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The Government of Canada is now accepting the results of a new test as proof of language ability for French-speaking economic immigration candidates applying for permanent residence.
The Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) is administered by the French government-run Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP) to test proficiency in French and will be available at approved test centres in Canada and more than 150 countries.
The CIEP says the TCF Canada was designed to correspond with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s recognized French language standards, the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC).
Candidates for economic immigration programs including those managed by the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) — must prove a sufficient level of proficiency in either English or French in order to be eligible for immigration to Canada, where both serve as official languages.
For example, candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Class who are claiming French as their first language have to prove a proficiency that is equivalent to NCLC level 7.
The TCF Canada is now the second French language test that’s recognized by IRCC. The other recognized option remains the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF Canada).
This means that the results of either the TCF Canada or the TEF Canada will be honoured by IRCC.
English-speaking candidates for permanent residence aren’t required to provide French test results unless they are claiming French language ability.
The accepted tests for English language proficiency are International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).
The Government of Canada and provinces like Ontario have introduced a number of measures to encourage francophone immigration and bolster Canada’s French-speaking communities outside of Quebec.
Ontario’s Express Entry-aligned French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream is one of Canada’s most active immigration pathways for francophone economic immigration candidates and has issued 1,383 invitations to eligible Express Entry candidates this year.
Canada’s 2016 census found more than seven million Canadians who reported using French as their mother tongue. Of that number, nearly 950,000 lived outside the province of Quebec.