Modernization of the Charter of the French language
The Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec amends the Charter of the French language and establishes French as the only official, common language of Québec. It strengthens the status of French in all spheres of society.
The Act makes the French language an affair of the State and the Language Policy of the State stems from it.
French is the common language
French is not only the sole official language of Québec but is also the common language of the Québec nation. It serves as a common denominator in the public sphere and is a means of communication between Quebecers who do not have the same first language. French is also the language through which immigrants integrate into Québec society.
Leading role of the civil administration
The civil administration is proud to serve Quebecers in French and to thus play a leading role in protecting the French language in Québec.
The Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec establishes a duty of exemplarity of the civil administration pertaining to the use, promotion, influence, and protection of the French language. Under the general principle of exemplariness, all communications of the civil administration must be solely in French. This applies, in particular, to the language of public services.
In certain situations, the Act allows organizations to use a language other than French.
Public services in a other language
If you are covered by one of the exceptions under the Charter of the French language, you are asked to specify if you wish to receive public services in a language other than French. A supporting document is not currently required if you declare on your honour that you qualify for services in a language other than French.
Individuals who corresponded solely in English with the civil administration prior to May 13, 2021
The civil administration can continue to serve in English any individual with whom it communicated solely in English prior to May 13, 2021, with respect to matters of concern to the individual.
Persons declared eligible to receive instruction in English
The bodies of the civil administration can communicate in English with the individuals declared eligible to receive instruction in English and who have obtained the declaration of eligibility for instruction in English from the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec.
However, this exception does not apply to the children of foreign nationals living temporarily in Québec such as foreign students and temporary foreign workers and who have obtained the authorization to receive instruction in English (Admissibilité à l’enseignement en anglais— Autorisation temporaire).
The Indigenous peoples
The bodies of the civil administration can also use a language other than French to communicate with the Indigenous peoples, i.e., the members of the First Nations and the Inuit.
The bodies of the civil administration can use a language other than French to provide immigrant reception services in Québec. The exception applies for six months following a newcomer’s arrival in Québec.
Services provided outside Québec
The bodies of the civil administration can provide services to individuals in another language in addition to French when such services are provided outside Québec.
Bodies of the civil administration subject to the Charter
To determine whether a body is obliged to serve the public in French, please consult the Liste des organismes de l’Administration (PDF 626 Kb) (in French only).
Everyone can learn French through Francisation Québec
Francisation Québec is the sole government access point to learn French for adults living in Québec, those planning to settle there, and workers in businesses.
To obtain additional information on these services, please visit:
- Francisation Québec (in French only)
- Learn French
Last update: June 5, 2023