NWT Nominee Program Business Stream Reopens

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Yellowknife — April 27, 2022

Following the easing of restrictions in the Northwest Territories (NWT), the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has reopened the Business Stream of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP). 

The Business Stream is an option for foreign nationals seeking the opportunity to purchase or open a business in the NWT. Applicants must make an in-person visit to the community of interest to ensure they are aware of the region and its opportunities and challenges. These visits were impossible during the height of the pandemic, causing a temporary program pause on application intake. The application process is a substantial commitment, and the exploratory visits are critical in understanding the NWT business environment.

The NTNP is the immigration program used by the Government of the Northwest Territories in cooperation with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It is administered by the departments of Industry, Tourism and Investment, and Education, Culture and Employment.

Between 2015-2020, 17 foreign nationals have opened businesses in the Northwest Territories.


“As we continue to fulfil our mandate to diversify the NWT economy, we create new opportunities for innovation, investment and jobs. Reopening the Business Stream will help take advantage of the opportunities generated by diversification, providing an environment ready for new businesses. It also gives us the privilege of welcoming new residents to the Northwest Territories and to Canada.”

 - Caroline WawzonekMinister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

I’m pleased that we are able to reopen the Business Stream of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program. This program is vital to foreign nationals who want to open, purchase or invest in a business in the NWT, bringing benefits to residents and communities across the territory. I hope to see even more uptake in this important program in the future.

R.J. SimpsonMinister of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • The NTNP includes two program streams for immigrating to the NWT:
    • Employer Driven Stream provides assistance for employers who want to nominate and fill workforce gaps when there are no Canadians or permanent residents available.
    • Business Stream provides assistance for foreign nationals who want to start a business in the NWT, purchase an existing NWT-based business, or invest in and operate an existing NWT-based business.   
  • The majority of approved businesses have been opened in the service sector (retail, tourism and restaurants). 
  • 16 applicants have been nominated for permanent residency to date.

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