Entrepreneurs and individuals with business experience who wish to settle and establish, purchase, or invest in a Northwest Territories business may be eligible for this business driven stream of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP), provided they can present a business plan for a viable business with the potential to create job opportunities for Canadians in this northern region.

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Approved entrepreneurs must complete a series of tasks regarding their proposed business before they can receive a provincial nomination through this stream.

Program Requirements

Express Entry ProfileNo
Connection to ProvinceNo
Job OfferNo
Language ProficiencyCLB 4
Level of EducationLevel of education and/or certification needed to fulfill the business plan
Work ExperienceLevel of experience needed to fulfill the business plan
Investment RequirementInvestment: $150,000 CAD
Personal Net Worth: $250,000 CAD

Language Proficiency

To be eligible for the Northwest Territories Entrepreneur stream, candidates have to demonstrate language proficiency in English or French corresponding to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4. Language proficiency must be supported by results from an official language test taken within the six months preceding the application.  


Level of Education

While there is no minimum level of education for this stream, candidates do need to have the necessary education to successfully implement their proposed business plan.  


Work Experience

While there is no minimum work experience for this stream, candidates do need to have the necessary work experience to successfully implement their proposed business plan.  


Investment Requirement

As with most Canadian business immigration streams, applicants to the Entrepreneur stream must demonstrate a significant net worth, as well as the funds needed to invest in their business of choice. Foreign entrepreneurs must prove that they own or will own at least one third (33.3%) of the Northwest Territories business they are starting or buying. Candidates may own less than one-third of the business and still be eligible if their personal net worth exceeds $1,000,000 CAD.

The minimum personal net worth and investment requirement for this stream depend on where the proposed business will be established. Those wishing to establish or purchase a business in the capital city of Yellowknife must have a minimum personal net worth of $500,000 CAD and are required invest at least $300,000 CAD in their business. The capital requirements for those whose business operates outside of Yellowknife, however, are only a personal net worth of at least $250,000 with a minimum investment of $150,000 into their business.

Candidates must also sign a business performance agreement and make a good faith deposit of $75,000 CAD. This deposit will be fully refunded if the candidate meets the conditions of the performance agreement. The conditions of the business performance agreement include:

  • The candidate resides within 100 kilometers of the business they operate, and;
  • The candidate has resided in the Northwest Territories for at least 75% of the time while on a temporary work permit.

Application Procedure

The Northwest Territories Entrepreneur stream accepts applications from eligible candidates at any time. Prospective applicants must develop a working business plan and make at least one business trip to the Northwest Territories to gain knowledge of the business environment. Following the business trip, applicants must participate in an interview with Northwest Territories Business Stream staff. After the interview, if the applicant demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the Northwest Territories business environment and a compelling business plan, the applicant will be invited to submit documents supporting their business concept. These supporting documents must be submitted within 60 business days.

If the Business Stream staff are satisfied with these documents, the applicant will be invited to formally apply to the program. Once they receive this invitation, the applicant has six (6) months to submit a complete application to the stream. If the application is accepted, Business Stream staff will begin developing a business performance agreement with the applicant. Once this agreement is is signed and the applicant submits the $75,000 CAD good faith deposit, the Northwest Territories will issue the applicant a letter of support for a two (2) year temporary work permit. Select business categories of immigration allow foreign nationals to apply for temporary work permits allowing them to work in Canada while establishing their business practice. These work permits do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), meaning they are LMIA-exempt. To apply for such a work permit, the applicant must include a work permit support letter issued by the province and submit their applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

If IRCC issues the work permit, the applicant has 60 days from the date that appears as the “date signed” on the work permit to submit a Business Stream arrival report form and accompanying documents. The applicant then has six (6) months from the date they submit the arrival report form to develop the business and invest the required investment, as described in the business performance agreement they signed. They will need to submit an interim report every six months until they meet the conditions outlined in the performance agreement to receive a provincial nomination.

If the candidate meets all of the conditions of the business performance agreement, the candidate may be eligible to receive a nomination for permanent residence from the Northwest Territories. Note that except under exceptional circumstances, a nomination can only be issued 19 months after the applicant has begun developing the business, and 12 months after the business has been in operation. After receiving a nomination the applicant has one year to submit a federal application for Canadian permanent residence.

Applicants in this program must complete and submit a paper-based application for permanent residence and submit it by mail to the appropriate application centre. Paper-based PNP applications for permanent residence are generally processed within 18 months.

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