Canada is setting its sights on boosting French-speaking immigration as part of its Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026. According to the plan released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the country aims to welcome 31,500 French-speaking permanent residents in 2025 and increase the number to 36,000 in 2026.
The Immigration Levels Plan is an annual release that outlines the targets for the number of new permanent residents. It categorizes targets based on Canada’s three general immigration classes: economic, family, and refugee/humanitarian.
While the overall admissions target is set to stabilize at 500,000 new permanent residents in 2025 and 2026, one particular category stands out with an increase in admissions targets – French-speaking Permanent Resident Admissions outside Quebec. This category is expected to see a rise of 4,500 in the admissions target from 2025 to 2026.
Notably, Quebec maintains its unique immigration rules, programs, and policies separate from the rest of Canada, influencing the distinction in admissions targets.
The only category expected to see a decrease in admissions targets is the “Economic Pilots” category, covering programs like Agri-Food Pilot, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and Economic Mobility Pathways Project. The admissions target for this category is projected to decrease from 14,750 in 2025 to 13,750 in 2026.
The strategic move to increase French-speaking immigration is rooted in Canada’s broader vision for the future of its immigration system, as outlined in the report titled “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future.” Released by IRCC and the Canadian government, the report emphasizes the goal of enhancing “the vitality of Francophone minority communities,” both within and outside Quebec.
IRCC aims to achieve this by developing a new Francophone Immigration Policy, boosting promotion and selection efforts for French-speaking permanent residents, supporting their settlement and integration in Francophone minority communities, and setting ambitious yet attainable targets for increasing Francophone PR admissions.
This focus on increasing French-speaking immigration aligns with Canada’s commitment to supporting regional immigration and fostering welcoming communities nationwide. It is part of a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan for immigration.
The success of recent initiatives to increase Francophone immigration is evident. The Immigration Minister Marc Miller spoke about the importance of Francophone immigration during National Francophone Immigration Week celebrating the contributions of French-speaking immigrants in Canada.
Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2023-2028, released in April, underlines the commitment to allocate funds to support Francophone immigration. IRCC plans to spend $18.5 million on promoting and building recruitment support for Francophone immigration in Canada and abroad. An additional $50 million will go towards consolidating the Francophone integration pathway, making settlement and integration easier for newcomers and improving the reception capacity of Francophone minority communities.
These initiatives work in tandem with current efforts, such as the Express Entry application management system, where French-speaking candidates can earn additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. The dedication of one category in the category-based draw system specifically for immigration candidates with French-language proficiency further emphasizes Canada’s commitment to increasing Francophone immigration.
Through these strategic measures, Canada aims to strengthen and grow French-language immigration, particularly in regions outside Quebec. The success of these initiatives is evident in achieving the Francophone immigration target of settling 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec in 2022, welcoming over 16,300 new immigrants into such communities. The country’s commitment to fostering diversity and linguistic vitality remains a cornerstone of its immigration strategy.