In March 2023, Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.7%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points from February 2022 and down 0.2 percentage points from January 2023, per This is the lowest rate since 2015.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s tourism industry was the first one to take a catastrophic hit. Many hotels and restaurants were closed, some of them permanently. But when travel returned and temporary layoffs ended, much of that labour force didn’t return to work.

Premier Visa and Immigration Services has many Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC), licensed recruiters, and a wide international network of existing and previous clients. We are dedicated, passionate, and fun immigration professionals! We are an authorized national and international Employment Agency operating under Licence 354226 issued under the authority of Alberta.

We have successfully helped organizations like yours recruit qualified, skilled foreign workers in housekeeping and food & beverage positions. We currently work with Lake Louise Ski Resort, Mount Norquay, Ramada Downtown Calgary and the Best Western Village Park.

We can help you recruit skilled foreign workers by applying the following strategies:

  • By recruiting hospitality professionals working on major international cruise lines, the J-1 Hospitality Internship & Training Program in the United States, and countries like Europe, South, and Eastern Asia, as well as the Gulf Region. We also have connections with some excellent hospitality management schools based in Europe.
  • Most of our recruits have extensive experience gained in 4 and 5-star hotels, and understand the importance of excellent service standards in the industry, they possess strong work ethics, and are highly motivated to go above and beyond at work for career success!

Rural Renewal Stream – Alberta Advantage Immigration program

This is an excellent stream that supports Alberta employers located in rural communities to attract and retain newcomers. This is a community-driven approach where communities must apply for and become designated before they can recruit and endorse candidates. Once a community is designated, it can attract and support newcomers with their PR and LMIA-exempt work permit applications simultaneously. The government fee for the LMIA-exempt employment offer is $230.

List of designated communities to date.

Recruitment: a designated community, in partnership with their local economic development organization and participating employers, is responsible for recruiting foreign nationals. Candidates may be recruited from within Alberta, Canada, or outside of Canada. During this process, all federal immigration rules and regulations apply.

General criteria for applicants: applicants can’t apply to the province of Alberta directly if they do not have an endorsement of a candidate letter from a designated community. They must demonstrate previous work experience, English or French language knowledge, Education level, and Settlement funds.

Employment offer: has to be full-time (min 30 hours per week or more) and non-seasonal, at least 12 months or more.

  • There is a list of ineligible occupations published on the website. All occupations of the hospitality sector are eligible in both the skilled and non-skilled streams. Exception: only Casino Occupations under the NOC code 64321 are not eligible.
  • The processing time for a work permit application is displayed online, varying from 1 day to several months.
  • The pay rate has to be within range as published on the Alberta Employment website at the medium rate of pay if the foreign worker already works for the employer on the LMIA application.

Low-wage Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

We use the Low-wage LMIA stream if the offered rate is below the provincial or territorial median hourly wage of $28.85/h. If the offered rate of pay is at or above that rate, we use the High-wage LMIA stream.  In practice, most hospitality positions would fall under the Low-wage stream.

This stream includes posting advertisements on the national Employment Job Bank website and min 2 other websites for 4 consecutive weeks in accordance with Low-wage LMIA standards.  Our firm can post and run your ads on your behalf.

The international recruitment process commences at this point! We start pre-screening international candidates by interviewing them, asking employment-specific questions, and performing employment reference checks. At this point, we verify their English language knowledge, educational documents, and police clearances. Video interviews are arranged for you with candidates we have pre-screened.

LMIA submission: Premier Immigration will create the LMIA rationale, Submission Letter, and all other relevant documents necessary to file the LMIA application. Processing time is between 9-36 business days depending on the stream.

There will be a quick interview with a Service Canada Officer. After the LMIA approval, we can prepare applicants for the work permit application. Work permit processing time ranges from the same day for Visa-free candidates to several months for Visa-required candidates.

Passport request and your employee’s arrival: once the application receives a passport request from the Canadian Embassy for the Work Visa stamping, we will prepare candidates for arrival and interview with a CBSA officer at the border. We would send them information about accommodation and various applications or forms they would need to fill in, such as Provincial health insurance and SIN applications, bank account opening and driver’s license transfer. Once they are in Canada, we will ensure their work permit gets extended on time!

The most important facts about the Low-wage LMIA applications:

  • Applications can be open (unnamed) or contain foreign worker names. In other words, employers can approve these applications in advance while searching for the best candidates if they wish.
  • The employment offer can be in any occupation.
  • The processing time, on average, is 36 business days.
  • Employers are subject to a 30% cap for the hospitality sector. This cap is valid until October 30th, 2023, and after this date, it may or may not be extended.
  • Employers will have to pay airfare for workers.
  • The government processing fee is $1,000 per worker.
  • The prevailing wage is displayed on the Job Bank: Search wages – Job Bank.
  • With approved LMIA applications, applicants can apply for two years employer-specific work permit.

If you have any questions about the above, please contact a Premier Immigration Consultant today!