The Yukon Business Nominee program targets entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in Yukon, or purchase an existing business in the territory.
Through the Yukon Business Nominee program, Yukon immigration authorities aims to “attract and retain skilled international entrepreneurs to add diversity and innovation to Yukon’s economy.” It is easy to imagine how a territory with approximately 40,000 residents may actively be searching for exciting new businesses to boost the economy, so if you have a solid business proposal and the resources to get started, the Yukon Business Nominee program could be your route to Canadian permanent resident status.
Successful applicants receive support for a two-year work permit, to allow them time to establish their business and get settled with their families, if applicable. At the end of two years, applicants who have satisfied the terms of their business plan receive nomination, and may apply to the federal government (IRCC) for permanent resident status.
Yukon Business Nominee application process
The first step is to submit an initial application form that effectively serves as an expression of interest in the Yukon Business Nominee program. Applicants who submit this form are placed in a pool for six months, and Yukon immigration authorities periodically select applicants and invite them to submit a full application and attend an interview.
The application form contains a self-assessment grid. Applicants must score at least 65 points on the grid in order to be considered. While no documents are required with the initial application form, all information must be truthful as, if an applicant is invited to apply, he or she will be required to submit supporting documents to verify the self-assessment.
Investment value (CAD)
|$300,000 - $400,000||6|
|$401,000 - $750,000||8|
|Less than $300,000||Ineligible to apply|
|$300,000 - $450,000||6|
Prior visits to Yukon
|3 to 6 days||4|
|7 to 10 days||6|
|11 + days||8|
Entrepreneurial / business management experience
|Less than three years||Ineligible to apply|
|3 to 5 years||8|
|6 + years||10|
|Did not complete high school||Ineligible to apply|
|1 year post-secondary||12|
|2 years post-secondary||16|
|Masters or Ph.D degree||20|
Personal net worth
|Less than $500,000||Ineligible to apply|
|$500,000 to $750,000||6|
|Less than IELTS 4 / CELPIP 4 / TEF 3||0|
|IELTS 4-6 / CELPIP 4-7 / TEF 3-4||8|
|IELTS 7+ / CELPIP 8+ / TEF 5+||12|
Work experience relevant to the business
|Less than 5 years||Ineligible to apply|
|5 to 7 years||8|
|8 + years||10|
Location of proposed business
|In Whitehorse and/or surrounding areas||0|
|In rural communities||5|
Yukon Business Nominee: Further eligibility requirements
In addition to the factors on the self-assessment grid, potential applicants must also:
- Intend to live permanently in Yukon, with dependents if applicable, while managing and investing in the Yukon-based business;
- Hold a position in the business classified as level 0 or A of the National Occupational Classification (NOC);
- Have not yet purchased or started the business at the time of applying;
- Prove that their liquid assets and net worth were obtained legally, as verified by a Yukon accounting firm; and
- Demonstrate how they will invest at least $300,000 in capital investments for the business in the first two years.
Furthermore, the proposed business must be in one of the following industries, which the YNP calls “strategic sectors”:
- Information technology
- Value-added processing
- Tourism products, attractions, services and facilities
- Mining or mineral development
- Cultural industries
- Film and video production
The proposed business must either be fully-owned by the applicant, or split evenly between three applicants (in which case, each must provide the minimum investment of $300,000). The business must actively operate in Yukon, and stand a reasonable chance of success in the territory.
If the applicant is proposing to purchase a business, that business must be owned by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has been operating the business in Yukon for at least a year (businesses owned by a current or previous Business Nominee Program candidate are ineligible until five years of ownership have elapsed).
Certain businesses are ineligible, regardless of the applicant’s profile. Ineligible businesses include financial services, passive investments, real estate, wholesale or distribution operations, and more. Find out more about business eligibility in the program policy.
Selection from the pool
If invited to submit a full application, applicants are required to develop and include a full business plan in addition to various documents to support the information provided in the initial application. Full details can be found in the program policy.
Successful applicants at this stage are invited to a mandatory interview in Yukon, which they must attend in person – representatives are not allowed. Approved applicants (known as “candidates” from this stage on) receive a letter of support for a two-year work permit, and can apply to IRCC for that work permit within six months. Once they arrive in Canada, they must arrive in Yukon within two weeks.
Several meetings are required over the candidate’s first year in Yukon in order to ensure ongoing compliance with the business plan and program policy. This includes signing a Business Agreement, which outlines the requirements of the program that the candidate must adhere to in order to later be eligible for nomination for permanent resident status.
By the second year, candidates must have an operational business and be established in Yukon (with their family, if applicable) year-round.
Path to permanent residence
Candidates must complete the requirements of the program within two years in order to be eligible for nomination for permanent resident status. This is demonstrated mainly by submitting documents showing that they have established their lives in Yukon, that the business is operational, that investments are complete, and that required meetings were attended.
Notably, while candidates are not required to prove proficiency in English or French during the initial application, they must show that they have reached at least level 4 on an IELTS or TEF test at this stage.
Once the candidate can prove that the requirements of the Yukon Business Nominee program have been met, he or she can receive nomination for permanent resident status and can apply to IRCC. If the candidate’s two-year work permit is set to expire during the processing of the application for permanent residence, an extension may be requested so that the candidate can keep working in Yukon while awaiting a decision on the application.