Northwest Canada is a large region of Canada that includes a vast area of forest and tundra. This region constitutes over 1 area of the total area of Canada. This region is bordered by Nunavut to the East and provinces including Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Alberta to the south. To the west of this region is Yukon. The northern territories stretch far above the Arctic Circle.

If you are interested in immigrating to this region, you need to learn more about the Northwest Territories Nominee program. Here, we introduce you to the Provincial Nomination Program Canada offers you to immigrate to the northwest territories of the country.

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program

If you are willing to immigrate to Canada via the Northwest Territories Nominee Program, it’s required that you either:

  • have a job offer from an employer in the NWT, or
  • be ready to invest in, open, or purchase a business in the NWT.

In case you are arriving in the Northwest Territories to invest in, purchase, or open a business in the NWT, the Business Stream of Canada nomination program for the region will be the best pathway for you. In case you have a job offer from an employer in the NWT, you must immigrate via the Employer-Driven Stream.

Immigration via the Employer-driven Stream

This immigration Stream under the Northwest Territories Nominee Program caters to employers who are looking to hire and issue nominations to foreign nationals. Nominations are issued in this fashion in the instance of the absence of Canadians/Canada PR to take up open job vacancies.

This stream assists employers to hire skilled workers who are critically needed in the region. It also helps workers succeed in obtaining Canada PR via 3 immigration program categories.

What do you need to do to apply?

For this stream to work, you have to first get a job offer from an employer in NWT. 

In most instances where you want to apply for the Employer Stream, you have to possess a Canadian work permit, issued by the federal government of Canada, already.

If you happen to be in Canada, it’s required that you have legal status to work. You must also have a valid work permit for the whole period the application process runs.

After your application receives approval, you may get a work permit support letter. It allows approved nominees to file an application for a new work permit that’s closed to the nominating employer.

If you are outside Canada, you won’t have the eligibility for nomination. Only if your case is deemed exceptional on the basis of the circumstances and depending on the employer’s business case and operational circumstances, may your file be considered for assessment for highly skilled occupations.

Employers are required to consult with the authorities regarding exceptional circumstances. This must be done prior to submitting an application.

Once you receive a job offer from an employer in NWT, that employer will require you to contact the immigration team and apply for one of 3 categories of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program:

  • Entry-level/semi-skilled occupations
  • Skilled worker
  • NWT Express Entry

*Know your eligibility to immigrate to Canada, through Y-Axis Canada Immigration Points Calculator.

Immigration via the Business Stream

The Business Stream of Northwest Territories Nominee Program is meant for you if you are ready to start a business in the NWT, buy an existing business in the region, or invest in and operate a business already here in the NWT.

Advantages of applying via the Business Stream in NWT

  • A no wait-list for your application
  • Faster processing times

Qualifying for the Business Stream in NWT

Here are the criteria to meet in order to apply for immigration to NWT via the Business Stream:

  1. You must make a commitment to invest:
    • At least CAD150,000 as CDN equity into starting or purchasing a business that exists outside of the corporate limits of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories or
    • At least CAD300,000 as CDN equity into starting or purchasing a business that exists within the corporate limits of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
  2. You must show that you own a minimum of 33.3% of the business unless your investment as personal equity is not less than CAD1,000,000, in which instance you may own less.
  3. You also have to give proof that you have a minimum personal net worth of:
    • CAD250,000 in case you are buying or starting a business outside the corporate limits of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories or
    • CAS500,000 in case you are buying or starting a business within the corporate limits of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
  4. You have to show that you have achieved a language proficiency level of CLB 4 in English or the equivalent level of language proficiency against the NCLC (Niveaux de competence Linquistique Canadiens) in French when applying for immigration.
  5. You are required to prove that you have reasonable knowledge as well as an understanding of the Northwest Territories and the economy of the region.
  6. You have to demonstrate that you possess reasonable skills in communication that are appropriate to run a business in the Northwest Territories as well as to integrate into the local community of the region.
  7. You must have the education and experience necessary to successfully implement the business plan.
  8. You have to demonstrate enough financial resources to commence and operate a business and give support to yourself and any dependents for the duration of your Business Performance Agreement.
  9. You can’t have an active application with any other provincial/territorial nominee program and any other stream of the Canada nomination program in the Northwest Territories. You mustn’t be a Refugee Claimant too.
  10. You must be willing to settle full-time in the NWT.

The application procedure

Here are some things to be mindful of in case you decide to apply for immigration via the Northwest Territories Nominee Program:

  1. There will be a self-assessment to determine whether you meet the minimum eligibility criteria.
  2. You will have to undertake a trip to the NWT to explore the region and participate in a face-to-face interview.
  3. Post your visit to NWT as mentioned above, you will go through a pre-screening of your business concept. Your interview results will also be evaluated. In case you are successful, you will get formally invited to apply and submit your application as well as your business plan.
  4. The next step is the review of your application. If your application gets approval, a Business Performance Agreement is drafted. It’s a legal agreement for 2 years between you and the Government of the Northwest Territories. It outlines the obligations you are bound to fulfill so that you receive a certificate of nomination.

Once all these are done, you are to build and run your business. If you had a successful run with your business in NWT, you will get nominated for Canada PR.

How can I apply through the Skilled Worker category?

The Skilled Worker category of the Employer-driven Stream of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program is meant to bring in qualified individuals to work in the NWT. This becomes necessary when there are not enough native workers fit to be employed in jobs in the NWT.

If you are a skilled foreign national and are willing to live and work in NWT, you have to become eligible to apply. You must be capable of demonstrating that you have the training, education, and experience required to meet the needs of the job. As a skilled worker, you are expected to have a year of full-time experience in the relevant job.

You also need to meet a minimum language requirement when applying. This is to ensure that you are able to communicate in English/French. You must provide proof of the test with the test results document.

What’s the Northwest Territories Nominee Program’s NWT Express Entry program?

This program category is meant for skilled workers with a profile already existing in the Canada Express Entry System, a federal immigration program. It was created with the aim of expediting application work for skilled people wanting to live and work in the NWT.

Canada Express Entry helps employers get skilled workers by bringing about fast processing of applications for Canada PR. Applicants who get approval will get 600 extra CRS points within the Canada Express Entry pool.

Here are the eligibility criteria to apply for the NWT Express Entry program:

  • You must be accepted into the IRCC pool of candidates.
  • You must have a profile created in the Express Entry system.
  • You must have a Job Seeker Validation Code.
  • You must meet the criteria to qualify for the NWT Skilled Worker stream.

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