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If you're looking for an Alberta immigration program, there's a new pathway for tourism and hospitality workers.

The Tourism and Hospitality Stream is officially open!

On February 13, Alberta announced the Tourism and Hospitality Stream under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP).

The new Alberta immigration program is for candidates who have a valid full-time, non-seasonal job offer from an approved employer operating within the appropriate industry.

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News of the new stream comes as Alberta’s tourism industry grapples with labour shortages.

“The future of Alberta’s visitor economy depends on a thriving tourism and hospitality sector being able to meet the increasing demands of visitor traffic throughout the province,” Muhammad Yassen, Alberta’s minister of immigration, says in a media release. “We’ve listened to stakeholders as they’ve shared concerns about the persistent labour shortages within their industry, and this new stream is a direct response to those challenges.”

Alberta’s tourism and hospitality sector is a key driver of economic growth throughout the province. It is also supports job growth in rural areas and communities outside of big cities. At the same time, it showcases the beauty of Canada’s west-most Prairie Province, and enhances the quality of life for Albertans.

“Alberta restaurants face the highest job vacancy rate of any sector at nine per cent, nearly double the province’s average of five per cent. Labour shortages have hindered their post-pandemic recovery,” says Mark von Schellwitz, vice-resident of Western Canada, Restaurants Canada. “We thank the Alberta government for helping to address these concerns through the dedicated Tourism and Hospitality Stream, offering support to revitalize restaurants and help them access the labour they need to thrive in their communities.”

Alberta’s tourism industry is a significant employer in the province. It has made a full recovery from the downturn during the pandemic. In 2022, Alberta saw $10.7 billion in tourism spending, representing an increase of $600 million from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Also in 2022, Alberta saw 32 million person-visits, generating $10.7 billion in expenditures, and supporting more than 80,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Additionally, an impressive 11 percent of Canada’s tourism-related businesses are based in Alberta. These figures speak to the high demand for talent in Alberta tourism.

Alberta’s new Tourism and Hospitality Stream is open to people who have already been working for a tourism and hospitality business for at least six months and who have met criteria to establish themselves in the province permanently. It will offer a pathway to permanent residency for eligible candidates.

“The tourism and hospitality immigration stream will open up new opportunities across the province while attracting skilled workers to well-paying jobs that will support their families,” Josef Schow, Minister of Tourism and Sport, says in the release. “As Alberta’s visitor economy continues to thrive, it is critical we supply our tourism and destination operators with the workforce they need for success.”

Work in Alberta with IEC

Did you know that youth from over 30 countries can be eligible for an open work permit in Canada? That means they may be able to come to Canada without a job offer and work for any employer anywhere in the country!

Under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, youth ages 18-35 (18-30 for some countries) can apply to take a working holiday in Canada. The length of time they’re allowed to stay in Canada depends on their country.

Although IEC candidates would need to get an LMIA-supported work permit in order to be eligible for the Tourism and Hospitality Stream, working in Canada on an IEC work permit can help you qualify for one of Canada’s many immigration pathways.

See if your country is one of the participating IEC countries, and see if you may be eligible for IEC by taking Moving2Canada’s free Canada Immigration Quiz and creating an account.

You’ll also be able to check your eligibility for more than 20 Canadian immigration programs. Take the quiz today!

Citation "Alberta opens new immigration program: Tourism and Hospitality Stream." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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