Mobilité Francophone aims to make the hiring of French-speaking skilled workers more straightforward for Canadian employers outside the province of Quebec.

Hiring such workers could provide a number of advantages. For instance, being able to serve clients in both official languages could help a business to tap into new markets nationally and internationally.

This stream falls under the International Mobility Program, which allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals without the need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment. As a result, the employer is not required to demonstrate efforts to recruit or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents; in addition, the $1,000 LMIA application fee is not required under Mobilité Francophone.

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Unlike the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program — another stream of the International Mobility Program that employers and workers alike may be familiar with — eligibility requirements for the Mobilité Francophone do not include restrictions based on a worker's nationality or age. Citizens of any country and of any age may be eligible to work in Canada under Mobilité Francophone.

Mobilité Francophone: Which workers are eligible?

Under Mobilité Francophone, the following conditions must be met:

  • The applicant will live and work outside the province of Quebec.
  • The applicant uses French as a habitual language on a daily basis.
    • Assessment of an applicant's language ability is at the Visa Officer's discretion.
    • If it is not clear in the initial application that the applicant has the requisite proficiency in French, the Test d'Evaluation Du Français (TEF) may be required. In this case, a result of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or higher is the threshold that must be met by the applicant.

Hiring French-speaking or bilingual workers

Canadian employers interested in recruiting through Mobilité Francophone should take note of the following:

  • The employer must submit an offer of employment before a work permit application is made. Offers of employment made under the International Mobility Program are submitted through the Employer Portal.
  • The job offer made to the foreign worker must be for a skilled position. Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) system for classifying different occupations lists skilled work as level 0, A or B.
    • Skill level 0: Management jobs.
    • Skill level A: Professional jobs. Workers typically need a university degree in order to be hired for these jobs.
    • Skill level B: Technical jobs and skilled trades. Workers typically need a college diploma or apprentice training to be hired for these jobs.
  • The offer of employment does not have to require French language ability under the job description. However, the worker must have French language ability (see the section above to learn more).
  • An employer compliance fee of $230 is required for each job offer made through the Employer Portal. Once this has been paid, the job offer number may then be transmitted to the applicant (foreign worker), who submits the work permit application.
  • Visa Officers may issue an LMIA-exempt work permit that is valid for the duration of the offer of employment, or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier.
  • IRCC aims to maintain quick processing standards. The processing time for the Paris Visa Office, for example, is approximately one month.

Accompanying family members

Foreign workers may bring accompanying family members to Canada. If the offer of employment is for six months or longer, the worker's spouse or common-law partner, if applicable, may apply for an open work permit. The holder of an open work permit can work for any Canadian employer, without first having a confirmed offer of employment. An open work permit is not job-specific.

In addition, if the offer of employment is for six months or longer, a study permit application may be made for any accompanying school-age children. No letter of admission is required in order to apply for a study permit in this instance.

Renewals

Renewals of work permits issued through the Mobilité Francophone stream may be submitted by mail to the Inland Processing Centre or online to the Operations Support Centre. Applicants who hold a valid work permit under the discontinued exemption “Significant benefit – Francophone destined to work outside of Quebec” may apply for a work permit renewal through Mobilité Francophone.

The initial criteria (outlined above) must still be met, and the applicant must continue to be employed in an applicable NOC 0, A or B occupation outside Quebec.

Employers and prospective foreign workers who are interested in the Mobilité Francophone stream may send an inquiry to wp@canadavisa.com. Please include any relevant information about a job offer you may have and, for workers, information about your French language ability.

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