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Canada achieves milestone Francophone immigration target in 2022

Asheesh Moosapeta - 25 January, 2023

Canada reached Francophone Immigration target for 2022
Canada reached Francophone Immigration target for 2022

On January 23rd, 2022, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it had met its 2022 Francophone immigration target of having 4.4% of all immigrants welcomed outside of Quebec be Francophone.

In 2022, 16,300 new French-speaking immigrants settled to provinces in Canada outside of Quebec. This is the largest proportion of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec, since data began being collected in 2006.

Quebec operates its own immigration programs, having more control over immigration than any other province in Canada. Today Quebec is responsible for selecting all skilled workers that are admitted as immigrants the province directly, in an effort to preserve its Francophone culture and language. This is a prerogative shared by both the Quebec provincial government, and the federal Canadian government. This year, Quebec is hoping to welcome a maximum of 33,900 newcomers, with the majority expected to enter through Quebec’s economic immigration programs.

In 2019, IRCC announced that it would institute a target of having 4.4% of all immigrants accepted outside of Quebec be Francophone, by 2023. French is an official language of Canada (along with English). The federal government has undertaken the task of ensuring that Francophone immigration is supported, and that French speaking newcomers add to the cultural diversity and linguistic landscape of Canada—even outside of Quebec.

Over the past five years, the Francophone immigrant population in Canada has increased by 42,470 new permanent residents, a figure that represents a 300% increase in Francophone immigration to Canada (specifically provinces other than Quebec), since 2018. Additionally, through its Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023, the federal Government of Canada has committed $40.7 million CAD towards Francophone immigration initiatives.

The announcement comes at an interesting time for Canadian immigration. With the ascension of Bill C-13 in June of last year, the Honorable Sean Fraser (as the appointed Minister of Immigration) can now create specific classes within the federal Express Entry pool, based on Canada’s immigration needs—and issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to candidates who meet these needs.

While many of these classes are rumoured to revolve around in-demand occupations and training or education that candidates in the Express Entry pool may have (to address Canada’s intense labour shortages, and aging population)—language ability is also stated potential class to draw on, especially as Canada continues to commit to Francophone immigration to the country.

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