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Northwest Territories Introduces New Immigration Strategy

Northwest Territories Introduces New Immigration Strategy

The Government of Northwest Territories has released its Northwest Territories Immigration Strategy 2017-2022: Building a Skilled Workforce and a Vibrant Economy that primarily aims to assist employers to build a skilled workforce while also supporting the immigration of foreign nationals who contribute to the economic development and success of the NWT.

As part of this strategy, the Government of Northwest Territories, in cooperation with The Conference Board of Canada, studied the expected labor demand over the 15 years. The results indicate that there will be 28,500 to 36,700 job openings in the NWT over the next 15 years. Seventy-eight percent of these jobs would require some form of post-secondary education and/or extensive work experience and seniority. Another forecast is that around 98 percent of the 28,500 job openings will be to replace workers who have retired or moved from the NWT.

NWT Immigration Strategy Action Plan

The strategy has an action plan that has set out five distinct goals. They are:

  1. Attract foreign nationals to the NWT whose skills are aligned with current workforce needs.
  2. Attract foreign investment through the establishment or purchase of a business by a foreign national, to benefit the economy.
  3. Support and be responsive to settlement and integration needs.
  4. Support the workforce by educating foreign nationals and NWT employers on workers’ rights and responsibilities.
  5. Consolidate administrative efforts between the departments of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and Immigration, Tourism and Investment (ITI).

Government of Northwest Territories Nominee Program

GNWT implements its Nominee Program in cooperation with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  The Nominee program is divided into two streams—the Employer Stream and the Business Stream.  ECE delivers the Employer stream, and ITI delivers the Business stream.

The Employer stream is meant to support the recruitment and retention of foreign nationals in the absence of qualified Northerners or permanent residents. The employers must submit a completed application package in order to meet the program’s mandatory eligibility criteria and identify a foreign national whom they wish to employ.

The Employer stream consists of the following categories:

Critical impact workers: Critical impact workers are intended to  increase the labour pool for entry level jobs

Skilled workers:  Skilled workers category aims to attract qualified  individuals for occupations that demand formal education and/or specialized training and experience.

Express Entry for skilled workers: This category is exclusively meant for skilled foreign nationals who have been accepted into Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry pool.

Business stream

The Business stream will attract entrepreneurs with business expertise and investment capital to settle in the NWT. The applicants in this stream must have a working business concept and a plan to move to NWT. They must meet the requirements and criteria in the application guidelines and submit a complete application along with a business plan.

In addition to the nominee program, the NWT may also welcome newcomers through federal programs.

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