Northwest Territories Express Entry System for Skilled Workers

Northwest Territories Express Entry System for Skilled Workers

October 31, 2019

About the program

This stream allows the Northwest Territories to use the federal Express Entry immigration selection system to help address labor market shortages through the recruitment of foreign nationals.

Successful applicants will receive Canadian permanent resident status. The Northwest Territories Express Entry Stream aligns with the federal government’s Express Entry system. This Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) stream allows eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their NTNP application and if nominated, their permanent residence application. The Northwest Territories Express Entry stream is one of three NTNP Employer Driven Streams that offer foreign nationals a pathway for permanent residence in Canada.

Candidates must be eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs in order to enter the Express Entry pool:

  • Federal Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Canadian Experience Class

The federal economic immigration programs require candidates to meet a mandatory language proficiency level and to demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their families upon arrival in Canada. Candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program are also required to submit the results of an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Minimum Eligibility Requirements 

In order to apply as a Skilled Worker under the Northwest Territories’ Express Entry Stream, candidates must:

  • Be eligible for one of the three federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class;
  • Meet the criteria for the Skilled Worker Stream under the NTNP Employer Driven Program;
  • Provide the acceptance letter issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry Pool;
  • Provide the Express Entry Profile Number and Job Seeker Validation Code issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry Pool; and
  • Have expressed interest in immigrating to the Northwest Territories.

In addition to the requirements above, foreign nationals applying as Skilled Workers must:

  • Intend to settle permanently in the Northwest Territories;
  • Work in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B occupation; 
  • Have legal status to work and hold a valid work permit if they are currently residing in Canada;
  • Have the required certification or accreditation for the occupation based on the job description, the job advertisements (if applicable) and the NOC’s employment requirements; 
    • Employers in non-regulated occupations are responsible for ensuring that the applicant meets occupational standards and has the required work experience to carry out the duties of the occupation. Applicants must also have one year of full-time experience in the occupation they are being nominated for.
  • Have the formal education and/or specialized training, certification, licensing, or registration for the specific position as required by the Government of Northwest Territories;
    • Applicants who completed their education outside of Canada must have their educational credentials assessed to compare them to educational standards in Canada by obtaining an ECA by an organization designated by the Government of Canada.
  • Must apply to the position being advertised by the NWT employer either in response to the local or national job advertisement. In their application, the foreign national must demonstrate how they applied to the position and that they meet the educational and employment requirements of the position (if responding to an NWT employer’s advertisement).
  • Be able to sufficiently communicate in English and/or French;
  • Submit the following documentation in original, or certified true copies (must be a clear, readable copy), translated into English or French:
    • Valid work permit;
    • Passport (biographical page only);
    • Birth certificate;
    • Marriage certificate or declaration of common-law union; and
    • Birth certificate(s) and passport(s) for dependent(s).
  • Demonstrate a valid, full-time, permanent job offer that demonstrates their ability to economically settle in the Northwest Territories;
  • Meet the minimum language requirements by demonstrating the ability to communicate in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French. Minimum language requirements include:
    • Achieving the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 6 for NOC 0 and A or CLB 5 for NOC B in either English or French across all categories: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
    • Providing valid test results from one of the following three approved language tests taken within two years of submitting an application: 
      • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) — General Training;
      • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP-General); or
      • The Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) (to test proficiency in French).

Minimum Requirements for Employers

In order to be eligible under the Northwest Territories’ Express Entry Stream, employers must:

  • Be a registered business, industry association, or a local, municipal, First Nation or Territorial Government, in the Northwest Territories;
  • Be in good standing with the Northwest Territories’ Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission and the Northwest Territories’ Employment Standards office;
    • Employers who are subject to the Northwest Territories’ Employment Standards Act are required to submit additional documentation and comply with guidelines set out by the NWT Provincial Nominee Program.
  • Have been registered and operational for a minimum of one year on a full-time basis prior to submitting the application;
  • Extend an offer of employment to the foreign national for a permanent, full-time position (minimum 37.5 hours per week);
  • Provide an employment contract that is consistent with the territories’ Employment Standards Act;
    • The employment contract must not be in conflict with any existing collective bargaining agreements.
  • The NWT employer must submit a detailed job description for the position that includes:
    • position title;
    • language requirements of the position – either English or French or another of the Northwest Territories’ official languages (any other language will only be considered an asset);
    • main duties of the positions;
    • educational and work experience requirements of the position; and
    • any occupational certification required for the position (including any required certification or accreditation).
  • Research and determine an appropriate NOC code for the position based on the educational and work experience requirements and job duties;
  • Submit a positive LMIA or proof of job advertisement for the position. Employers must adhere to the LMIA agreement if hiring a foreign national based on a positive LMIA;
  • If nominating a foreign national without an LMIA, employers are required to provide proof of local, national or industry (optional)  advertising, as well as a summary of advertising results;
    • In the job advertisement, employers are required to include the application process, job requirements, and the wage for the position.

Application Process

Please review these Program Guidelines thoroughly before submitting to the Critical Impact Staff flow.

Step 1. Prior to Submitting an Application Package

The Employer or Authorized Representative shall complete and send to the Nominee Program this application package All forms and reports included in the vital impact worker checklist must be included in the application bundle.

Whenever possible, please complete all forms electronically. Completing forms electronically reduces the risk of errors, which may delay the application assessment process. Completed forms must be printed and signed. Original copies of the signed forms must be submitted with the application. It is the responsibility of the Employer (or Authorized Representative) to complete all sections of the required application forms and submit them with the application package. If a section of a form does not apply, please write ‘not applicable’ or ‘N/A’.

It is the responsibility of the Employer (or Authorized Representative) to ensure that all required documentation is submitted with the application package. All documentation must be:

  • English or French (or a translation with an affidavit from the translator);
  • Original or certified true copies of the original document;
  • Valid (and remain valid while the application package is being assessed by the Nominee Program); and
  • Clear and legible.

Step 2. How to Submit an Application Package

The packages for applications can be sent in two ways: by mail or in person. The products are not authorized as initial or approved evidence for verification purposes via e-mail or fax.

Mail or submit your application package (including all necessary forms and original/certified documentation) to:

Nominee Program Employer Driven Streams

Government of Northwest Territories

1st Floor of the Lahm Ridge Tower

4501 – 50th Avenue

P.O. Box 1320

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9

Employers can contact the Nominee Program by phone or email at:

  • Toll-Free Number: 1-855-440-5450
  • Email:

Important Note: The applicants who submit applications individually should notice that receiving workers are not able to determine whether a request is submitted or to provide some form of program advice immediately upon receipt of an application.

Step 3. Confirmation of Receipt

All application packages received will be acknowledged by an email receipt to the Employer, Foreign National and/or Authorized Representative’s email addresses, as provided in the application forms. The Employer (or Authorized Representative) is responsible for providing (and updating) accurate and current email addresses on the application forms.

Step 4. Screening Process

All application packages are pre-screened to check for completeness. To ensure your application package contains all required forms and documentation, please use the

Step 5. Process for Incomplete Application Packages

Incomplete application packages will not be assessed since all forms and required documentation are necessary to determine eligibility for the Nominee Program. Incomplete application packages will be returned to the Employer and/or Authorized Representative. A detailed checklist of eligibility criteria and an explanation of missing documentation, materials and/or eligibility information will be provided.

The Employer and/or Authorized Representative must re-submit a new and complete application package to begin the Nominee Program application process again.

Step 6. Process for Complete Application Packages

Complete application packages will be assessed through a review and verification of all forms and documentation based on eligibility.

Once the assessment is completed, a decision will be made as to whether or not the Foreign National is eligible for nomination to the Government of Canada for permanent residency. Each application will undergo an assessment to determine the impacts that nominating a Foreign National is likely to have on the Northwest Territories labor market.

If during the assessment of a complete application, program staff requests further information, documentation and/or clarification, an email will be sent to the Employer and/or Authorized Representative and a 14 calendar day deadline will be given to submit what is requested. Program staff will use discretion when granting an extension of the 14-day deadline cannot be met (e.g.: if delays are expected in securing and submitting third party documents). 

If the information, documentation and/or clarification is not received by the deadline given, the application will be withdrawn and the Employer must submit a new application package to begin the Nominee Program application process again.

Submitting a complete application does not automatically result in a nomination. Program staff has the right to render a denial based on the impacts the potential nomination may have on the local labor market.

The Employer, the Foreign National, and/or Authorized Representative will receive letters by email communicating the decision.

This takes up to ten (10) weeks from the date that the full demand for the Employer Driven streams has been submitted. For clarification, the service period for ten weeks only applies from the moment a full request is made. Depending on the number of applications received and applications that require an extension of the information requested, processing times that increase.

Application Approval and Nomination Process

If a request is approved, a formal letter is sent to an Employer, Nominee, and/or Authorized Representative (also known as a nomination certificate) indicating that the application has been approved. The application is approved.

This letter contains guidance for the applicant to make his application for permanent residence within the time for which the request is approved in immigration, refugees and Citizenship Canada. For the Critical Impact Worker stream, the confirmation period is six (6) months from the date of the acceptance of the appointment.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for permanent residency as soon as possible after obtaining their appointment certificate. Under no conditions will the candidate system award extensions to nominations.

The letter will also outline the responsibility of the Employer and the Nominee to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment for the Critical Impact Worker stream. This MOU outlines the conditions of the nomination and the responsibilities of both the Employer and the Nominee.

Application Denial

If a request is denied, the Employer, the Foreign National and/or the Authorized Representative shall be notified by a formal letter of rejection of the demand. The letter also contains the reason(s) for denying the demand. Reasons an application will be denied include:

  • The Employer or Foreign National does not meet the required program criteria;
  • The Employer and/or Authorized Representative submitted an application package that is inadequate, outdated and/or expired;
  • The Foreign National no longer resides and/or works in the Northwest Territories when a decision was made;
  • The Employer is not in good standing with the Employment Standards Office;
  • The Employer is not in compliance with the prevailing union or collective bargaining agreement;
  • Program staff are not satisfied that a critical labor shortage exists for the occupation;
  • Program staff are satisfied that the nomination may negatively impact the Northwest Territories labor market;
  • There are grounds to believe misrepresentation at any phase of the application process has occurred; and
  • Other reasons for denying an application will be referenced in the denial letter.

Please Note: Where a Nominee Program officer has reason to believe that an Employer, Foreign National and/or Authorized Representative has intentionally misrepresented or withheld material information, either directly or indirectly, that is relevant to the application or the decision to nominate, the application will be placed on hold and additional information or clarification will be requested from the Employer, Foreign National and/or Authorized Representative. Where it is found that intentional misrepresentation has occurred, the Employer, Foreign National and/or Authorized Representative will be barred from using or applying to the Employer Driven streams for a period of one (1) year. 


NTNP Application Fee: No fee

Federal Processing Fee: CAD$ 550 for each person 19 years and over, CAD$ 550 for each child

Right of Permanent Residence Fee: CAD$ 490 for the main applicant, CAD$ 490 for the spouse



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