You need permission to learn English? (Or French elsewhere?)

In Quebec, yes. Maybe we should get belM in here for the details. I think it's easier to get your kid into a French school (not the same as a French immersion school) outside of Quebec than to get into an English school in Quebec. I'm trying to find information on it for my old province (Manitoba) but can't seem to find anything. I had the impression you didn't have to be a "native" French speaker to go to French schools in Manitoba. Let me look into it further.

Edit: I realized that I left half of your question unanswered. You don't need permission to learn French as a second language (ie. one class per day) or even go to French Immersion schools, but to go to a school where life happens in French and all the kids there speak it as a FIRST language is a different story. Those schools are different than French Immersion schools, where the kids' first language is English and they are learning French as a second language.