Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) – How It Works

Northwest Territories Nominee Program. Norther lights over lake in NWT

Are you interested in living and working in Canada’s Northwest Territories? The Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) might be the route to take. This is a part of the Canadian Provincial Nominee Program oriented toward boosting the economy in provinces and territories that participate. People who meet the necessary requirements become nominees and can gain permanent residency.

This guide offers a deep insight into the rules and prerequisites of the NTNP streams.

Why the Northwest Territories?

First and foremost: Why should you go for the NTNP? What are the primary motives for people who immigrate to the Northwest Territories? Additionally, what makes this federal territory of Canada special?

Undeniably, the Northwest Territories (NWT) offer excellent healthcare, work-life balance, and great outdoors. In addition to the spectacular rivers, waterfalls, and lakes, you can also see the Northern lights. Witnessing this striking phenomenon is something many people have on their bucket-lists yet residents of the NWT get to enjoy it regularly.

Another interesting fact is that there are as many as eleven official languages in the Northwest Territories. Besides English and French, many native people’s languages are official. In fact, more people consider Dogrib (otherwise known as Tłı̨chǫ) as their mother tongue than French, whereas English is the first language of the majority.

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP): The Definitive Guide

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada organizes the program in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories in accordance with various principles that would strengthen the territory’s economy. Thus, the Northwest Territories Nominee Program pathways are oriented toward seeking highly skilled individuals that can fill labor shortages and enhance the economic state.

There are two main streams of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program:

#1 – Business Stream

Entrepreneurs who want to move to the Northwest Territories have a chance to apply for the Business Stream if they fulfill the minimum requirements. Firstly, candidates have to prove that they have the necessary working experience and skills as a business owner or senior manager. Furthermore, they have to invest in an existing business in the federal territory, purchase it, or start up a new business. 

The minimum amount of investment is CAD $300,000 if the business is in Yellowknife, and CAD $150,000 if it’s located elsewhere. Also, you have to prove that your net worth is CAD $500,000 if you’re planning to open a business in Yellowknife, and CAD $250,000 for other locations. In addition to sufficient financial resources, you’ll be required to submit a business plan.

Secondly, the main requirement is language proficiency. You have to prove that your language is at level 4 or above the Canadian Language Benchmark for English. Alternatively, you must achieve Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens for French. They accept certificates from IELTS and CELPIP for English, and TEF for French. These tests assess all four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking).

How to Apply?

If you’ve determined you meet the minimum eligibility criteria, here’s what you need to do next.

Travel to the region for the so-called “exploratory visit” to have a face-to-face interview and propose your business plan. If the territory approves it, they will invite you to submit your application. Based on your business plan, they will create a Business Performance Agreement, which states what you have to achieve to become a nominee. For example, they will often state you should create job opportunities. After two years, they will assess your success in operating the business. If you have accomplished the goals of the agreement, you’ll become a nominee for the NTNP Business Stream.

#2 – Employer-Driven Stream

The main criteria for the employer-driven NTNP stream is a full-time (37.5 hours per week) job offer. Firstly, your employer has to confirm that there are no Canadian permanent residents who can fill the vacancy and that you are the best candidate for the position. Job seekers can learn more about how to get an employment offer from Canada here. Also, candidates have to prove English or French proficiency equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4 or above.

There are several sub-streams of the Employer-Driven Stream:

For the Skilled Worker path, candidates need a valid job offer for one of the occupations with shortages of skilled workers in the NWT. Furthermore, you have to possess at least one year of full-time experience in a relevant position.

If a nominee applicant has a valid job offer in an entry-level occupation, s/he can apply through the Semi-Skilled Occupations stream. Most of the professions in NOC skill level C and D fall under this category. In addition, six months of relevant working experience is needed.

Finally, the NWT Express Entry stream is the fastest of the three. The main requirements are the same as for the Skilled Worker stream described above. However, candidates also have to fill the Express Entry Program criteria. This automatically means that they have a profile in the Express Entry pool and a Job Seeker Validation Code. Furthermore, they ought to submit an Expression of Interest for the Northwest Territories. If they become nominees, they will receive 600 Express Entry points.

Final Words on Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)

The federal territory of Northwest Territories offers many incentives for a healthy lifestyle, with excellent working conditions, and cultural diversity. 

Highly-qualified workers and investors can relocate to the region with the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP). We provided you with the information on the conditions to fulfill and procedures to follow in the guide above. If you succeed, you’ll be granted permanent residency status.