The Yukon Territory is a self-governing Territory of Canada, directly north of British Columbia, bordering on the US State of Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territories. With an area of 482,443 square kilometres (186,272 square miles) and a population of less than 34,000 people, it is one of the most sparsely populated places on earth.
Why would anyone consider immigrating to Canada’s Yukon?
There are many reasons. The Yukon is incredibly beautiful and still largely unspoiled. The main highway through the Territory is the Alaska Highway. It is possible to drive on the Alaska Highway for 15 minutes and not see another vehicle. You will likely see wildlife before you see another car!
The people are friendly, open, and welcoming. There is a sense of community among these self-reliant people which is probably a hold-over from the Territory’s frontier days. Everywhere you go you will see smiles, in part because the weather is sunny most of the year.
The economy is vibrant, and growing. Although the population is small and concentrated mostly in the capital city of Whitehorse, the Yukon has shown strong economic growth at rates far higher than most countries have enjoyed, even in the years after the 2008 economic downturn.
The pillars of the Yukon’s economy are mining, tourism and government services. It has been a mineral treasure-house since the Gold Rush days of the late 19th century, and many Canadian and international mining companies are still active today, mining gold, silver, lead, zinc, asbestos and copper. The fastest growing sector of the economy, though, is the tourism industry, whose motto is “Larger Than Life.” The major appeal is the nearly untouched beauty of the land, which offers year-round recreation activities, including some world-class mountain biking trails.
World-class cultural activities are available, because the local governments go to great efforts to bring in internationally-known dance troupes, music groups and theatre companies. There are more PhD’s per capita in Whitehorse than in any other Canadian city. There are modern hospitals and state-of-the-art indoor recreation centres.
But what about the climate?
It may come as a surprise to learn that the summers in the Yukon are hot, with temperatures often reaching into the mid and upper 30’s Celsius (90 to 100 F) and 24-hour daylight in high summer. This is the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Winter temperatures are of course cold, with -30 C (-22 F) common in December and January. But the skies are usually sunny (except in late December when there is a week or so of 24 hour darkness) and the humidity low, lending itself to invigorating outdoor activities and less snow than most regions in Southern Canada.
So, if you decided to immigrate to Canada’s Yukon Territory, how would you go about getting there?
The Yukon has a very active Immigration Nominee Program, with both an Employer-driven stream and a Business Immigration stream. Both are excellent programs, and unlike the Federal government, and even some other Provincial immigration programs, it is possible to telephone or email an officer and talk to them about your concerns. The officers of the YNP are usually willing to talk to people who are trying to decide about their future, and give candid answers to questions about proposed businesses, or plans to expand operations with needed foreign workers.
Sometimes, when you deal with Immigration Canada you get the feeling that for them it is “all about just processing the paperwork.” The YNP is different. They WANT you to succeed, because they know that if you succeed you will increase the strength of the Territory’s economy.
If you are a Yukon-based employer, or an existing employer in the rest of Canada who is considering expanding to the Yukon, you do not need to worry about a shortage of labour. If you are unable to recruit workers in Canada or in the Yukon; or having difficulty finding specialists, you can ask the YNP to Nominate your worker(s) for Permanent Residence. That will bring your workers a renewable Work Permit, and allow them to file for permanent immigration status. You can have a decision in less than six months.
If you have a dream of operating a business in a land of awesome beauty, you can apply for Business Immigration. The YNP has some of the lowest family net worth ($250,000) and investment requirement ($150,000) thresholds of any Nominee Program, and processing is quite good; as little as two months in some cases.
The YNP Business stream supports applications in the following economic sectors:
Tourism Products, Attractions, Services and Facilities
Film and Video Production
Please note the Program will not consider applications in the Restaurant and Food Services industries, unless part of a larger Destination Tourism outlet such as a lodge or hotel.
So, visit the Yukon. Consider investing in the Yukon. If it has always been one of your dreams to live in a friendly community with pristine wilderness just beyond your doorstep, the Yukon Nominee Program can turn your dreams into a wonderful, exciting reality.
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