The Northwest Territories Nominee Program

In an effort to attract both individuals and businesses to untapped markets of the North, the Government of the Northwest Territories continues to revise and improve the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (“NTNP”).  The program, which is jointly administered by the Government of the Northwest Territories and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, offers a pathway for foreign nationals looking to fast-track their application for permanent residency in Canada.

Four streams are currently available under the NTNP: the Critical Impact Worker Stream, the Skilled Worker Stream, the Express Entry Stream , and the Entrepreneur Business Stream. A fifth, previously existing stream (the Self-Employed Business Stream) is now permanently closed.

Critical Impact Worker Stream

Almost unique to the Northwest Territories, the Critical Impact Worker Stream targets individuals in semi-skilled or unskilled entry level occupations (NOC Skill Levels C or D).  To be eligible under this stream, an individual must have already worked in that position for one year and be able to maintain legal status in Canada for the duration of the application process.

Skilled Worker Stream

The Skilled Worker Stream is open to individuals with formal education or training in an occupation that falls within NOC Skill Levels 0, A or B.  To be eligible for this stream, individuals must have acquired a minimum of one year of experience in the relevant occupation and be able to maintain legal status in Canada for the duration of the application process.

Express Entry Stream

Under the NTNP, the Northwest Territories now has the ability to nominate a limited number of candidates from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry pool. To be eligible for this stream, individuals must have been accepted in the Express Entry pool, maintain their status in that pool, and qualify for the above Skilled Worker Stream.

Entrepreneur Business Stream

To qualify under the Entrepreneur Business Stream, an individual must demonstrate a commitment to invest $150,000 into starting or buying a business in the Northwest Territories ($300,000 if within Yellowknife) and have a personal net worth at least $250,000 ($500,000 if within Yellowknife).  Businesses introducing a product that is either new or of significant benefit to the Northwest Territories are likely to be given priority under this stream.

Closing Remarks

We have found the NTNP to be a quick and effective option for employers in the North who want to attract and retain key staff. Unlike the Federal Immigration Programs, the NTNP gives workers in almost all occupations a pathway to permanent residency and allow employers to apply to sponsor employees without obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Moreover, most applications are processed within ten (10) weeks, which makes the NTNP one of the fastest immigration programs in Canada in terms of application processing.

McLennan Ross LLP is now proud to offer immigration services in our Calgary, Edmonton and Yellowknife offices. For more information on the NTNP, please contact Marie-Pier Leduc at our Yellowknife office at, or at