Revision of Immigration and French Language Policies in Quebec

Posted on 2023-05-26 by Institut Technique Aviron de Montreal

SOURCE (Journal de Montreal):


During the 2018 elections, the CAQ had suggested limiting immigration to 40,000 individuals per year. Later, François Legault warned against welcoming more than 50,000 immigrants, labeling it as "suicidal" and fearing a possible "Louisianization" of Quebec.


Currently, the Legault administration is considering two alternatives: maintaining the status quo or gradually increasing the number of admissions to 60,000 by 2027. A decision will be made next fall, following consultations.


However, in this new context, foreign students who have obtained their degree in French in Quebec can be admitted through the Quebec Experience Program, without the need for a year of work in Quebec, as was stipulated in the reform by Simon Jolin-Barrette.


This change could potentially welcome an additional 8,000 people, bringing the total to 68,000 new permanent residents per year.

François Legault's rhetoric on immigration during the last electoral campaign contrasts sharply with the new immigration proposals.


However, the prime minister is convinced that his intention to limit immigration in order to "preserve French" has been understood by all. Legault assures that the situation has changed since the federal government allowed an increase in economic immigration to Quebec, without increasing the number of people welcomed in other categories.


Whether Quebec decides to increase immigration limits or not, the Legault government plans to revise its criteria for mastering French.

So far, candidates for the Regular Program for Skilled Workers were selected based on a points system. About 12% of them were admitted without knowing French.


In the future, all candidates will need to have a knowledge of the French language.


However, the criteria will vary depending on the profession. For instance, a level 7 (equivalent to college level) will be required for a management position or a network technician position.


For other professions, such as dental assistants, childcare providers, and manual laborers, an oral mastery of level 5 will be enough, without a requirement for written skills.


Christine Fréchette, Minister of Immigration, emphasized that this modulation of language requirements was a significant request, as the education levels are not the same for all job types.

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