Entrepreneurs and individuals with business experience who wish to settle and establish, purchase, or invest in a Northwest Territories business may be eligible for this business driven stream of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP), provided they can present a business plan for a viable business with the potential to create job opportunities for Canadians in this northern region.
To be eligible for the Northwest Territories Entrepreneur stream, candidates have to demonstrate language proficiency in English or French corresponding to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4. Language proficiency must be supported by results from an official language test taken within the six months preceding the application.
Level of Education
While there is no minimum level of education for this stream, candidates do need to have the necessary education to successfully implement their proposed business plan.
While there is no minimum work experience for this stream, candidates do need to have the necessary work experience to successfully implement their proposed business plan.
As with most Canadian business immigration streams, applicants to the Entrepreneur stream must demonstrate a significant net worth, as well as the funds needed to invest in their business of choice. Foreign entrepreneurs must prove that they own or will own at least one third (33.3%) of the Northwest Territories business they are starting or buying. Candidates may own less than one-third of the business and still be eligible if their personal net worth exceeds $1,000,000 CAD.
The minimum personal net worth and investment requirement for this stream depend on where the proposed business will be established. Those wishing to establish or purchase a business in the capital city of Yellowknife must have a minimum personal net worth of $500,000 CAD and are required invest at least $300,000 CAD in their business. The capital requirements for those whose business operates outside of Yellowknife, however, are only a personal net worth of at least $250,000 with a minimum investment of $150,000 into their business.
Candidates must also sign a business performance agreement and make a good faith deposit of $75,000 CAD. This deposit will be fully refunded if the candidate meets the conditions of the performance agreement. The conditions of the business performance agreement include:
• The candidate resides within 100 kilometers of the business they operate, and;
• The candidate has resided in the Northwest Territories for at least 75% of the time while on a temporary work permit.
Key Stages and Timeline
Overall, it may take around two (2) years to immigrate as an investor to the Northwest Territories through establishing and operating a business there.
Exploratory Visit Followed By an Interview
The purpose of the trip is to gain knowledge of the NWT business environment and what is required to turn a working business concept into a business plan. Investors would need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the NWT and its economy and which businesses will bring significant economic benefits to the territory during an interview. Where a prospective applicant is proposing to invest in an existing business in the NWT, the owner of the business must also participate in a separate interview with the Nominee Program staff. For this reason, an exploratory visit and an interview take place prior to being invited by the Nominee Program staff to submit an application.
Business Performance Agreement With 75k Deposit
If at the end of a Business Performance Agreement term, NTNP staff has determined that the applicant has not fulfilled the requirements of the agreement, then the Government of the Northwest Territories may choose to refuse the applicant’s nomination. If the nomination is refused, the applicant will not have their $75,000 good faith deposit returned.
Prior to signing a Business Performance Agreement the following staged should have been completed:
• An exploratory visit and a face-to-face interview.
• A pre-screening of the business concept and evaluation of interview results.
• Formal invitation to apply and submission of application and business
• Approval of business idea.
Temporary Work Permit to Establish and Operate Business
Once the Business Performance Agreement is signed and the $75,000 good faith deposit, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment will provide the applicant with a letter of support for a two (2) year temporary work permit. The applicant must provide the letter of support, their business plan and their signed Business Performance Agreement to the Government of Canada with an application for a temporary work permit.
Business Operation and Residency Requirement
The required investment must be made within six (6) months from arrival on a work permit in the NWT. In order to fulfill the Business Performance Agreement, applicants must open and operate their business in the NWT for at least twelve (12) months. To do so, they must reside within 100 kilometers of the business they operate in the NWT and have been resident in the NWT for at least 75% of the time while on a temporary work permit. Implementation and operation of the business is a key requirement of the Nominee Program. Applicants must demonstrate that they are actively managing and accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business in the NWT.