French Language Proficiency to Play Key Role in Canada’s 2024 Express Entry Draws

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Starting in 2024, being fluent in French will play a big role in Canada’s Express Entry immigration system, particularly in draws that select candidates based on specific categories. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will allocate the majority of invitations (78.5%) to candidates who meet specific criteria like language skills, with the remaining 21.5% going to general candidates.
Here’s how the invitations will be distributed among different professional categories:

  • 30% to candidates proficient in French
  • 25% to candidates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) backgrounds
  • 15% to healthcare professionals
  • Smaller percentages to other specialized areas like trades, transportation, and agriculture.

This focus on French skills is due to Canadian employers struggling to find bilingual (French and English) workers, which is crucial for both job success and helping immigrants integrate better into the community.
The special category draws were introduced in May 2023 to target immigrants who are highly skilled or proficient in languages that are in demand. The goal is to help meet regional employment needs and support government targets for French-speaking immigrants, especially in areas outside of Quebec. Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced in January this year that 4.7% of all newcomers outside of Quebec. He said the target for 2024 would rise to 6%.

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