Building your workforce? It’s within reach. Team up with the Nominee Program.

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Nominee Program for employers

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program is delivered in partnership between the Government of the Northwest Territories and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  The Nominee Program helps:

  • employers secure highly skilled individuals and newcomers to work and live in the Northwest Territories; 
  • strengthen the economy by attracting qualified people to fill critical labour shortages in the Northwest Territories; 
  • support territorial employers to fill labour shortages when there are no qualified Canadians available; 
  • strengthen the Northwest Territories’ ability to enhance the economic benefits of immigration to the territory; and 
  • nominate eligible foreign nationals for permanent residency in Canada.

For my business, it gives me the opportunity to have stability in my employees and I can plan [to expand]…it really adds to the diversity of my staff and the talents and abilities of everyone involved.

- Suzanne D. - 

A competitive advantage

The Nominee Program can help employers recruit and hire critically needed and skilled workers.  Many foreign nationals are well educated and motivated for success. They often possess high levels of skills and work experience, and may speak several other languages. They bring fresh perspectives and approaches to work processes, management styles and business relationships. This diversity can improve problem solving and promote new ideas and innovation. 

The Northwest Territories is a small jurisdiction so employers have the benefit of attentive service from staff as they prepare their applications to nominate foreign nationals. Program staff work closely with employers who are interested in the program, resulting in real time conversation and the ability for employers to get quick results.

The benefits to employers who participate in the Nominee Program include:

  • an opportunity to permanently hire foreign nationals already on staff,
  • the ability to hire foreign nationals without obtaining a LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)
  • an effective contact/team to support them through the application process
  • a widened scope for job searches for qualified foreign nationals (nationally)
  • retention of skilled workers 

To participate in the Nominee Program to nominate a foreign national for permanent residency, employers need to be:

  • a registered business, industry association, or a local, municipal, First Nation or territorial government in the Northwest Territories.
  • registered and operational for a minimum of six (6) months.
  • in good standing with the Northwest Territories’ Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission and the Northwest Territories’ Employment Standards office.

In terms of other employers using the program, I would highly recommend it… it’s really a great program in terms of how easy it is. What you need to provide is very straightforward. It doesn’t cost very much money at all, if nothing. Except for your time. I know time is precious, but if you invest in your staff, you get loyalty from your team.

- Suzanne D. - 

Employers may recruit and hire eligible foreign nationals who wish to work and live in the Northwest Territories when there are no qualified Canadians or permanent residents available. There are three program streams employers may use to hire foreign nationals:

The Critical Impact Worker stream is aimed at helping employers fill shortages for entry level jobs when they cannot find a candidate locally or nationally for a position.

To be eligible, foreign nationals must have worked in the same position for six (6) months and be in good standing with the requirements of their temporary foreign worker permit.

There is a minimum language requirement that ensures the foreign national is able to communicate in one of Canada’s official languages: English or French. This requirement must be met at the time the application is made and proof of testing provided.

For the Critical Impact Worker stream, the employer needs to complete the following forms and submit them to the Coordinator, Immigration, in the Labour Development and Standards Division of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment:

To contact the Labour Development and Standards Division at ECE:
Toll Free Number: 1-855-440-5450
Email: immigration@gov.nt.ca

The Skilled Worker stream is designed to attract qualified individuals that will assist with shortages of workers in the Northwest Territories for which formal education and/or specialized training is required. The Skilled Worker stream is aimed at helping employers fill shortages when an employer cannot find a candidate locally or nationally for a position. Skilled workers are able to demonstrate they have the training and experience to fulfill the needs of the job description outlined by the employer.

For the Skilled Worker stream, the employer needs to complete the following forms and submit them to the Coordinator, Immigration, in the Labour Development and Standards Division of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment:

To contact the Labour Development and Standards Division at ECE:
Toll Free Number: 1-855-440-5450
Email: immigration@gov.nt.ca

The NWT Express Entry stream is for Skilled Workers who have a profile in the Express Entry System, a federal program with expedited wait times for skilled individuals who wish to work and live in the Northwest Territories. It assists employers by helping them secure skilled employees by fast-tracking applications for permanent residency. The Express Entry stream is aimed at helping employers fill shortages when an employer cannot find a candidate locally or nationally for a position.

To be eligible for the Express Entry Stream, the foreign national must meet the following criteria:

Application forms for the Express Entry System for Skilled Workers can be found here:

To contact the Labour Development and Standards Division at ECE:
Toll Free Number: 1-855-440-5450
Email: immigration@gov.nt.ca

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment has a dedicated team that support employers through the Nominee Program application process. Staff in the Labour Development and Standards Division:

  • provide quality and professional service;
  • respond to inquiries within three (3) business days;
  • process complete application forms within ten (10) weeks upon receipt of a completed application; and
  • provide follow-up with employers, as appropriate, to facilitate processing of applications.

Employers appreciate the level of service they receive from ECE.

  1. How long must a foreign national be employed before an employer can apply to the Nominee Program?

    Under the Critical Impact Worker Stream, the foreign national must be employed in their position for a minimum of six months. The Skilled Worker Stream and Express Entry Stream do not have minimum time requirements.

  2. What is the processing time for an application?

    If the application is complete and error-free, it will take up to ten (10) weeks to process an application from the date received.

  3. What is a NOC code?

    The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is the authoritative resource on occupational information in Canada.

  4. What is the industry rate of pay?

    A comparable industry rate of pay is based on the business’ existing workforce rate-of-pay, rate-of-pay as advertised, and rate-of-pay in the Labour Market Impact Assessment. Wage information by NOC code is also available on the Government of Canada’s JobBank.

  5. Is the employer required to submit financial statements?

    No. The employer is not required to submit financial statements; however, Nominee Program staff may request financial statements to ensure the company is operational and viable.

  6. Do I need to submit an LMIA?

    Employers applying to nominate a foreign national through the Employer driven streams do not need to submit an LMIA, but must follow advertising requirements.

  7. What are the advertising requirements?

    Employers who apply to nominate foreign nationals under the Employer Driven streams and who don’t have a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment must advertise both locally in a Northwest Territories’ newspaper, and nationally on the Government of Canada’s JobBank. Advertisements must be posted for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days and placed within one (1) year prior to the submission of an application.

  8. What is required as a summary of results of advertising?

    The summary of results must include a list of all application forms received in response to the advertised position and list reasons for refusal of employment.

  9. Can I appeal a negative decision?

    An employer and/or immigration representative may request a second review after an application has been denied. A second review can only be based on the process and not the criteria. A request for a second review must be made in writing within 30 calendar days of the date on the denial letter.

For more information about the Nominee Program, contact:

Coordinator, Immigration
Employer Driven Streams
Labour Development and Standards Division
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories

1st Floor, Lahm Ridge Tower
4501 – 50th Avenue
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
X1A 2L9
Toll Free Number: 1-855-440-5450
Email: immigration@gov.nt.ca