How learning French can help boost your permanent residence application.
With two official languages, English and French, Canada is one of the rare bilingual countries in the world.
Maintaining a good balance between the two languages spoken throughout the country is vital to Canada. And encouraging more French speakers to come to English-speaking provinces is a great way to reach that goal.
How? By creating several specific immigration pathways and increasing the number of points granted to French-speaking applicants in the Express Entry system. A way for the Canadian government to give those applicants in the Express Entry pool a higher chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
As Marion Ziller, an immigration consultant in Vancouver tells us “In October 2020, Immigration Canada announced the number of additional points granted to French-speaking candidates in the Express Entry system increased from 15 to 25. Additional points awarded to bilingual candidates (CLB 7 level) also increased from 30 to 50 points. We know those points can make a huge difference in someone’s application. They can be the deciding factor in being invited to apply for permanent residence or not. So when it comes to immigrating to Canada, speaking French is a great asset.”
The TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français) is the gold standard of French proficiency exams.
One of our students, Sartaj, decided to take that test last year.
And he gave himself an ambitious challenge: three months to learn French and be ready for the exam.
He passed the exam brilliantly and shares his story with us below:
Hi Sartaj, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
My name is Sartaj, I am 22 years old. I am from India. I love playing sports (soccer or as they call it in Europe, football) and reading personal growth and development books.
Can you expand a bit more on when and why you came to Canada in the first place?
Since my childhood, I have wanted to move abroad. Being in India was great, it was home and I was with my family but I never lived like an Indian kid. I was always watching western or Hollywood movies and following European and American sports as did my brother.
So, I knew I would leave India eventually and move abroad but did not know where to go. I was attracted to Canada because of the country’s bilingual culture and I decided to study here.
What made you decide to learn French?
There were multiple reasons. My brother and I were huge fans of the European Football culture and other things. At that time, he was dreaming of moving to Europe. He got an internship at the Alliance Française and realized learning French would help him move to Europe. He started to take some lessons then I took a few with him. That sparked my interest.
Then, after living in Canada for a few years, I realized being fluent in French would also help me obtain my permanent residence. And I became even more determined to learn the language at all costs.
What were your reasons to take the TEF Exam in Canada?
I needed to speak French and improve my level to CLB 5 to meet the language requirements to apply for the Canadian Permanent Residence.
So, I gave myself this crazy challenge: learn French and prepare for the TEF exam in only three months!
Learn French were the only ones who did not tell me it was straight-up impossible. They were realistic and said it would be hard to succeed in just a few months. But that it would also depend on how much personal work I was ready to put in. I knew I was capable of dedicating time and putting in the work. I decided to take that leap of faith and study with Learn French.
I signed up for private classes in June to take the TEF exam in mid-September. I had to learn and master a lot in a very short amount of time!
But thanks to Learn French’s support, the amazing team, and their comprehensive teaching program, I was ready to take the exam. And I passed successfully, reaching the level I needed for Permanent Residence!
Sometimes thinking back, I realize that if I did not take that leap of faith, I would still be saying to myself “yes I will learn French someday” and that someday may never have come. So, I am really glad I did.
Do you have any tips to prepare for the exam?
Some of the tips I can give are putting in some hard work, being motivated, staying positive, and always reminding yourself of the end goal.
What was it like during the oral part of the exam for you?
Expressing oneself orally is without a doubt the hardest part when it comes to speaking French but with Learn French and my teacher Sophie’s help, it was no longer that hard.
Sophie’s approach and teaching style made learning French for me easier and more engaging.
Describe your feeling when you found out that you NAILED the exam. Such a big success for you!
I was super happy and relieved when I saw my results. But I also knew that it would not have been possible without the help of Learn French.
What’s next for you now in Canada? And when it comes to learning French, is your goal to become bilingual?
I want to keep improving my French so I am still taking French classes with Learn French. I have also decided to move to a bilingual city most likely Ottawa after I receive my permanent residence so that I can interact more with French speakers. Moving there will help me master French while still studying and working.
Also, I hope to be able to visit my brother who lives in France this year.
Thank you Sartaj for taking the time to answer our questions, all the team is wishing you the best for the future!
Did Sartaj’s story inspire you to take the leap too and start your French journey?
Learn French In Vancouver is proud to offer a French Transformation Program: 6 Levels of French lessons, from beginners to advanced, to get all the tools you need to speak French fluently. We also offer a specific program focused on helping you prepare and get ready to take the TEF exam with confidence.
You may also be wondering about your options regarding immigration pathways. Marion Ziller Immigration Services will be your guide and will help you figure out the best way for you to make your Canadian dream come true!