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In this article, we talk about how you can immigrate to Canada through the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream.

Home to some of the hottest tourist destinations in Canada, Alberta is abundant in attractions that bring together travellers from all over the world.

But with much opportunity comes the need for many qualified workers to fill roles in Alberta tourism.

The gaps in Alberta’s labour market were the impetus that led to the creation of the Tourism and Hospitality Stream, that officially opened on March 1, 2024.

The Tourism and Hospitality Stream is a permanent residency pathway for qualified workers who have job offers with eligible employers in an eligible occupation. You must be in Alberta at the time of application, and hold a work permit with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

That’s the official way to say that you cannot apply for this pathway on LMIA-exempt work permits such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), or the International Experience Canada (IEC). Your employer must do the LMIA process and the employment division of the Canadian government (ESDC) must determine that your employment in that job is not taking away an opportunity from a Canadian worker.

If you have always dreamed of working in one of the most scenic provinces in Canada, read on to learn more about the eligibility requirements for the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream.

First Intake For The Tourism & Hospitality Stream Is Complete

The Alberta Government has adopted a staged approach to its Tourism and Hospitality stream intake to cater to high demand for the program.

The first phase is now full. The second intake will be opened at a future date, after the initial applications have been reviewed.

Applications which were created in the AINP portal but have not yet been completed will be accepted when they are complete.

Employer requirements for Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream

In order to immigrate to Canada through the Tourism and Hospitality Stream, you must have a job offer with an eligible Alberta employer.

The following table lists eligible industries as defined by the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta. Contact WCB — Alberta if you need help determining a WCB industry.

Eligible industries

When you submit your application, you must demonstrate to the Alberta government that your Alberta employer has valid WCB coverage or is exempt from needing coverage through a WCB clearance letter.

Eligible sector associations for Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream

Your employer must also be a member of an eligible sector association. If they qualify, but are not already a member, they must become a member in order to be eligible under the Tourism and Hospitality Stream. If they don’t, they will not meet the requirement for the stream and your application will be declined.

If your employer cannot qualify to be a member of one of the eligible sector associations, then they must be included as an Experience Provider on the Travel Alberta website.

Eligible sector associations

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Occupation and employment requirements

In addition to employer requirements, your job offer must also be in an eligible occupation according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Here is a list of the eligible occupations for the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream.

Eligible occupations

Check your NOC code on the Canadian government’s website.

Current employment

According to the Alberta government webpage, at the time your application is submitted and at the time the AAIP assesses your application, you must:

  • be living and working in Alberta in an eligible occupation for an approved Tourism and Hospitality employer; and
  • have a valid work permit based on a positive LMIA for an eligible occupation. Please note that maintained status is not considered a substitute for a valid work permit.

Work experience requirement for the Tourism and Hospitality Stream

The work experience eligibility requirements include:

  • You must be working full time (min. 30 hours/week) with an approved Tourism and Hospitality employer
  • You must be working in one of the eligible occupations for a minimum of six consecutive months, or a minimum of 780 hours by the time you apply.

Eligible work experience:

  • must have been for the same employer as your current Alberta job offer;
  • must have been paid;
  • must have been authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and with valid temporary resident status if completed in Alberta or Canada

Job offer or employment contract requirements

The AAIP will assess your application to ensure you have a bona fide full-time job offer or employment contract:

  • for work in an eligible occupation; and
  • for the same Alberta employer as the required six consecutive months (780 hours) of work experience and your current employment

Your job offer or employment contract must also be signed by your eligible Alberta employer and must offer:

  • continuous, paid work under an employer-employee relationship
  • full-time work, defined as a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • employment for 12 months or more
  • wages and benefits that meet provincial minimum wage AND:
    • meet or exceed the requirements set out in your LMIA (if applicable), OR
    • meet or exceed the lowest starting wage for your occupation across all industries in Alberta
    • Non-wage compensation, including but not limited to compensation from company ownership, is not considered as part of the applicant’s base monetary wage or salary.

Ineligible job offers

We’ve discussed a lot about what makes you eligible for a job offer. On the flip side, these types of jobs are not eligible for the Tourism and Hospitality stream:

  • part-time, casual or seasonal employees, regardless of their working hours
  • independent contractors, business owners or temporary agency workers, including individuals listed as directors, shareholders or agents of the Alberta employer on the Corporate Registry System (CORES)
  • employees who work in Alberta in a place of employment that is not zoned for commercial or industrial operations, such as a home-based business
  • employees who do not work on premises in Alberta, such as those who work in a ‘virtual’ location or serve the employer by telecommuting from a location outside Alberta

Make sure that if any of these apply to you that you don’t try to submit an application for this stream. Your application will be declined and your fee will not be refunded.

Language requirements for the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream

At the time your application is submitted, you must demonstrate you meet the following language test score:

  • Minimum of 4 for each English language skill, OR
  • Minimum of 4 for each French language skill

Alberta currently only accepts the following tests for this stream:

Your official test results must be less than two years old at the time you submit your application.

Remember:

The date used to determine the age of your tests results is the date you took the test, not the date your test results were released.

Also, you have to submit actual test results. The AAIP will not accept confirmation of registration to take a language test in place of a test result.

Education requirements

The Tourism and Hospitality Stream requires you have completed at least a high school education that’s equivalent to Canadian standards.

You must provide a copy of an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for your highest level of education.

However, you do not need to provide an ECA if:

Despite these exemptions, the AAIP may request an ECA from any candidate and/or to seek an internal educational assessment.

How to apply for the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream

After you check your eligibility for the program, you can start your application.

To summarize the process, the steps for applying for Canadian permanent residence through the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality Stream are as follows:

Submit an online application to the AAIP and pay the $500 fee
Receive a provincial nomination from AAIP, if approved
Apply for Canadian permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The AAIP only accepts online applications for the Tourism and Hospitality Stream.You need to create a free Alberta.ca account to access the portal. Learn more about creating an Alberta.ca account on the Alberta government website.

With the AAIP online portal, you can:

  • Complete and submit your application
  • Pay the application fee

The AAIP will send you their decision by email. If you are approved, you will receive a nomination package with instructions on how to apply for permanent residence to IRCC.

How much does it cost to apply for the Alberta Tourism and Hospitality stream?

To apply for the provincial nomination, you will have to pay a non-refundable $500 fee (subject to change) for all online applications that must be paid within 24 hours of submitting your application. Otherwise, your application will be cancelled and you’ll have to re-submit if you still wish to apply for the Tourism and Hospitality stream.

You can see the most up-to-date fees for applying for permanent residence on the Canadian government website. Please note, these fees may be subject to change.

How long does it take to process Alberta Tourism and Hospitality stream applications?

You can view current processing times for all AAIP programs on the Alberta government website. This is how long it could take for the AAIP to process your application for a provincial nomination.

After that, you will have to apply for permanent residence under the PNP non-Express Entry category. You can view current processing times on the IRCC website to estimate how long it could take to receive a decision on your application.

If you’re interested in moving to Canada but not sure which program you may be eligible for, check your eligibility for more than 20 Canadian immigration programs by taking Moving2Canada’s free Canada Immigration Quiz.

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