March 8, 2013 — On December 19, 2012, the Government of Canada published regulations that will change the way Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) processes offers of arranged employment for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Currently, employers seek an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) from HRSDC when they wish to hire a foreign national on a permanent, full-time basis and support their employee’s application for permanent residence through the FSWP.
Starting on May 4, 2013, most* offers of arranged employment will require a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from HRSDC in support of an FSWP application, instead of an AEO.
LMOs are currently used in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, as employers often must apply for authorization from HRSDC before hiring temporary foreign workers.
LMOs assess whether there are Canadians or permanent residents available to do the job. This will not change.
Employers will be able to use a single application for an LMO, whether it is being used to support the issuance of a temporary work permit or a permanent resident visa.
AEO letters provided by HRSDC to employers under existing regulations will no longer be accepted by CIC if the FSWP application is received on or after May 4, 2013.
Transitional processing of Arranged Employment Offers
To ensure efficient service delivery in advance of the program changes on May 4, 2013, HRSDC and CIC have collaboratively set up transitional measures.
Applications received by HRSDC before or on March 8, 2013
- Employers whose AEO application was received by HRSDC on or before March 8, 2013, and who have not yet received an opinion will be able to submit an LMO application should they choose.
- Employers with pending AEO applications who choose not to avail themselves of this opportunity will remain in the processing queue. However their application may not be processed in time for it to be used in support of an FSWP application (i.e. before May 4, 2013).
- HRSDC will soon mail employers with pending AEO applications the revised LMO application form so they have the opportunity to update their application. Those who choose to update will not lose their place in the processing queue.
- AEOs will only be valid until May 3, 2013. CIC must receive any FSWP application that is supported by an AEO on or before May 3, 2013 or it will not be accepted.
Applications for AEOs submitted to HRSDC/Service Canada after March 8 and before May 4, 2013
- Current processing times are about 8 weeks, so any applications for an AEO received after March 8, 2013, are not likely to be processed by May 3, 2013.
- For this reason, if you submit a new AEO application after March 8, 2013, it will be returned to you with instructions on how to apply for an LMO.
*There is one exception. An LMO will not be required if the offer of arranged employment is made to an individual who:
- is already working in Canada with a valid work permit issued under a federal-provincial agreement or an international agreement (other than an agreement regarding seasonal agricultural workers), and
- has received a permanent job offer from the same employer listed on their work permit.