Northwest Territories and Nunavut Immigration

Foreign nationals wishing to relocate to Northwest Territories may apply under the Northwest Territories Program for provincial nomination. 

An application may be submitted under one of the following four categories:

  1. Skilled Worker
  2. Express Entry Skilled Worker 
  3. Critical Impact Worker
  4. Business Stream

At present, Nunavut has no immigrant nominee program.

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1) Northwest Territories Skilled Worker Program

In order to qualify under this program, the following criteria must be satisfied:

The Employer must:

  • Have a job vacancy;
  • Identify a potential nominee;
  • Be a registered business, industry association or a local, municipal, First Nation or Territorial government in the NWT that has been registered and operational for a minimum of one year;
  • Be in good standing with the Worker’s Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) and the NWT Employment Standards Office;
  • Provide proof of local and national recruitment efforts and submit a summary of results;
  • Obtain a positive HRSDC Service Canada Labour Market Opinion.

The offer of employment must:

  • Be for a permanent full time position (minimum 30 hours per week);
  • Be in an occupation that falls into high skill level occupation;
  • Not conflict with existing collective bargaining agreements;
  • Comply with the NWT Employment Standards Act;
  • Provide a comparable industry rate of pay.

The Nominee must:

  • Have the required certification or accreditation for the specific trade or occupation;
  • If applicable, meet territorial certification, licensing or registration requirements of the job;
  • Have the required work experience for the specific occupation;
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial or settlement supports in the NWT;
  • Be able to communicate in either English or French;
  • Not be a refugee claimant.

2) Northwest Territories Express Entry Stream For Skilled Workers

The Northwest Territories Express Entry Stream For Skilled Workers is aimed at foreign nationals who have a profile in the federal Express Entry pool.

Employers and candidates must meet the same requirements as the Skilled Worker stream, but also meet the following requirements:

  • Provide the Express Entry pool acceptance letter issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry Pool.
  • Provide a valid job seeker validation code.
  • Maintain valid status the Express Entry pool throughout the application process.
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for the Northwest Territories’ Skilled Worker stream.
  • Have expressed interest in settling permanently in the Northwest Territories.

3) Northwest Territories Critical Impact Worker Program

In order to qualify under this program, the following criteria must be satisfied:

The Employer must:

  • Have a job vacancy;
  • Identify a potential nominee;
  • Be a registered business, industry association or a local, municipal, First Nation or Territorial government in the NWT that has been registered and operational for a minimum of six months;
  • Be in good standing with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission;
  • Provide proof of local and national recruitment efforts and submit a summary of results;
  • Obtain a positive HRSDC Service Canada Labour Market Opinion.

The Employment contract must:

  • Be for a permanent full time position (minimum 30 hours per week);
  • Be in an occupation that falls into NOC skill levels C or D;
  • Provide a comparable industry rate of pay;
  • Be in good standing with the Worker’s Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) and the NWT Employment Standards Office.

The Nominee must:

  • Have a temporary work permit and have worked in the same position for six months;
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial or settlement supports in the NWT;
  • Have the required work experience for the specific occupation;
  • Be able to conduct basic communications in either English or French;
  • Not be a refugee claimant.

4) Northwest Territories Business Stream

The Northwest Territories Business Stream is aimed at entrepreneurs with business expertise and investment capital, who wish to purchase or start a business in the region.

Northwest Territories Business Stream: Requirements

  • Invest:
    • A minimum of $300,000 equity into starting or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT, or
    • A minimum of $150,000 equity into starting or buying a business outside of the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT.
  • Have a personal net worth of:
    • At least $500,000 if starting or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT, or
    • At least $250,000 if starting or buying a business outside the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT.
  • Demonstrate they own at least one third (33.3%) of the business they are starting or buying. Where the personal equity investment is at least $1 million the applicant may own less than one-third.
  • Provide a good faith deposit of $75,000 to be held in trust and released upon satisfactory execution of the terms of the Business Performance Agreement; 
  • Achieve Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in English or the equivalent language level against the Niveaux de competence linquistique Canadiens (NCLC) in French. Recognized tests are IELTS and CELPIP for English and TEF for French.
  • Demonstrate a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the NWT and its economy;
  • Be able to demonstrate reasonable communication skills appropriate to conduct business in NWT;
  • Have the necessary experience and education to successfully implement the business plan.
  • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to start and operate a business and support themselves and any dependents for the duration of the Business Performance Agreement
  • Not have an active application with any other provincial or territorial nominee program; 
  • Not have an active application with any other stream of the NWT Nominee Program.
  • Not be a refugee claimant.

Northwest Territories Business Stream: Process

  1. Self-Assessment and Initial Investigations
  2. Further Investigations and Face-to-Face Interview(s)
  3. Initiating the Application Process and Pre-Screening
  4. Formal Application
  5. Application Review
  6. Approval and the Business Performance Agreement
  7. Developing the Business
  8. Nomination