Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“), formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“), recently announced that it is launching a new work permit option called the Mobilité Francophone Stream under the International Mobility Program.

Starting June 1, 2016, the Mobilité Francophone Stream will exempt employers from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA“) process when:

  1. they hire francophone workers in managerial, professional and technical/skilled trades occupations from abroad; and
  2. they hire such workers to work in francophone minority communities outside of Quebec.

The goal of the Mobilité Francophone Stream is to attract skilled francophone workers to Canada and to encourage them to settle in francophone minority communities outside of Quebec. The goal of IRCC is to have francophone newcomers make up at least 4% of all economic immigrants settling outside of Quebec by 2018. By implementing the Mobilité Francophone Stream, employers will have increased access to French speaking foreign workers.

In the news release which announced the launch of the Mobilité Francophone stream, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum made clear that IRCC will encourage the workers who enter Canada through the Mobilité Francophone stream to apply for permanent residence.

CIC discontinued a similar program, the Francophone Significant Benefit Program, on September 30, 2014. Like the Mobilité Francophone Stream, the French Significant Benefit Program facilitated the hiring of French-speaking temporary foreign workers by employers in communities outside of Quebec without a LMIA.

IRCC has not yet publicly released full details regarding the Mobilité Francophone Stream. We will provide an updated post once additional details are released.