Canada captivates with its stunning fusion of majestic natural scenery and unparalleled quality of life, making it an irresistible haven for those in pursuit of a fresh start or a life-altering journey. Its diverse landscapes, from the rugged beauty of the Rockies to the serene expanses of its national parks, promise not just a place to live, but an enriching, transformative experience.

French citizens can move to Canada from France through various immigration programs, including work permits, permanent residency, and study permits. To move, one must assess their eligibility, gather necessary documents, understand the application process, and submit a successful application.

This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the pathways available for moving to Canada from France, providing you with the essential information to make an informed decision.

Canadian Immigration Consultant

At Wild Mountain Immigration, we understand the aspirations of French citizens to make Canada their home. With our unique background as a Canadian immigration consulting firm founded by English immigrants who are now proud Canadians, we bring a personal touch to our services.

Our dedicated team of experienced immigration experts will guide you through the complex process, tailoring your application to your specific needs and submitting it with confidence.

Move to Canada from France

Move to Canada from France

Canada is a welcoming nation for immigrants, recognizing their valuable contributions to the economy by filling skill shortages and creating job opportunities. With nearly 100 immigration programs available, the process of moving to Canada can be streamlined for those who meet the requirements. Temporary or permanent residency can be applied for through several popular routes, including options for those coming from France.

Below are some of the most popular routes to help you understand how to move to Canada from France.

Table of contents

Work in Canada from France

International Experience Canada (IEC)

As a French citizen under 35 years of age, you are eligible to participate in the International Experience Canada Program (IEC) under the Working Holiday program, allowing up to 24 months of work or travel in Canada.

Participation in the Working Holiday is limited to once, with an additional opportunity through the International Co-op (Internship) category if you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you participated in IEC before 2015, you may be eligible for a second participation in any category. However, multiple participations before 2015 disqualify you. For those in the Volontariat international en entreprise (VIE) program, IEC application is mandatory, and VIE participations prior to 2015 are not counted as IEC participations.

Labour Market Impact Assessment

To apply for a closed work permit, a foreign national must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and the employer must have obtained a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA evaluates the impact the foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market and must be obtained through a designated third party. The employer must submit an LMIA application along with the required fee to ESDC.

Upon approval, the employer will receive a confirmation letter to use in applying for a work permit for the foreign worker.

Intra Company Transferee

Canada’s Intra-Company Transfer program is part of the International Mobility Program, which allows high-skilled foreign nationals from multinational companies to work in Canada without needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Eligibility criteria for employees include working in executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacities, and having been employed for at least one year in the past three years. The Canadian and foreign enterprises must have a qualifying relationship such as a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate, and be actively engaged in business. Eligible individuals can apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under certain conditions.

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Canadian permanent residency from France

There are a number of Canadian immigration programs that are available to residents of France.

Some of the most popular ones are described below:

Express Entry Program

The Canadian government’s Express Entry streamlines the process of accepting permanent residency applications from skilled workers. There are three separate streams, each catering to a particular group of individuals.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is for skilled workers who have a minimum of one year of work experience in a designated occupation, as well as the necessary level of education and language proficiency.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) targets skilled tradespeople who have at least two years of experience in a particular trade and language proficiency.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream is intended for skilled workers who have obtained at least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada and fulfill the language proficiency requirements.

Applicants create an online profile that is ranked based on factors such as education, work experience, and language proficiency. If selected from the Express Entry pool, the applicant is invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Use our Express Entry CRS Score Calculator to determine your score.


Express Entry Ebook

This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residency for individuals who wish to settle in a specific province. Each province and territory operates its own streams targeting specific groups of people that can contribute to that region.

To be eligible for nomination through the PNP, applicants must meet the criteria set by the respective province.

Take a look at the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program or the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.

Family Sponsorship Program

You may apply for permanent residency in Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program if you have a relative living in or outside of the country. Your relative must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and at least 18 years old, to sponsor you. If they are a Canadian citizen living abroad, they must demonstrate their intention to reside in Canada when you become a permanent resident. Permanent residents residing outside of Canada are unable to sponsor.

This program allows for the sponsorship of spouses, partners, children, and parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, under certain conditions.

Atlantic Immigration Program

The Atlantic Immigration Program provides a pathway for skilled foreign workers and graduates of recognized post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The program is focused on filling in-demand jobs in the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

To be eligible, candidates must demonstrate language proficiency, education, and work experience relevant to the job they seek. By participating in this program, individuals can contribute to the economic growth of the Atlantic region and build a new life in Canada.

Quebec Selected Skilled Workers Program

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program is a unique immigration pathway designed for skilled individuals willing to live and work in Quebec, Canada. The program operates under a special agreement between the province and the federal government, which allows Quebec to set its own selection criteria for granting permanent residency.

To apply for this program, you must first submit an application to the provincial government to be considered for a Quebec Selection Certificate. If you meet the eligibility criteria, the certificate will be issued. Once you have the certificate, you can proceed to the next step, which is to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency.

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Business Immigration from France

Apply for permanent residency in Canada from France through the Business Immigration Program if you have experience in managing or owning a business. Popular categories include:

Start-Up Visa Investor Program

Apply for permanent residency in Canada through the Start-Up Visa Investor Program if you’re an entrepreneur seeking to establish a new business. Prerequisites include a novel business idea that can create jobs and compete globally, a letter of support from a designated organization, meeting language requirements and sufficient funds to support yourself and your family.

Self-Employment Visa

Apply for the Self-Employment Visa if you’re an expert in athletics or cultural activities and willing to contribute significantly in these fields in Canada. Requirements include 2+ years of relevant experience, sufficient funds for settlement, and passing medical and security checks.

Study in Canada from France

As a French citizen, if you want to study in Canada, you’ll need to apply for a study permit. You must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada and meet all eligibility requirements. The study permit is usually valid for up to 90 days after the completion of your program, providing time for students to either extend their stay or return home.

Move to Canada from France frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about moving to Canada from France:

For French citizens seeking to move to Canada, the government prioritizes skilled workers through its economic immigration programs, but there are other options available. Visitors can stay in Canada for up to 6 months without a visa, and those with Canadian citizen family members may be eligible for a Super Visa allowing extended stays of up to 5 years.

If you’re interested in permanent residency, you may receive an invitation to apply through the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program. Alternatively, moving to Canada before retirement, working and establishing residency, or starting or buying a business in Canada, are options for a permanent solution.

Your child may be able to accompany you when moving to Canada, based on factors such as age, relationship, and others. If immigrating as a permanent resident, dependents can also immigrate. If over 18, the child may immigrate independently. For specific eligibility and requirements, it’s advisable to consult a Canadian immigration consultant or lawyer.

Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to apply for a Canadian work visa, student visa or permanent residency.

The process of moving from France to Canada requires completing an immigration application. This may include medical exams, police clearance, and language proficiency tests. The specifics of the process depend on the chosen immigration program and personal circumstances.

The processing time can vary depending on the type of visa and the individual circumstances, but it can take several months or longer.

The amount of money you’ll need depends on many factors, such as the cost of living in the location you’re moving to, the cost of housing, and your personal expenses.

The cost of living can vary depending on the location, but in general, cities in Canada tend to be more expensive than cities in France.

It is advisable to have health insurance coverage when moving to Canada from France, as the public health insurance system in Canada does not cover all medical expenses. It is important to research and compare the different health insurance options available to you, as the type and amount of coverage will depend on factors such as your age, medical history, and immigration status.

You may be eligible for coverage under the public health insurance plan of the province or territory in which you plan to reside; however, all provinces vary.

Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system that provides universal coverage to all citizens and permanent residents. If you reside in Canada, you are eligible for some healthcare benefits.

Coverage and services can vary by province or territory.

Some of the best cities to live in Canada for Japanese immigrants include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, and Calgary. Factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, cultural attractions, and quality of life will vary and should be considered when choosing a city to live in.


A move to Canada from France can be a complex process with many factors, including eligibility requirements and processing times. Itโ€™s important to research your options and consult with an immigration consultant or lawyer before making any decisions about immigration. With careful planning and preparation, you can make sure that you are ready for the journey ahead of you when it comes to relocating yourself and your family members in pursuit of a new life in Canada.

At Wild Mountain Immigration, our goal is to simplify and streamline the complex process of moving from France to Canada. Our experienced immigration consultants are dedicated to guiding you every step of the way and ensuring a smooth and stress-free transition.

Donโ€™t let the daunting task of immigration hold you back from realizing your dreams. Let Wild Mountain Immigration be your trusted partner on this exciting journey. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you make Canada your new home.

Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta and John Price.

Nicola Wightman

Nicola Wightman is a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) under the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Her professional immigration consultant number is R706497.

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