I receive many questions on how I managed to get the study permit for my wife at 40 and a huge study gap. When I started researching on how to apply for a Study Permit with a study gap I got a lot of contradicting information from many sources including immigration consultants, immigration forums and YouTube videos but one this was for sure that it wasn’t going to be easy. To my surprise, most of the consultants (I am talking about some big ones) told me that our visa application will get rejected due to the study gap.
While going through the Canada.ca website, I could not find any information which restricts students due to age. After going through a few more reliable resources online, I decided to apply myself. So I started gathering the documents and I have put together some information in the form of Question and Answer
Who needs a Study Permit?
A foreign national who intends to study in Canada for over 6 months must be approved for a study permit to study. While a study permit may not be required for a short-term course if you are in Canada, it is advisable to get one as it may help students within Canada to renew or change the conditions of their study permit for further studies
SDS Vs Non-SDS stream
SDS stands for Students Direct Stream. This stream helps international students from a few countries (including India) to get their applications processed quickly. At the time when I applied, the processing time was 14 calendar days, I got my Visa approved on the 14th day. Whereas non-SDS stream has regular processing times as any other temporary visa like Work Permit
Documents checklist for Student Direct Stream (SDS)
- A valid Passport – Of course!!
- Digital photograph – As per the prescribed dimension provided in the application
- Valid proof of English language test completed within 2 years of date of Visa application – IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – 6.0 or higher in all four language skills OR Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) – at least 310 for speaking, 249 for listening, 207 for reading and 310 for writing
- Letter of acceptance (LOA) from a post-secondary Designated Learning Institute (DLI) – In my experience, you must provide with an un-conditional LOA from a public University or a college. In case it is a private college you must verify that the program/course is eligible for PGWP (Post Graduation Work Permit). There is a possibility that the program/institute you attend is not eligible for PGWP
- Full payment of first year tuition fees – One year tuition fees paid in advance which is generally updated in the LOA by the Institute
- Proof of most recent Educational transcripts – I submitted the original transcripts from the institute and supporting credential evaluation from WES (World Education Services). In fact I added all educational documents starting High school.
- Proof of completion of upfront medical examination – Look for CIC website for more details on the nearest Panel physicians (a medical doctor appointed by IRCC to perform immigration medical examinations). List of Panel Physicians
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000 or more – I got it done from CIBC as it was offering the best rates and a hassle-free service. It generally take a week or so to get it done so provision for that time
- Proof of Funds – I supported the application with bank statements of both (me and my wife). This was also to prove that my wife (applicant) was working full-time at the time of applying. This creates strong ties with home country
- Reference letter from Spouse – This was to prove that I will support my wife financially during her stay in Canada
- Student loan approval document from a bank – Most of the people might want to take a Study Loan from a bank to fund their studies in Canada. Include the loan approval letter from the bank to the list of documents. This solves two purposes a) Shows that you have a good credit history and financially stable and b) creates a means of strong ties with the home country
- Reference Letter from Employer – In order to show the need for higher Education, we got the reference letter from the Employer/Manager to show her standing in the current organization and how this education will help in future.
- Statement of Purpose (SOP) – This documents is required and rather a very important document that you upload in the “Client Info” section in your online application. This is your story! Your past, present, reason for studying and future plans. I provided them with a brief document explaining the past education, work experience, why the need for studying and future plans. Read my SOP
Co-Op Work Permit:
Some courses/programs require students to gain practical experience and it is also a part of the program, in such cases, students need to apply for a co-op work permit with Study Permit so they can work full-time. It’ll be valid for the same period as your study visa and will allow you to work full-time.
In case you forgot to apply for a co-op work permit at the time of initial application, you must apply immediately once you land in Canada. There are no additional fees for a Co-op work permit.