French immigrants to lead category-based Express Entry draws 2024

French immigrants to lead category-based Express Entry draws 2024

Manmeet Kaur Manmeet Kaur
[Published 01 May, 2024 | 12:23 PM]
About Author - 8 min read

According to the Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026, IRCC aims to welcome 26,100 French-speaking permanent residents in 2024. This number will increase to 31,500 newcomers in 2025 and 36,000 in 2026.

French language proficiency is one of the six categories selected by IRCC - targeting candidates with in-demand skills and work experience for occupations under the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

Throughout Express Entry draws in 2024, 78.5% of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) will be issued under category-based draws, while the remaining 21.5% of ITAs will be issued in general draws.

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Applying Through Express Entry

Before you start planning your Canada immigration, check if you are eligible to apply under Express Entry Canada. Use a 67-point calculator which will assess your age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and other factors. A maximum of 24 points can be achieved for English but 4 extra points are given for French skills - which could compensate for points lost in other factors.

If you qualify, create an Express Entry profile and enter the pool. Here, your profile will again be ranked using a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and awarded points for the same factors as the 67-point calculator.

In the CRS calculator, 160 points are awarded to applicants under the language proficiency factor. For French skills, you get additional CRS points - up to 50, even if French is not your first language. To get additional points, obtain at least an NCLC 7 in all French language skills in TEF. 

The higher your CRS score is, the better your chances of getting an ITA from IRCC.

Requirements for French Speakers to Apply for Express Entry

The French language proficiency category is the only category that does not consider your work experience for getting an ITA for Canada PR from India.

To apply, meet the minimum French score required for Canada PR:

TEF or Test d'évaluation de français is the language test that IRCC uses to check the French language skills of applicants. It evaluates your Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking abilities and scores you based on different levels - ranging from A1 (beginner level) to C2 (proficient level).

Here is a breakdown of the TEF for Canada PR - in no particular order:

Reading: Under this section, your ability to comprehend written texts in the French language is tested in the forms of articles, reports, or library works.

Writing: Here, you will be asked to write essays or even reports in French. This checks your ability to express yourself in the language.

Listening: The TEF test assesses your ability to understand spoken French, which includes day-to-day conversations and interviews. You will listen to different audio recordings and answer questions accordingly.

Speaking: In this section, you will talk with an examiner, where you will be discussing various topics.

To be eligible for a Canada PR visa, you need a French level that is at least an NCLC 7 - equivalent to a B2 level on the TEF test.

Meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that invitation round.

Requirements for French Speakers to Apply for Express Entry

Other Pathways for Canada PR from India for French Speakers

If you don’t qualify for Express Entry, explore these other immigration pathways for French speakers:

1. Quebec Immigration

Quebec, a largely French-speaking province in Canada, offers many immigration pathways for those with French language proficiency. If you looking for an alternative to Express Entry, apply for the following Quebec programs:

  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW): This program is ideal for Indians with skilled work experience to gain permanent residence in Quebec. The province is in agreement with the Government of Canada and runs its own rules for choosing immigrants who will adapt well to living there. Under this, your PR application will be processed in about 9 months. 
  • Quebec Experience Program (PEQ): Indians with French-speaking skills who have legally gained work experience in Quebec are eligible to apply for the Quebec Experience Program (programme de l'expérience Québécoise). PR applications under PEQ are processed within 6 months.
2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Many provinces in Canada also offer streams for those with French skills to gain permanent residence. Here are your options:

Direct Nomination

  • New Brunswick: The New Brunswick Strategic Initiative Stream is dedicated to French-speaking candidates with in-demand skills and experience that can contribute to the province’s economy.
  • Northwest Territories: As a French speaker in India, you can explore the Northwest Territories Francophone Stream. You need to have a valid job offer from an NWT employer.

Nomination via Express Entry

Many provinces invite candidates from the Express Entry pool under its various PNP streams. A provincial nomination adds 600 points to your overall score in the CRS score calculator, increasing your chances of receiving an ITA for Canada PR.

  • Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP): Under this PNP, check out the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream (FSSWS) - open to those with at least NCLC 7 in French and a CLB 6 in English. In addition to this, meet the requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Ontario awards additional points to bilingual French and English speakers in its Employer Job Offer and Graduate streams.

Temporary Pathways to Immigrate to Canada

Canada has a Francophone Mobility Program, under which employers in Canada can hire foreign nationals with French-speaking abilities easily. To hire them, Canadian employers do not need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is usually a long, expensive, and unpredictable process.

To qualify for the Francophone Mobility Program, you must get a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, outside of Quebec. In addition, you require NCLC level 5 or higher and meet general eligibility requirements.

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Francophone Community Immigration Pilot

On March 6, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched the Francophone Community Immigration Pilot program, aligned with the federal government’s commitment to the economic development and demographic growth of Francophone minority communities outside Quebec.

The main aim of this pilot program is to promote linguistic diversity and support the growth of vibrant Francophone minority communities across Canada by attracting skilled French-speaking immigrants.

This can also be seen in the recent category-based Express Entry draws. Thousands of eligible French-speaking candidates have been invited - if they meet the required criteria.

Date of draw Number of Invitations Issued CRS score lowest-ranked candidate invited
February 1, 2024 7,000 365
February 29, 2024 2,500 336
March 26, 2024 1,500 388
April 24, 2024 1,400 410

So far, IRCC has invited 12,400 immigrants with French language proficiency. If you have French-speaking skills, keep an eye out for the latest Express Entry draws in 2024.

Canada PR Visa Approval in 60 Days | Mayank's Visa Story

Need help?

Connect with Nationwide Visas, one of the best immigration consultants in Delhi. The team will evaluate your case, offering the best solutions to apply for Canada PR from India. Whether you need help with your application, documentation, finding jobs, or else, we’ve got you covered!

Get a free consultation session and determine the best option to apply for your situation.

Call us@ +91 92 92 92 92 81 or email us at

Good Luck!

Read More: Category-based Selection Draws for Express Entry


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