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Northwest Territory Business Stream

The Northwest Territory Business Stream is designed for foreign entrepreneurs to purchase, establish or invest in a business in the Northwest Territories. The NW Business Stream is a pathway for the Northwest Territories Nominee Program. It facilitates business that can contribute to the economic development of the areas. The program encourages applicants to establish their business in the territory and eventually apply for a Canadian PR.

The approved applicants initially need to apply for a two-year work permit to the Government of Canada in order to start their business in the territory. Once the applicant successfully operated their business for 19 months, they can file for a nomination to the Northwest Territories and then apply to the federal government for a permanent residency status for themselves and their families.

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for the Northwest Territory Business Stream?

Aspiring candidates are encouraged to visit Northwest Territories and study its economic environment and develop their business concept plan accordingly. NTNP clarifies that a business plan can be anything related to identifying a potentially new business opportunity or investing in an already existing business opportunity.

The following are the list of requirements that the candidate needs to fulfil in order to apply for the NWBS:

  • Investment: The applicant needs to invest a minimum of $300,000 CAD if the proposed business is in Yellowknife. If the business is to be situated outside Yellowknife, a minimum of $150,000 CAD.
  • Net Worth: The personal minimum net worth of the candidate should be of $500,000 CAD if the business is established in Yellowknife. If the business is outside Yellowknife, the minimum net worth should be $250,000 CAD. The net worth should be verified by a designated third-party financial service provider.
  • Business ownership: the applicant should demonstrate ownership of a minimum 33.33% in the proposed business. In case the business investment is above $1 million CAD, the ownership percentage share can be lower than 33.33%.
  • Language proficiency: The applicant should have a minimum of level 4 of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in either English or French. The test results should not be older than 6 months at the time of application.
  • Good faith trust: Once the applicant successfully executes the terms of the Business Performance Agreement, they would have to submit a good faith deposit of $75,000 CAD to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. This amount is held in trust and released after execution of the BPA.
  •  Sufficient funds to support depends: In case the applicant applies for his or her dependent family members, he should be able to demonstrate enough financial resources to do so.
  • The candidate should not have an active application with any PNP program or with any other stream of NTNP. Note that the refugee claimants are not permitted to apply for this stream.
  • If an applicant purchases an already existing business, the business must have been operating under the same owner for the last three years. It is to note that the applicant after acquiring the existing business should not reduce the number of jobs or the wages of employees after the business is purchased.

How to apply for the NWT Business Stream?

Step 1: Assess your eligibility and gather all your supporting documents

The first step is to review your eligibility and gather the supporting documents like educational qualification certificates, letters of business management experience, certified net worth documents, report of your business concept plan, police clearance certificates and other identity proofs.  You should prepare and provide all these documents at the submission of your application.

Step 2: Conduct an Exploratory trip to NWT and prepare for the interview

The aspiring applicants are strongly encouraged to make at least one trip to the Northwest Territories to study the economic environment and to research what businesses can contribute to your business and to the development of the territory. The exploratory trip is then followed by an interview with the NTNP officials. They assess your business plan (the candidate needs to submit a brief summary of his business concept plan at least 24 hours before the interview is scheduled), and the rest of the information provided by you at the times of your application like your entrepreneurial experience, knowledge and skills required by you to run the business etc. Note that in case the applicant is to buy an existing business in the NWT, the current owner is also likely to be interviewed separately.

Step 3: Submit your Expression of Interest application

This is an initial application where you are to submit your EOI profile that contains all the relevant information like knowledge of your proposed business, communication skills, business concept note etc. You have 60 days to submit a written summary of outline of proposed investment amount, net worth, number of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, summary of their business trip to the Northwest Territories etc. Post submission of your EOI application, successfully approved candidates are issued and Invitation to Apply.

Step 4: Formal application submission and review

After you have received an ITA, you are to submit a formal application online or in-person. You need to attach a financial verification report through a third-party designated service provider and a detailed business plan. This application must be submitted within 60 days of receiving your ITA.

Once the application is submitted it is reviewed by the NTNP officials they make a recommendation to either accept or reject the application. The decision is made by the Deputy Minister of Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment and is duly informed to the applicant.

Step 5: Signing the Business Performance Agreement

The approved candidates are to sign an official document with the NTNP. The BPA is based on the business plan and outlines the streamlined operations and management of the proposed business. After signing the BPA, you need to deposit $75,000 CAD along with another form. The NTNP then issues a letter of support for a 2 years' work permit to the applicant. The applicant needs to be physically present in the Northwest Territory for 75% of the time while on the temporary work permit period.

Step 6: Developing the business and Nomination

Once the Temporary Work Permit is approved and signed by the candidate, he should make the investment and start the business operation within the next 6 months. The applicant should be able to demonstrate active involvement in managing the operations of the business. The business progress is monitored through support meetings and reports along the process. After 12 months of successfully running the business as per the BPA, the candidate can be eligible for a provincial nomination. The NTNP then issues a nomination certificate to the candidate.

Step 7: Apply for Canadian PR

Once the candidate and their family receive a nomination from the Northwest Territories, they can apply for permanent residency in Canada. Once the applicant gets issued Permanent Residence Card, it shall ensure that the card holders can leave and re-enter Canada at their will.

Ready to migrate?

Contact Nationwide Visas for your speedy immigration process. As one of the best Canadian immigration team of experts, Nationwide Visas ensures that your application meets all the documentation standards and has the highest chance of success. Here at Nationwide, we help you assess your chances and guide you at every step of your Northwest Territory Business Stream application.