new Express Entry category for immigrants who can prove they are fluent in French. 

    A recent study conducted in Canada shows that people who are proficient in both of the two official languages of Canada which are English and French as newcomers are more prone to contribute to the economic growth of Canada. This along with some other reasons has made Canada increase the francophone population in the country. The department achieved its goal in 2023 of having 4.4% of all new arrivals speak French, reaching as high as 4.7%. Currently, the goal is to try and guarantee that 6% by 2024, 7% by 2025, and 8% by 2026. 

    In conclusion, the efforts by the IRCC to bolster the French-speaking population in Canada, particularly outside Quebec, demonstrate a strong commitment to enhancing the country’s bilingual fabric and supporting Francophone minority communities. At La Forêt French Class, we are proud to support these national objectives by providing the best French education tailored to meet your needs. Whether you are a newcomer aiming to integrate more seamlessly or a professional seeking to enhance your bilingual skills, our comprehensive programs are designed to help you succeed in Canada’s evolving linguistic landscape.

    2. Rural Community Immigration Pilot

      In order “to ensure that rural communities continue being able to access programs that address labor shortages and help local businesses find the workers they need,” the IRCC has planned to implement this pilot program. The immigration department of Canada has not yet released any information regarding the pilot, other than stating that it will allow qualified immigrants to apply for permanent residency in Canada, just like the current RNIP (Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot) does.  

      There have not yet been any details released regarding eligibility criteria for communities or newcomer applicants released by the IRCC.