The Canadian government will award additional points to French-speaking and bilingual applicants applying for permanent residence through Canada’s Express Entry system.

Key Points:

  • French-speaking Express Entry applicants will be awarded 25 points compared to the previous 15; bilingual candidates will be awarded 50 points compared to the previous 30.
  • Canada first additional points to Express Entry applicants with strong French language skills in 2017. The additional points builds on Canada’s efforts to bring more French speakers to the country and is meant to help the country meet its goal of having 4.4% French-speaking immigrant admissions outside Quebec by 2023.
  • Canada began awarding the additional Express Entry points on Oct. 20, 2020. Individuals who already have an Express Entry profile will have the additional points they are entitled to awarded automatically.

Background: The Express Entry system prioritizes permanent residence candidates in four skilled migration programs—Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program—on a points system that considers such factors as current job offer, education, skills, work experience and age, among others. Candidates who meet a points threshold set in regular Express Entry draws are invited to apply for permanent residence.

Analysis & Comments: The change will give French speakers a slight boost in the Express Entry system and may help Canada accelerate its goal of bringing more French speakers to provinces other than Quebec.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.