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New Tourism and Hospitality Stream Draws Record Number of Applicants in Alberta

Austin Campbell

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New Tourism and Hospitality Stream Draws

The allure of Alberta’s picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture continues to attract tourists from around the globe. To bolster its tourism economy, the Alberta government aims to double its tourism sector by 2035 to strengthen the province’s tourism economy.

As part of this initiative, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program introduced the Tourism and Hospitality Stream, offering a pathway to permanent residency for temporary foreign hospitality workers seeking to make Canada their home.

Alberta’s Tourism and Hospitality Stream Eligibility

Since its launch on March 1, the Tourism and Hospitality Stream has witnessed a surge in applicant numbers, reflecting the keen interest among temporary foreign workers to establish roots in Alberta. However, Tracy Douglas-Blowers, President and CEO of the Alberta Hospitality and Lodging Association, notes a shift in the sector’s job market dynamics. While demand for skilled workers remains, job vacancies in the hospitality sector have become less pronounced.

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To qualify for this stream, temporary foreign workers must have accrued at least six months of full-time work experience in the tourism and hospitality sector and hold a permanent job offer. However, concerns have been raised regarding the program’s implications on worker autonomy and vulnerability. Jason Foster, an associate professor specializing in human resources, underscores the importance of providing pathways for temporary foreign workers to obtain permanent residency without being overly reliant on their employers.

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Foster expresses apprehensions about the potential for worker exploitation, emphasizing the need for safeguards and criteria that empower workers independent of their employers. Muhammad Yaseen, Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, reassures stakeholders of the program’s commitment to preventing abuse and misuse, highlighting a staged intake process to effectively manage applications.

See also  Alberta Advocates for Increased Immigration Quota: Calls for 20,000 Nomination Allocations

Employment Requirements

Current Employment

  • Applicants must be living and working in Alberta in an eligible occupation for an approved Tourism and Hospitality employer.
  • A valid work permit based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for an eligible occupation is required.

Work Experience

  • Applicants must have worked full-time (minimum 30 hours per week) with an approved Tourism and Hospitality employer for a minimum of six consecutive months (or 780 hours) at the time of application.

Job Offer or Employment Contract

  • A bona fide full-time job offer or employment contract for work in an eligible occupation with the same Alberta employer as the required work experience is mandatory.

Ineligible Applicants Based on Job Offer

The following individuals are not eligible to apply for or be nominated, even with a job offer to work 30 hours or more in 12 months:

  • Part-time, casual, or seasonal employees
  • Independent contractors, business owners, or temporary agency workers
  • Employees working in locations not zoned for commercial or industrial operations
  • Employees not working in Alberta
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Alberta’s Tourism and Hospitality Stream presents a promising opportunity for temporary foreign workers to transition to permanent residency. While the program has garnered significant interest, stakeholders emphasize the importance of safeguards to protect workers’ rights and autonomy. By fostering collaboration between government agencies and industry stakeholders, Alberta aims to ensure a fair and transparent immigration process while nurturing a thriving tourism sector

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