May 20, 2024 12:36 PM

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Canada’s Prioritization of Francophone Immigrants Raises Concerns Among Higher-Ranked Applicants

Canada’s prioritization of French-speaking economic immigrants, aimed at boosting francophone immigration, is drawing scrutiny. Consequently, higher-ranking Express Entry candidates are being bypassed in the selection process.

The federal government’s focus on selecting French-speaking applicants has reduced the cutoff score for entry in this category compared to others, causing concerns among desirable candidates.

Under the revamped Express Entry system introduced in 2023, Ottawa has welcomed many applicants based on their French skills, surpassing other new selection categories such as health care, skilled trades, agriculture, transportation, and STEM fields.

Despite the government’s aim to support francophone communities outside Quebec and alleviate labor shortages, critics argue that this approach results in the oversight of highly qualified candidates with higher scores and expected earnings.

In a recent major Express Entry draw targeting French speakers on February 1, 2024, 7,000 invitations to apply (ITAs) were issued, with a minimum CRS score of 365. 

Since the introduction of category-based selection, the cutoff score for the French category has remained notably lower compared to previous rounds, sparking debate among economists and immigration experts.

Many economists and immigration experts are raising serious concerns about the current immigration selection process, suggesting that it may be overlooking highly desirable candidates. This situation is sparking worries about the system’s effectiveness in addressing labor shortages and supporting francophone communities.

The federal government’s emphasis on francophone immigration remains a topic of contention, with ongoing discussions regarding the balance between prioritizing language skills and other qualifications in the Express Entry system.

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