Since 2001, the Yukon Territory has been the only Canadian Territory to have an immigrant Nominee Program in place. However, the Yukon now has company. On August 5, 2009, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney, along with his Territorial counterparts, announced the new Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP). This fast-track Canadian immigration program will enable the Northwest Territories to fulfill their labour market and community needs by welcoming more immigrants to settle and work in its principal city, Yellowknife and other areas of the Territories.
Applicants can qualify under two employer-driven categories: the Skilled Worker stream and the Critical Impact Worker stream, or under two business categories: the Entrepreneur and the Self-Employed.
Skilled Workers– Under this stream, an individual can be nominated by a Northwest Territories employer who is unable to fill a vacancy with a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. The applicant must have a full-time, permanent job offer in a Skilled, Professional or Managerial occupation, as defined in the National Occupation Classification (NOC).The applicant must also have the necessary education and training required for the position, be able to communicate in the language of the workplace, and be accepted by the territorial body governing their profession or trade, if applicable.
Critical Impact Workers– Like the Skilled Worker stream, an applicant under the Critical Impact Worker stream requires a permanent, full-time job offer from a Northwest Territories employer who has been unable to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the position. However, this job offer must be in a semi-skilled hospitality or service industry position. Applicants under this stream must have worked in the Northwest Territories on a Temporary Work Permit in that same position for at least six months. They must be able to communicate in the language of the workplace, and have the necessary work experience for the job.
Applicants under both the Skilled Worker and the Critical Impact Worker streams cannot be refugee claimants. It is important to note that employers who wish to nominate individuals under the NTNP must demonstrate that the remuneration and working conditions of the employment they are offering correspond to local and national standards.
Entrepreneur Business-Individuals who wish to start or purchase a new or existing Northwest Territories business can immigrate under this category. They must meet a personal net worth requirement and invest a minimum amount in their planned business. This amount varies depending on whether the planned business is located in Yellowknife or elsewhere in the Northwest Territories.
Self-Employed Business– Under this category, an applicant must demonstrate that they have a profession or occupation that has been listed as a skill shortage in the Northwest Territories. They must have the necessary education and training for this profession as well as satisfy the requirements of the territorial body that governs their occupation. Applicants must submit a detailed business plan for the business or practice, and show awareness of the social, economic and environmental conditions of the Northwest Territories.
Under both of the Business categories, applicants must be able to communicate in one of the official languages of the Northwest Territories.
Upon receiving a Nomination Certificate from the Northwest Territories, nominees must submit their application to federal immigration authorities for approval and issuance of Permanent Resident visas. However, applicants with Nomination Certificates are processed on a priority basis at the federal level, ensuring that they receive their visas as quickly as possible.