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The Northwest Territories Express Entry stream for Skilled Workers is a Canadian immigration option for foreign nationals in the Express Entry pool with a job offer in Canada's Northwest Territories in a skilled occupation (listed at National Occupational Classification (NOC) level 0, A, or B).

Notably, there is no specific requirement for candidates through the Northwest Territories Express Entry stream to have prior work experience with the employer submitting the application. However, the program guidelines note that skilled workers “are typically not eligible for nomination when living abroad or in Canada without a valid work permit,” although exceptions can be made in consultation with program officers and after extensive recruitment efforts.

Effectively, this means that if you have a valid work permit and are working in a skilled occupation for an employer in the Northwest Territories, you could be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Northwest Territories Express Entry stream.

Skilled Worker eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible to apply through their employer, foreign nationals working in the Northwest Territories must:

  • Submit required documents, including valid work permit, passport, birth certificate, and marriage certificate, birth certificate, and passports of dependents if applicable (all documents must remain valid throughout the application processing);
  • Satisfy program officers that they intend to settle permanently in the Northwest Territories;
  • Have the required education, work experience, and certificate/accreditation (if applicable) to perform the job related to the application;
  • Obtain an educational credential assessment for their education, if obtained outside Canada;
  • Demonstrate (through valid results from an approved test) a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 (for occupations at level NOC 0 and A) or 5 (for occupations at NOC level B) in English or French across all four categories (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), obtained on one test (i.e., test results cannot be combined). Test results must remain valid throughout the application process;
  • If the employer is not supplying a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the employee must apply to the job as advertised by the employer in the application package, showing how they originally applied to the position, and how they meet the educational and employment requirements of the position. This job offer also serves as proof of settlement income; the salary in the job offer must be sufficient to show the candidate can settle in the Northwest Territories.

Northwest Territories Express Entry Skilled Worker: additional requirements

The Northwest Territories Express Entry Skilled Worker stream is restricted to foreign nationals who are in the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry pool. Candidates must enter the pool and receive an Express Entry Profile Number before their employer can submit an application. The acceptance letter and job seeker validation code are required in the application.

Candidates must maintain valid status in the Express Entry pool throughout the application process, and must express interest in settling permanently in the Northwest Territories.

Successful foreign nationals through the Northwest Territories Express Entry Skilled Worker stream receive provincial nomination from the Northwest Territories (it is still referred to as provincial nomination, although coming from a territory and not a province). Provincial nomination grants the candidate 600 points through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), effectively guaranteeing an invitation to apply (ITA) in a future Express Entry draw.

Eligibility criteria for employers

Employers must:

  • Be a registered business, industry association, or local/municipal/First Nations/territorial government, with an office or establishment in the Northwest Territories;
  • Be registered and operating full-time for at least one year before submitting an application package;
  • Be registered and in good standing with the Northwest Territories’ Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (documents are required to prove this);
  • Submit a description of their operation with the application package;
  • Offer the foreign national a permanent, full-time position (minimum 37.5 hours per week) at an industry-standard wage rate – a detailed job description or employment contract is required in the application package;
  • Submit either a positive LMIA for the employee’s position, or proof of local, national, and industry (optional) advertising, with a summary of results. However, the advertising requirements for employers applying through the Skilled Worker and Express Entry: Skilled Worker streams are slightly different: full details can be found in the stream guide.

How to apply to the employer-driven streams

Employers can apply to the Critical Impact Worker, Skilled Worker, or Express Entry Skilled Worker stream at any time. There are no regular intake periods or caps on the number of applicants.

The employer (or authorized representative, if applicable) must complete the required forms and submit an application package to the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) – employers are encouraged to do so online, although the application can be submitted physically.

All applicants receive an acknowledgement of receipt by email, and the application is then pre-screened for completeness. Incomplete packages are returned to the employer, along with a detailed eligibility checklist and explanation of missing information. The employer can then complete and re-submit the application.

Complete application packages are assessed before a decision is made. In some cases, more information may be requested, in which case employers have 14 calendar days to respond. Finally, the employer is contacted by email when a decision is made. Successful applicants (i.e. foreign nationals, through the employer) receive nomination. If an application is refused, the NTNP will provide a reason for the refusal.

The NTNP states that assessment can take up to 10 weeks from the date a complete application is received, but this can fluctuate depending on the volume of applications received.

Nominees can then await an ITA in a future Express Entry draw.

To follow updates across all Provincial Nominee Programs, visit our PNP Live Tracker.

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