GNWT releases report highlighting successes in immigration

News Releases

Yellowknife — August 14, 2023

The final report on the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Immigration Strategy 2017-2022 shows improved immigration outcomes in the Northwest Territories (NWT).  

The Strategy focused on growing and enhancing immigration, assisting employers to meet critical workforce needs and increasing investment in the NWT. To do this, it included five goals, eight objectives and 18 actions designed to assist in building a skilled workforce and diverse economy. It set the direction for immigration programs, policies and services in the NWT between 2017 and 2022.

The final report measures success in advancing and implementing the objectives, in accordance with the Strategy’s Performance Measurement Plan. Highlights include:

  • From 2017 to 2022, the Employer Driven Stream has issued over 363 approved applications, otherwise known as nominations. 
  • An increase in the total number of Nominee Program applications received and approved for all streams of the program. Applications received increased from 61 in 2018 to 142 in 2022, while applications approved increased from 28 in 2018 to 105 in 2022.
  • Increased awareness of workplace rights among employees and foreign nationals using the Nominee Program. Prior to using the program, 38 per cent of respondents felt they were aware of their workplace rights. This figure increased to 59 per cent following their participation in or contact with the program.
  • The Nominee Program attracted foreign investment to the NWT, indicated by approval of applicants to the Business Stream from 2017 to 2022. In this period, a total of just over $4.5 million was invested by foreign nationals via the program, resulting in 17 nominees and their families settling in Yellowknife and Hay River.
  • An increase in the number of applications from francophone applicants. In 2018, one francophone application was approved, while seven were approved in 2022. In 2022, the GNWT launched a new francophone stream to increase the labour pool for bilingual workers within all National Occupational Classification skill levels.
  • A multi-year agreement in December 2020 with Collège Nordique Francophone to provide funding for a Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program language testing services in Yellowknife. Following this, the collège added offerings for the Test d’évaluation du français. This service has been well used, as a language test is mandatory for any Northwest Territories Nominee Program application and some Federal immigration applications.


“The GNWT continues to support employers in meeting their workforce needs. In addition to supporting the training and skills development of Northerners, we view immigration and the Northwest Territories Nominee Program as a tool to assist employers in filling workforce gaps when Canadians and Permanent Resident workers are not available, and as a way to support economic development in the NWT.”

- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“Having a diverse range of skills is crucial for businesses in different sectors to effectively deliver services and promote economic growth in the Northwest Territories. The immigration streams we offer play a vital role in helping employers in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Canada access skilled workers from other countries and these streams also contribute to attracting foreign investment to the NWT.”

- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Investment

Quick facts

  • This document reports on the goals and objectives of the NWT Immigration Strategy 2017 to 2022, which served as a blueprint to develop and enhance the NWT’s immigration programs and services.
  • Immigration is a tool to help grow the NWT economy and address labour shortages that cannot be filled by NWT residents and Canadians.
  • The Northwest Territories Nominee Program is the GNWT’s only immigration program and is delivered by both the departments of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI). ECE leads the NTNP and administers the Employer-Driven and Francophone Streams while ITI administers the Business Stream.

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For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9352 Ext. 71073