What is an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO)? And what is the current processing time for AEO applications?

July 25, 2011

An AEO is a document issued by Service Canada in support of a person’s application under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Applicants with a valid AEO will score extra points in the FSWP point schedule. More importantly, they are not subject to the caps imposed on the FSWP since June 2010.

Unlike the Labour Market Opinion (LMO), an AEO does not support application for a work permit. Service Canada issues an AEO based on the qualification of the employer. The CIC visa officer will assess the skilled worker application in entirety and determine whether the job offer is genuine and the applicant is able and likely to perform the job. Note that all AEO applications are now processed in the Center of Specialization in Saint John, New Brunswick.

As of June this year the processing time for AEO applications were slightly above 4 months. This has been down by 1 month compared to 4-5 months ago. Due to the imposition of caps on the Federal Skilled Worker program, the volumes of AEO application received by the Service Canada have increased. Human Resources Canada and Service Canada aim to achieve an average processing time of 3-4 weeks for this type of applications, and additional resources have been allocated for this end. However, it is expected that the goal will not be realized in the near future.

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