How to Apply for Northwest Territories Business Stream

This article explains in detail how you can apply for Northwest Territories Business Stream.

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to start or buy a business and operate in Northwest Territories? This article explores how you can apply for Northwest Territories Business streams.

The Northwest Territories Business Stream welcomes business people with the resources and drive to establish, buy, or invest in a business in the Northwest Territories.

However, Through the Northwest Territories Business Stream, the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) welcomes ideas for business that will bring economic prosperity and job opportunities to the area, and supports applicants throughout the process of establishing a business in the territory and eventually applying for Canadian permanent resident status.

In addition, The Northwest Territories Business Stream paves the way to Canadian Permanent Residency for entrepreneurs who meet the program requirements, can establish and operate a successful business in the Territory.

Therefore, this article explore an overview of the eligibility requirements and processes involve to apply for the Northwest Territories Business stream.

What is Northwest Territories Business Stream?

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Business Stream is for entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business and operate it in the NWT. It is designed for foreign nationals with business expertise and investment capital to enhance the economic environment and create jobs for Canadians in the NWT.

The whole process of getting permanent residence through investment under the Northwest Territories Business Stream may take around 2 years.

This article will provide an overview of the program’s main requirements and stages that foreign entrepreneurs will go through.

NWT’s investment opportunities lie in natural resources. The Territory is known for the wealth of oil and gas, energy, mines and minerals, diamonds and furs, which are excellent investments.

There is a potential for collaboration with Aboriginal partners that can boost success in the chosen sector of business. The procedural advantage is that investors can expect no wait-list for nomination application and faster processing times in the NWT.

Eligibility Requirements for the Northwest Territories Business Stream 

1. Applicants must commit to invest:

  • A minimum of $300,000 CDN equity* into starting or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; or
  • A minimum of $150,000 CDN equity* into starting or buying a business outside of the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

2. You must demonstrate you own at least 33.3% of the business, unless your personal equity investment is at least $1,000,000 CDN, in which case you may own less.

3. You must also provide proof that you have a personal net worth of:

  • At least $500,000 CDN if starting or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; or
  • At least $250,000 CDN if starting or buying a business outside the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

4. You must demonstrate that they have achieved a level of proficiency of 4 against the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 4) in English or the equivalent language level against the Niveaux de competence linquistique Canadiens (NCLC) in French upon application.

  • Please note that the Nominee Program will only accept test results from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) if submitting results in English, and the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) if submitting results in French. Test results must be no older than two (2) years at the time of application.

5. You must demonstrate reasonable knowledge and understanding of the Northwest Territories and its economy

6. You must demonstrate reasonable communication skills appropriate to conduct business in the Northwest Territories and to integrate into the local community;

7. You need to have the necessary experience and education to successfully implement the business plan;

8. You must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to start and operate a business and support themselves sand any dependents for the duration of the applicant’s Business Performance Agreement;

9. You can not have an active application with any other provincial or territorial nominee program; not have an active application with any other stream of the Nominee Program in the Northwest Territories; and not be a Refugee Claimant

10. And of course, you must be ready and willing to settle full-time right here in the NWT!

Manitoba Entrepreneur Immigration

How to Apply for NWT Business stream

Applying through the Northwest Territories Business Stream involves an eight-step process. they include;

Step 1: Self-Assessment and Initial Investigations

If a prospective applicant believes that he or she meets the criteria of the Business Stream, then he or she is encouraged to develop a working business concept and to begin researching the Northwest Territories, its people, its communities, and its economy. The working business concept may be identifying a business opportunity in the Northwest Territories or it may entail preparing a full‐scale business plan for a new business, the extent of the work is at the discretion of the prospective applicant.

If a prospective applicant plans to acquire an existing business, the business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the three (3) years prior to applying. The number of jobs in the business and the wages cannot be lowered when the business is purchased.

Step 2: Further Investigations and Face‐to‐Face Interview(s)

Prospective applicants are required to make at least one (1) business trip to the Northwest Territories prior to being invited to submit an application in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Northwest Territories business environment and the necessary steps to turn a working business concept into a business plan.

The trip must not be less than four (4) full business days in length, not including travel days (to and from the Northwest Territories), interview day(s) and statutory holidays.

After the business trip, prospective applicants must participate in at least one face‐to‐face interview with Nominee Program staff to review the working business concept, and to assess the foreign national’s knowledge of the Northwest Territories and his or her business and communication skills.

Step 3: Expression of Interest

After the interview, the prospective applicant will be notified of the results. If the interview was successful, the prospective applicant will have sixty (60) days to submit the following:

  • a written summary of the working business concept with a basic outline of the investments that will be made; and
  • a summary of their findings from the business trip to the Northwest Territories.

Step 4: Formal Application

Once invited to formally apply, the candidate has nine months to submit a complete application to the Nominee Program. Additionally, the application fee and any other charges must be paid in full and the Third Party Financial Verification Report, detailed business plan, and up‐to‐date copy of the NTNP‐05: Authorize or Cancel a Representative must be submitted within the nine-month time period as well. Incomplete applications will not be processed and the applicant will be notified.

The NWT Nominee Program discourages applicants from making any investment or financial commitment prior to signing a Business Performance Agreement and obtaining a work permit.

Step 5: Application Review

After the complete formal application is submitted, both the applicant and the business plan will be reviewed according to the eligibility criteria. NTNP staff may request additional documentation and/or an additional interview to verify information within the application.

Nominee Program staff will then either recommend the applicant for entry into the NTNP or deem him/her ineligible.

This recommendation is reviewed by the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment who makes the final decision to accept or refuse the application.

Application reviews are based on (but are not limited to) the following criteria:

  • The ability of the business to provide significant economic benefits to the Territory based on local market research
  • Ability of the prospective applicant to successfully implement the business based on their skills and past
  • experience
  • The ability of the prospective applicant to successfully implement business based on the realistic nature of the submitted business plan; and
  • Accurate financial statements, with substantiation, in the submitted business plan.

Step 6: Approval and the Business Performance Agreement

Once accepted, the applicant will be notified in writing by NTNP staff. The NTNP will then begin negotiating a Business Performance Agreement with the applicant, which outlines the terms under which the applicant is to execute the business plan.

Once the agreement is signed and the refundable $75,000 CAD good faith deposit has been received, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment will provide the applicant with a letter of support for a two-year temporary work permit, which the applicant may submit along with his or her application to IRCC.

In order to successfully fulfill the requirements of the Business Performance Agreement and be nominated, applicants must reside within 100 kilometres of the NWT business and must reside in the Northwest Territories for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit.

Step 7: Developing the Business

Six months after arriving in the Northwest Territories, the applicant must be prepared to establish the business and make the necessary investment. NTNP staff will monitor the business’ progression and meet with the applicant from time to time.

Part of this process involves the applicant submitting an Interim Report to the NWT Nominee Program every six (6) months. A key requirement in this report is the inclusion of proof of spending for the required eligible investment.

The applicant has two years to develop the business described in the business plan in accordance with the Business Performance Agreement. The applicant must demonstrate that he or she is actively involved in and accountable for the management of the NWT business’ daily operations. Active management must occur at the place of business in the Northwest Territories.

Step 8: Nomination

Upon fulfillment of the terms set out in the Business Performance Agreement, the Government of Northwest Territories may issue a nomination certificate to the applicant. If nominated, the applicant must apply to IRCC for permanent residence within six (6) months of being nominated.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum amount i can invest in North West Territories Business Stream?

In order to be eligible, candidates must: Invest at least $300,000 CAD in starting or buying a business in Yellowknife, or $150,000 CAD if outside Yellowknife.

Who is not eligible to apply for the Northwest Territories Business Stream?

Applicants are considered to be ineligible if they:

  • Do not meet one or more of the eligibility criteria listed above;
  • (or any dependent family member, accompanying or not) have a serious medical condition;
  • (or any dependent family member over the age of 18, accompanying or not) have a criminal record;
  • Have unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any member of their family;
  • Are refugee claimants in Canada;
  • Are involved in a federal appeal or removal process;
  • Have intentionally committed fraud during the application process; or
  • Have proposed an investment into a business, where the business is operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income.


We hope this article will be helpful to you when you plan to apply for Northwest Territories Business. stream.