A Guide to NWT Nominee Program Business Stream

NWT Nominee Program Business Stream lets you immigrate to Canada’s Northwest Territories as an entrepreneur. Start your business assessment.

Canada’s Northwest Territories possess some of the country’s most unique landscapes. Many Canadians and tourists visit this region each year to see the dazzling Northern lights and other natural sights.

The Northwest Territories may lack many of the urban developments that characterize other provinces. However, this also makes it ripe for new investments. Many foreign investors invest in this region annually, hoping to capitalize on NWT’s growing economy.

What is NWT Nominee Program Business Stream?

The territory’s government has introduced a particular immigration category known as “NWT Nominee Program Business Stream” for foreign individuals who want to start or purchase and operate a business in NWT.

Candidates succeeding under this NWT Nominee Program Business Stream will receive a provincial nomination that they can use to apply for permanent residence via the Federal Government.

  • The Business Stream aids Foreign Nationals who can start, buy, or invest in an existing business in NWT.
  • The business is chosen primarily for its potential to benefit the Territory economically.
  • It should create employment for Foreign nationals and other Canadians as well.

NWT Nominee Program Business Stream Eligibility

The minimum eligibility requirements for the NWT Nominee Program Business Stream are summarized below:

Net Worth

Prospective candidates must have a personal net worth valued at $500,000 CAD or more if they intend to start or purchase their business in Yellowknife. This requirement drops to $250,000 CAD if the candidate intends to start or purchase their business in an NWT city other than Yellowknife.

All applicants must get their personal net worth verified by a recognized Financial Service Provider and submit this Third-Party Financial Verification Report with their application.

Minimum Investment

  • The candidate must invest a minimum of $130,000 CAD in the business if it is located in Yellowknife.
  • This requirement increases to $150,000 CAD if the business is in an NWT city outside Yellowknife.

Business Ownership

  • Prospective applicants must possess a minimum ownership share of 33.3% in the business they intend to start or purchase in NWT.
  • Applicants who invest $1,000,000 CAD or more are not subject to this requirement.

Business Proposal

Prospective applicants must submit a comprehensive business plan and financial documents that support their intended plan. This plan should include details such as:

  • Company name
  • Business concept
  • Business location
  • Residence establishment plan
  • The applicant’s contributions to managing the business.
  • Forecasted financial information
  • Local market research
  • Supporting market analysis

Work Experience

There are no specific work experience requirements for this program. However, applicants will need to mention their past business ownership experience to support their business plan.

Exploratory Visit

  • Prospective business candidates must make an exploratory visit to NWT before being invited to the nominee program. This visit must last a minimum of four business days.
  • Candidates must meet with the immigration program’s staff during the visit and learn about the region’s business environment. This information will be helpful when they are developing the business concept they will discuss during the interview stage.

Language Proficiency

  • Prospective entrepreneurs must demonstrate their proficiency in English or French by scoring a minimum of CLB 4 or NCLC 4 on a recognized language exam.
  • The province currently accepts results from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). Applicants who speak French can submit the score for their Test d’évaluation de français (TEF).
  • Applicants should note that these test results must be less than two years old at the time they submit them for their application.

Special Requirements for Purchasing an Existing Business

Business candidates who are purchasing an existing business must ensure it meets the following requirements:

  • The business was operated continuously by the same owner in the three years preceding the application.
  • The number of staff employed at the business cannot decrease after it has been purchased.

Step-by-Step Process: NWT Nominee Program Business Stream

Prospective business people can apply for the NWT Nominee Program Business Stream using the following steps:

Stage 1

  • Develop a Working Business Concept
  • Registration
  • Exploratory Visit and Interview
  • Application
  • Business Performance Agreement

Stage 2

  • Applying for a Temporary Work Permit Before Arriving in NWT
  • Post-Landing
  • Receiving a Nomination for Permanent Residence
  • Applying For Permanent Residence

Stage One

1. Develop a Working Business Concept

  • Business candidates must first determine if they meet the eligibility requirements stated above. If they believe they meet these requirements, they can move on to the next step.
  • The prospective applicant then must develop a working business concept.
  • A working business concept can be a business opportunity to purchase, or preparation of a full-scale business plan.
  • A new and innovative business concept that can generate significant benefits to NWT in terms of investment and job creation will be prioritized.

2. Registration

Next, business candidates must register for their NTNP account online and submit their Initial Registration. They can then start developing their business concept and learn about NWT and its people.

3. Exploratory Visit and Interview

  • They must then perform their exploratory visit to NWT and participate in an interview before they are invited to apply for the program.
  • The candidate must submit their business concept to NTNP staff via email at least 24 hours before their interview.
  • They must also complete a Pre-Interview
  • Submission at least one week before their scheduled interview.
  • If the NTNP officer is satisfied with the candidate following the interview, they will invite to apply for the program.

4. Application and Review

  • The business applicant can then complete a formal application for the NTNP and provide all the supporting documents required within six months of receiving their Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  • Once the application has been submitted, they will need to include additional documents such as their Third-Party Financial Verification Report and their Settlement Plan.

5. Business Performance Agreement (BPA)

  • If an application is accepted, representatives from the Nominee Program will notify the applicant in writing and begin working on a Business Performance Agreement with them.
  • The Business Performance Agreement is based on the business plan presented and outlines the terms under which the applicant will execute the business plan.

Stage Two

6. Applying for a Temporary Work Permit Before Arriving in NWT

  • Business applicants must review, sign, and return their BPA within 30 days. The NTNP will then issue the candidate a letter of support they can use to apply for a two-year work permit.
  • When applying for a temporary work permit, the applicant must submit a letter of support, a business plan, and a signed Business Performance Agreement to the Government of Canada.

7. Post-Landing Process

The business candidate must come to Canada within 60 days of the Canadian Government’s work permit signing date. They will then have twelve months to submit an Arrival Report, develop their business, and complete their investment as mentioned in the BPA.

8. Receiving a Nomination for Permanent Residence

The applicant can submit a Final Report eighteen months after the Commencement Date specified in the BPA. This is assuming they have operated their business according to the BPA terms and conditions for a minimum of twelve months.

9. Applying For Permanent Residence

Within 6 months after the date of nomination indicated on the nomination certificate, the Nominee must submit an application for Permanent Residency to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. The business candidate can then use the nomination Letter of Support they receive to apply for their permanent resident status via the Federal Government.


FAQ: New Brunswick Business Immigration Stream


1. How much investment money is required to apply for the Northwest Territories Business Stream immigration program?

You will at least need $300,000 CAD to start or buy a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; or
At least $150,000 CAD into starting or buying a business outside of the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

2. Does a candidate need a business plan for getting the nomination?

A business plan is a mandatory requirement and a part of the application process. Candidates will be required to submit a business plan detailing location, employee strength, financial and others. The priority will be given to the businesses introducing a new product and generating employment in the province.

3. What are the main benefits of the Northwest Territories NWT Business Stream?

• No wait-list for applications;
• Faster processing times;
• Personalized attention for your application; and
• Program staff that are there to support you throughout the entire application process.

Apply for NWT Nominee Program Business Stream

Establish, purchase, or invest in an existing business, in the Northwest Territories of Canada through NWT Nominee Program Business Stream.