Fact Sheet on Mobility Francophone
- The Mobility Francophone program has been in existence since June 1, 2016. It was introduced by Canada’s current Liberal government run by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A similar program had been in existence under the former Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper but it was cancelled in the summer of 2014.
- The idea behind the Mobilite Francophone program is to try to increase the French aspect of Canadian life outside of Quebec. There are no doubt many ways to do this but one way is to make it easier for Canadian employers to hire foreign Francophones. The assumption made is that once these Francophones arrive in English-speaking parts of Canada, they will add to the French-speaking life of Canada (i.e support French cultural events, send their children to bilingual schools)
- There is no exact definition of who is and who is not a Francophone. The loose definition used is that a Francophone is someone whose habitual language of daily use is French. Certainly a Francophone is someone who was born, raised, educated and now works in a French speaking country. It may also include people whose 1st language is not French but who have lived and worked in a French speaking environment for many years. It may also include someone whose 1st language is NOT French, who does not live in a French speaking country but who is so fluent in French that an assumption can be made that the person will add to the French fabric of Canada.
- Based on your CV and any other information requested, an officer of the Canadian Embassy in Paris will make an assessment of whether or not you are Francophone. Also assessed is whether you have a job offer from a Canadian employer in an occupation you appear to be qualified to perform. A copy of your Job Offer letter will likely be one of the documents you will be required to send to the Canadian Embassy in Paris (by e-mail).
- In cases of doubt over whether you are a Francophone, you will be asked to provide test results from one particular French language exam to determine whether your level of French is sufficient. The exam is the TEF and the minimum scores required are Writing- 310-348, Reading – 207-232 , Speaking – 310-348 , and Listening 249-279.
- In assessing your “Eligibility”, it is important (although not determinative) that you show the Canadian Embassy that you have participated in person or online in a promotional event organized by the Canadian Embassy on living and working in Canada and/or immigrating to Canada. Information on these events, which take place very often, can be found on the web-site of the Canadian Embassy in Paris.
- As someone interested in living and working in English speaking parts of Canada, having a job offer from a Canadian employer in a skilled occupation that you have the education and experience to perform is absolutely CRITICAL to success. Without this offer of employment – that should sets out among other things, your occupation, job duties, salary and benefit- you will NOT qualify for the program.
- Most employers in English speaking Canada are not going to want to hire you unless your level of English is sufficient to perform the job they want you to fill in an English speaking environment. Every job is different but for most employers, some fluency in English is requirement. For many jobs, a high level of fluency is required. The language requirements will differ depending on the employer and the job.
- Once it has been determined by the Canadian Embassy in Paris to be “eligible” for the program, you can submit an Application for a Work Permit from Outside of Canada either online on the web-site of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or have the complete application delivered to the Visa Application Centre in Paris. The processing times can vary but estimate five weeks. IRCC will decide your application and if a positive decision is made you will be issued a work permit introduction letter that you must take with you when you arrive in Canada. Your actual work permit will be given to you at your first Port of Entry in Canada (very often a large Canadian airport)
- When you apply for a work permit application, you are required to submit several documents. Some of the documents are immigration forms such as IMM 1295 (Applying for a Work Permit Application Outside of Canada) and IMM 5645 (Additional Family Information). It will also be important for you to submit letters of reference from your current and previous employers that show that you are qualified o for the position you will be performing in Canada. There is a precise description prepared by IRCC of what information they are seeking to have included in these letters. Absolutely essentially is that it be prepared on the company letterhead of your current or former employer, signed, and that it set out your job title, your main job duties, whether the work was full time or part time, and the period during which you were employed by the company (from when to when).
11 Mobilite Francophone is not the only Canadian immigration program that encourages Francophones to live and work in Canada. Canada has signed international agreements with France, Switzerland and Belgium (and many other, mostly European countries) allowing for the exchange of youth. The program is referred to as International Experience Canada. In France, it is open to French nationals between the ages of 18-35. Under International Experience Canada, in addition to having a category for Young Professionals who require a written job offer (similar to Mobilite Francophone), it also has a category called “Work and Travel” The Work and Travel category is essentially a lottery but if selected you can be issued an open work permit for up to two years. There is no requirement that you work with any one particular employer (or work at all) nor a requirement that you work in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, or B). In most cases, you will be allowed to work in any occupation.
- The disadvantage of coming to Canada under the International Experience Canada program as opposed to Mobilite Francophone include:
1) The age limit of only being open to individuals 18-35;
2) The “lottery” aspect of it where there are a limited number of spots and if there are more candidates than spots, some candidates will be disappointed. Under Mobilte Francophone, the number of spots are unlimited;
3) A condition of entering Canada is you purchase comprehensive travel insurance prior to arriving in Canada that will be valid for your entire stay. There is no such required for workers entering under Mobilte Francophone;
4) Mobilite Francophone work permits can usually be issued for more than 3 years;
5) It is not always possible for your spouse or partner to be issued an open work permit just by virtue of you having a work permit. There is also a Co-op program available to students who wish to complete an internship in Canada as part of their studies.
- Work experience you obtain in Canada can, in many cases, help improve your chances of being able to immigrate to Canada permanently.
THE ABOVE FACT SHEET PROVIDES GENERAL INFORMATION AND IS NO WAY A SUBSTITUTE TO SEEKING LEGAL ADVISE FROM A CANADIAN LAWYER OR CERTIFIED IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT ABOUT MAKING AN APPLICATION TO WORK AND STUDY IN CANADA OR IMMIGRATE TO CANADA