French Language Category-Based Selection Draws for Express Entry 2024

26 April, 2024

French Language Category-Based Selection Draws for Express Entry 2024

According to recent findings from an Access to Information Request (ATIP), proficiency in the French language is expected to take precedence in category-based selection Express Entry draws in 2024.
Shared by Carry Immigration, the ATIP data reveals that throughout the draws in 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will allocate 78.5% of all Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to Express Entry candidates through category-based selection draws, with the remaining 21.5% issued through general draws.
Within the category-based selection draws, candidates eligible for selection based on French proficiency will receive 30% of the ITAs, followed by STEM occupations at 25%, and healthcare at 15%.
Here's the breakdown of ITAs by category:
Round type
Category Target
French proficiency
Healthcare occupations
STEM occupations
Trade occupations
Transport occupations
Agriculture and agri-food occupations
Introduced in May 2023, category-based selection draws serve as a method for IRCC to specifically target Express Entry candidates possessing sought-after attributes like work experience and language proficiency.


Why is French proficiency leading?


Another ATIP obtained by CICNews in April 2023 highlighted the significance of French proficiency. This emphasis stemmed from a 2021 report by the Labour Market Information Council, revealing the challenge Canadian employers faced in finding qualified bilingual workers to fill vacant positions. Additionally, the report noted that economic principal applicants proficient in French exhibited higher employment rates.
This assertion was corroborated by a January study from Statistics Canada, which underscored language proficiency as the primary determinant of success for economic immigration candidates in the Canadian labor market.
IRCC also acknowledges the impact of this trend on public services in Canada, as all citizens have the right to access services in either official language (French or English).
According to the 2023 ATIP, IRCC initially estimated that between 11% to 15% of candidates invited through category-based selection would come from the French proficiency category. However, since July 2023, French proficiency draws have consistently invited the highest number of candidates from any category, totaling 17,300 ITAs.
Furthermore, the department highlighted that inviting a substantial percentage of French-speaking candidates would assist IRCC in meeting its mandated target of 4.4% of all francophone newcomers settling outside of Quebec in 2023.
IRCC successfully achieved this goal, as Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced in January of this year that 4.7% of all newcomers outside of Quebec were francophone. He also mentioned that the target for 2024 would increase to 6%.
The same ATIP highlighted mixed support for this category. While 54% of stakeholders expressed support, 42% indicated uncertainty or believed the category would have no impact. Particularly low levels of support were observed among stakeholders in Alberta and British Columbia, who doubted the significant economic impact beyond Francophone minority communities.
However, supporters of the category emphasized the necessity of bilingualism in sectors like healthcare, tourism, hospitality, and education. They also highlighted the non-economic benefits, such as facilitating access to services in French for minority communities, thus removing language barriers.
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