By law, professionals practicing in Québec must be proficient enough in French to practice their profession, that is, they must be able to speak, write, and work in French.

Professionals from outside Québec who are not proficient in French when they apply for admission can obtain a temporary license for a limited time while they learn the language.

Appropriate knowledge of French

Under the Charter of the French Language, your knowledge of French is considered sufficient if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You completed at least three years of full-time secondary or postsecondary education in French
  • You passed the French as a first language exam for Secondary Levels 4 or 5 in Québec
  • You earned a high school diploma in Québec in 1985–86 or a later school year

If you do not meet one of these conditions, you must obtain a French language proficiency certificate from OQLF.

Obtaining a French proficiency certificate

To obtain a French proficiency certificate from OQLF, you must pass the French exam administered by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF).

This free exam lasts about three hours and assesses your oral and written proficiency in French. It consists of four activities: individual reading, group discussion, individual writing, and an interview with an evaluator.

No other French exam is accepted (e.g., the International French Test or TFI).

Temporary license (limited period)

While you are learning French, you can obtain a temporary license to legally practice your profession in Québec.

You can obtain a temporary license provided:

  • You studied outside Quebec
  • OPPQ certifies that you are qualified to practice your profession

The temporary license:

  • Is valid for one year
  • Can be renewed up to three times (provided you show up to take the OQLF exam at least once in the current year)

After four years, you will not be able to practice your profession unless you pass the OQLF exam. However, you can keep taking the exam until you pass.

Learning French

The OQLF provides a list of tools and resources to learn French or become more proficient in French.

The Government of Québec offers free French courses for immigrants. Some courses focus specifically on health.