Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada
Canada gives more prominence to French in Express Entry

The Canadian government has begun awarding additional points to candidates with French language skills in its Express Entry migration system.

Under changes introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada last month, an additional 15 points can be awarded for applicants with Level 7 or higher in the Niveaux de Competence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) test, while candidates that also have Level 5 and above on the Canadian Language Benchmark English test can gain 30 points.


According to a statement on the department website, programmes managed through the Express Entry system attract skilled workers and former international students who want to live in Canada permanently and have skills needed by local employers.


Other changes introduced include 15 points for applicants with siblings already in Canada and the end of a requirement for Job Bank registration.


Introducing the amendments, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said, "Economic integration programmes managed by the Express Entry system attract highly talented and skilled immigrants that businesses need to help grow and strengthen our economy.


"As the improvements are implemented, I'm pleased that Canada will welcome more skilled immigrants with siblings in Canada who can help them quickly integrate into their new life here, and that we'll continue to see Francophone minority communities flourish."


Daniel Lefort, School Director at ILSC Montréal, which offers French and English programmes, told StudyTravel Magazine, "Any initiative promoting French in Canada is welcome and has a positive impact not only on our industry but also on the cultural values that the country is defending. Certainly if the same, or increased, importance is given to French then more test takers will favour this option."


He added that the school anticipated an increase in the number of French language test takers as a result of the changes. "Our current test takers are from France, Tunisia, Algeria, China, Venezuela, and Colombia," he said.


A full description of the amendments is on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship website.



By Matthew Knott

News Editor