Language of migration – The Manila Times Online

Language of migration - The Manila Times Online



ELIGIBILITY to migrate permanently usually requires the applicant to have proficiency in the language of the nation destination.

Other than the Middle East, the top countries where Filipinos go to work require basic language proficiency, Nihongo, Mandarin, Italian or French.

For the five countries with permanent migration programs that Filipinos favor, English is the primary or first language: the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Australia, New Zealand and Canada assign points to the applicant’s language proficiency as well as the spouse or partner. The UK has a mixed points-based migration for permanent and temporary migrants – Tier 2 for workers and Tier 4 for students.

Applicants for permanent residency under the employment-based categories in the US, particularly registered nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare workers, need to provide evidence of English proficiency as part of a foreign worker certification process.

The English exam is either through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test Of English for International Communications (TOEIC), or the Test of Spoken English (TSE).

Temporary migration to the Middle East on the other hand, does not usually require proficiency in Arabic or Jewish.

Canada unique case
Canada is unique in that it assigns points for proficiency in two official languages – English and French.

The skilled migration to Canada (economic class) allows applicants in the federal skilled worker program, the federal skilled trades program and provincial government’s nomination program to choose the first official language of choice (and earn greater points than for the second official language).

To qualify for inclusion in the candidate pool of applicants seeking Canadian permanent residency, a candidate must earn at least 67 points from the federal skilled worker program (FSWP). A maximum of 28 points is allowed for an applicant for being able to communicate and work in one or both of Canada’s official languages since proficiency in both ensures a faster and more successful settlement.

The 28 points for skills in English or French are based an applicant’s ability to write, read, speak and listen in the language/s of choice as evidenced in the results from an approved language test.

The measure of an applicant’s English or French levels are the Canadian language benchmarks (CLB) for English and Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC) for French

A candidate must get a minimum level of CLB 7 or NCLC 7 for the first official language in all four language areas. To get points for your second official language, a minimum level of CLB 5 or NCLC 5 in all four language areas is required.

The express entry rules will not accept an applicant into the pool without the test results for either English or French. Your results must also show you meet the required level.

Until August this year, Quebec has not been the province of choice in Canada because French is the official language and not too many Filipinos can go beyond mon ami, ces’t la vie or je t’aime

Starting August 2, 2018, the migration door to Quebec was opened wider to English-only proficient applicants in Canada or overseas through the Quebec skilled worker program.

According to the official announcement, “the rules for receiving applications for the 2017-2018 regular skilled worker program will be maintained and extended until August 15, 2018. Under this program, the ministère can receive up to a maximum of 5,000 applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec by August 15.

In the meantime, French-proficient applicants would have the first crack in submitting their applications.

To even the score, however, Quebec announced the criteria – also in English.

“Prospective immigrants who apply to the skilled worker Quebec program are evaluated according to a selection grid of factors, and applicants who score enough points are given a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) which they can then use to apply for Canadian permanent residency.”

Quebec skilled worker eligibility
To qualify for immigration to Canada as a Quebec-selected skilled worker, a solo applicant must score at least 50 points. Potential immigrants who apply with a spouse or a common-law partner must score at least 59 points in order to be eligible for the QSW program. The points factor includes:

— Training (maximum 26 points given across two sub-categories—education (up to 14 points), and areas of training (up to 12 points).

— Work Experience – maximum 8 points under the Quebec skilled worker program work experience category. Eligible work experience must have been gathered in the five years preceding submission of application. Eligible job experience includes both paid and unpaid employment. However, unremunerated employment and internships must have been undertaken in accordance with a training or educational program.

— Age (maximum 16 points). As with the federal express entry selection system, the economic immigration program of Quebec is designed to attract potential skilled workers who will have long and prosperous careers in the province translated as young prospective immigrants who could get up to 16 points towards their eligibility score.


— Language proficiency (maximum 22 points). Understandably “French language skills are preferred by Immigration Quebec, and consequently, French language proficiency is weighted more strongly than English language proficiency with an opportunity for the applicant to score 16 points for French compared to 6 points for English.”

Candidates are tested and graded on written comprehension, written production, oral comprehension and oral production.

(Next week: Quebec skilled worker selection – Part 2)


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