French-speaking skilled workers get an Express Entry boost in Ontario
By AdvocateDaily.com Staff
Ontario’s French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream represents an excellent opportunity for bilingual immigrants to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system, says Toronto immigration lawyer Robin Seligman.
Ontario paused most of its Provincial Nominee Program streams last May to prevent backlogs growing any bigger after filling their annual quota for 2016. However, the French-speaking stream remained open, and in January the province announced that it will process applications online as part of its efforts to meet its target of five per cent Francophone immigration.
“This is a very good move, and a great opportunity for anyone who speaks French and English,” Seligman tells AdvocateDaily.com
To qualify, applicants must have a university degree, show high proficiency in both English and French, and meet the criteria for the Federal Skills Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class.
Seligman, principal of the immigration law boutique Seligman Professional Corporation, says the move is particularly timely coming in the wake of recent changes to the Express Entry system by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which drastically lowered the number of points available for applicants with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment. French speaking stream applicants who are pulled by the Provincial of Ontario get an additional 600-point boost to their score, guaranteeing an invitation to apply for permanent residence, Seligman says.