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Work Permits for French Speakers

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

Do you need a job offer to support your application for immigration to Canada? Or do you simply want to take advantage of a temporary work permit? As many have come to find out, the nature of the foreign recruitment process is so costly and time consuming for Canadian employers that many are discouraged from ever trying although they may have a genuine need to hire an employee and are unable to find one locally.

The process to which we are referring to is called the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application required from most Canadian employers who are seeking to hire workers from abroad. Service Canada assesses applications from companies who want to hire foreign workers in order to make sure that the job offer is genuine, that there is a labour shortage that cannot be fulfilled by Canadian workers and that the rate of pay and working conditions are appropriate so as not to disturb the Canadian labour market. They make a positive decision on the LMIA application only if it is determined, after careful examination, that issuing such decision will result in a NEUTRAL or POSITIVE effect on the Canadian labour market.

Proving the tenacity of the job offer as well as its impact on the local labour market conditions meanwhile ensuring strict 100% compliance to all procedural requirements is not an easy task. Many employers choose to hire firms to manage this process granted that in the last four years, it has become tedious and unnecessarily burdensome beyond recognition. The firms charge fees for their services, the government also charges $1000 CAD just to review the application and make a decision. The whole process from start to finish usually takes over six months and sometimes closer to one year to complete from start to finish. It is therefore clear that hiring foreign workers when a company is facing a current labour shortage is not a favourable option, it is not financially or logistically accessible in some cases as well.

However, the current government's focus on promoting Canada's other official language, French, across the country has resulted in some favourable conditions for French speaks all around the world. If you are fluent in French and intend to migrate to a province other then Quebec, there is a fast and inexpensive track to get a work permit under the French Mobility program/Mobilité Francophone! We have seen many people from Morocco, Tunisia, France etc take advantage of this program in order to obtain their work permits and eventually to complete the process for permanent residency in Canada.

The candidate qualifications for the French Mobility program are as follows:

+ will live and work in a Fancophone community outside Quebec,

+ use French on a daily basis, and

+ will work in a job at a National Occupation Code (NOC) skill level of 0, A or B.

You do not have to work in French to be eligible for this permit. However, you should be able to get a score of 7 (intermediate to advanced proficiency) on the TEF: Test d’évaluation de français (available in French only) or the Test de connaissance du français (TCF).

The employer who is interested in hiring a qualified employee must do the following:

+ submit an offer of employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

+ pay a $230 employer compliance fee, and

+ provide you with an offer of employment number

+ this whole process described above for the employer's side can be completed in 40 minutes online!

Once the employer has completed their steps, the work permit candidate can obtain a work permit within two weeks (processing times very by location and occupation). It is therefore a much faster and easier process then the LMIA program currently is. Many employers, if they knew about this pathway to hiring skilled foreign workers, would probably take advantage of it as it is fairly inexpensive and effective for solving short-term labour needs. As for the employees, they are also eligible to extend their work permits in the future using the same program which is unheard of if you ask a Youth Mobility or working holiday visa candidate!

Effel Tower in France at sunset
Eiffel Tower - France

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