In a dialogue with Service Canada personnel this week, we were made aware of the current state of processing Labour Market Opinions within the organization.  At this time, we have been informed that due to the increased volume of LMO applications submitted within Alberta combined with increasing vigilance towards regulatory requirements, processing times have now reached between 12-14 weeks.  This is a noteworthy escalation from the previously suggested 8-12 week processing time.

Additionally, on occasion we have successfully lobbied Service Canada to expedite applications for urgent cases and highly skilled positions, but we have been informed that this will be increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to do in the future.

As quoted directly from the Service Canada Centre in Alberta on October 18th, 2013:

“In 2012, this Region’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program managed approximately 50,000 applications representing over 158,000 workers, while maintaining quality service to our employers.  To ensure all applications are processed at a high level of service, Service Canada regulates the flow of these applications through a queue with an understanding and appreciation that all of our clients have urgent labour force needs.  We continue to strive for consistent, quality service to meet current demands as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.  We regret to inform you that we are unable to accommodate [these] requests to fast track the processing of Labour Market Opinions.”

When we also consider the mandatory 4 week advertising period, we anticipate that Labour Market Opinion processing times will now average between 4 – 5 months in total.  We encourage our clientele to consider the requirements of your foreign worker pool carefully, to ensure adequate time is allowed for preparation, advertising, and processing of these applications.