Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 Highlights Growth in French-Speaking Permanent Residents
Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to welcome 31,500 French-speaking permanent residents (PRs) in 2025 and 36,000 in 2026, according to the latest Immigration Levels Plan. The plan, released annually, guides the admission of new PRs over the next three years across three general immigration classes: economic, family, and refugee/humanitarian.
Overall Admissions Stability:
While the overall admissions target remains stable at 500,000 new PRs for both 2025 and 2026, a notable increase is projected for the “overall French-speaking Permanent Resident Admissions outside Quebec” category. In 2026, IRCC plans to raise the admissions target by 4,500 compared to 2025. This is the only category witnessing growth in the final two years of the plan.
Conversely, the “Economic Pilots” category, encompassing Agri-Food Pilot, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and Economic Mobility Pathways Project, is expected to see a decrease in the admissions target, dropping from 14,750 in 2025 to 13,750 in 2026.
Rise in French-Speaking PRs:
The rationale behind the surge in French-speaking PR admissions lies in Canada’s strategic report, “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future,” released by IRCC and the Canadian government. The report emphasizes a commitment to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities, both inside and outside Quebec.
IRCC’s action plan includes developing a new Francophone Immigration Policy, boosting promotion and selection efforts for French-speaking PRs, supporting their settlement and integration into Francophone minority communities, and setting ambitious targets for ongoing growth.
Recent successes in increasing Francophone immigration were celebrated during National Francophone Immigration Week in November, with Immigration Minister Marc Miller highlighting the significant contribution of French-speaking immigrants to Canada’s cultural, demographic, and economic richness.
Innovations in Express Entry:
Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2023-2028, released in April, allocates funds to support the growth of official languages. IRCC plans to invest $18.5 million to promote and build recruitment support for Francophone immigration globally. An additional $50 million will enhance the Francophone integration pathway, making settlement and integration easier for newcomers and improving the reception capacity of Francophone minority communities.
These initiatives align with current efforts to boost Francophone immigration, including the provision of additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for Express Entry candidates with French-language ability. Furthermore, IRCC’s new category-based draw system reserves one of six categories specifically for immigration candidates proficient in French, providing them with additional opportunities for Canadian permanent residence.