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VideoCast Episode 4: Demystifying The Process For Applying To Study and Work Programs In Canada

In this episode, Mariline Quintana, co-founder and Senior Canadian Immigration Consultant at e-Visa Immigration, is back to demystify the process for applying for study and work programs in Canada.

– We have to understand the complete financial scenario of that sponsor. And we will include everything we can to demonstrate that that person is stable enough to support your studies in Canada.

– Right. This is study and work in Canada. Tamwood’s podcast on all things international students want to know about co-op education programs in Canada. I’m Tamsin Plaxton, Tamwood’s founder and president, and an avid member of the Canadian private education sector. Welcome back to study and work in Canada. In this episode, I’m so have Marilene Quintana with us who’s gonna talk to me about permits, study permits, and work permits, and everything to do with immigration and students coming through Canadian immigration to get the necessary visas and permits to work and study in Canada. So welcome, Marilene. Or welcome back, I should say.

– Thank you, Tamsin. It’s a pleasure to be here today.

– Yeah. Marilene, I know we’ve introduced you on other episodes, but for the benefit of listeners today who maybe haven’t heard those other episodes, could you just introduce yourself and explain a little bit about your business and your experience with immigration consulting?

– Definitely, yes. So, my name is Marilene Quintana. I’m a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and director of operations at e-Visa Immigration.. And at e-Visa, we can help people that dream to have a new life in Canada either through studies. So we can assist people applying for different type of visas through work or through immigration and entrepreneurship.

– Perfect. And yes, you’re absolutely the right person to have on this episode because I know you’ve helped a lot of students come into our colleges and a lot of other colleges and universities in Canada.

– Definitely.

– And you know, a big question mark for a lot of students is you know, what do I need to do to study in Canada? And is there a specific visa that I need? And a lot of… I think there’s a lot of fear around the process of applying for a study permit and a work permit. And I thought that, you know, through this episode, we could kind of demystify the process, simplify the process and share some tips and advice for students who may want to apply on their own or may want to engage in immigration at consultant, but know what the process is in doing that. So, first of all, I know, but for the benefit of our listeners, can you explain what type of visa does a student need, who’s coming to Canada to do a study and work program, whether that’s at a college level or at a university level. What type of permit do they need?

– Okay, so if a person is coming to study and work or study in any program that is at university or college level and over six months, they do require a study permit. So they have to apply for a study permit before entering Canada from their home country, okay? And usually for a study program that has a co-op portion, you’re going to apply for study and work permit, so you can study and work part-time as the program… All study programs that are at college or university level allows. And if it has the co-op portion, then you need a specific letter to apply also for the work permit in order to be able to work during the co-op portion of your program.

– Okay, so they need two types of visas, right? They need a study permit and a work permit. Are those two separate applications or are they made under one application?

– Actually, they are only one application that results in two permits of emissions, right? So when you provide the letter of acceptance of your program that contains the co-op portion described and you add the co-op letter as part of the acceptance package that we received from your school, then the officer is going to process already the two permits for you.

– Perfect, so a student who wants to apply for a study permit, can you talk a little bit about… First of all, you mentioned that they are… The study permit would allow them to work part-time. Does that mean the study permit continues for the whole program duration or does it only continue for the study term?

– Okay, so that’s actually a very good question. The letter of acceptance is the letter that describes the duration of your program, okay? So the letter of acceptance will say, for example, “This program starts in January the 4th and it finishes 31st of December this so year,” right? So the study permit will be issued to the duration of the program declared in the letter of acceptance plus 90 days, okay? And usually, the co-op work permit that may or may not be issued, it will only be issued if it is of your program and it is declared in the documentation of acceptance. It be issued only up to the duration of the program and not necessarily for the additional 90 days. So sometimes they do issue both to the same date, but according to the regulation, the study permit has to be issued with 90 days–

– Additional time.

– Additional time.

– Right.

– So the person has some time to transition, to decide if they wanna apply for another program, maybe to apply for post-graduation work permit if the program is eligible. But for the work permit, technically, you don’t necessarily have this 90 days additional.

– Right, and would the work permit have the dates that are set for the co-op terms specifically listed in the work permit?

– Yes, but usually like it is altogether. One thing, a common misunderstanding in terms of the co-op is that the co-op, it is additional or is separate from the study program and it is not. Let’s say, if your co-op, it is for the last six months of your program, for example, your study permit will be including the time of your co-op. So it is not like even though you are not technically studying anymore, you’re just doing the co-op in terms of understanding the duration of your program is going to cover the study portion and also the work portion of your program.

– Right, so the study permit covers the whole program duration, study term, work term. Even if there’s multiple study terms and work terms, it’ll cover the whole program duration. And the work permit will give of usually just the dates of the co-op term, I would understand, or would that–

– Yes.

– Yeah, right.

– Definitely.

– So two documents and they can apply for both, two visas and they can apply for both at the same time through one application process. And how is that application made? Is it made online or is it a paper form that students fill in and mail in? Or what does that look like?

– So in most cases you can apply either online or by paper, but we do recommend applying online, not paper at all, right? So online, it is easier for you to track your application, it is easy for you to have like the confirmation of receipt, understand what’s the steps that your application is currently on and you know, you have a way to access for a lifetime all the information that you need regarding that application. So our recommendation is to apply online even though there is option to apply by paper as well.

– And you can apply online in any country in the world. Is that an option available to all nationalities?

– Yes, yes. So not all country have a Canadian embassy processing, but even those countries that does not have a Canadian consulate that process the visa applications, they have an arrangement that another Canadian embassy will process those applications on behalf of those applicants from that specific country. So yeah, any person from any country can apply to study in Canada can apply for a study permit online.

– Right, okay. And I know that some of our students apply for their study permit in Canada and I know how that’s done and why that’s done. But I understand that most students would be required deploy outside of Canada and they wouldn’t be allowed to enter Canada until they have a study permit, is that right?

– There is some exceptions. So ideally you should apply before entering Canada. So you arrive in Canada with the study permit and with all set to start your study program. But let’s say you came to Canada as a visitor, for example, okay? That’s one scenario. You only can change your status from visitor to study applying from within Canada if you have completed a prerequisite program while on a visitor visa. So you are allowed to study in Canada on a visitor visa, if your program of studies, it is less than six months. So for example, a English pathway program could be one of those options. So if enter Canada as a visitor, maybe you don’t have enough English level to enroll in a Canadian college, for example, and then you start three, four or five months at the English program and then you obtain the acceptance of that college based on the fact that you complete that pathway. And then in this situation, you can change your status from visitor to a study applying from within Canada. So what that means, it means that your application is going to be assessed by a Canadian visa office inside Canada, okay? If we’re in Canada and let’s say you are here as a visitor and you are not authorized to apply a study department from within Canada because you got direct acceptance into a Canadian college, for example, you didn’t complete a pathway, you don’t fall into that exception then. What you have to do, your application has to be so submitted to be dealt with overseas into… Like to a Canadian embassy from outside Canada. It does not mean that you have to leave Canada, it’s just like your application is not going to be inside Canada so you have to watch out for your status in Canada. So let’s say you are on a visitor visa and you apply for an application outside Canada, you have to watch if your visitor visa is expiring, you also have to apply in Canada to extend their stay as a visitor while waiting for a decision on your application outside Canada, okay?

– Okay.

– A common, a very common scenario that we have for workers, like people that come with the working holiday visa, and then they… After working for one year and they wanted to extend their stay in Canada and they wanted to study and acquire some skills, then it is okay. Workers can apply to study in Canada.

– So the exceptions would be either you’re here on a work permit and you’re changing status and asking to have a study permit added, I guess, or you’re here as a tourist, and you’re studying as a tourist because your course is less than six months and it doesn’t include any work terms, so you can stay and study as a tourist, and you’re studying a prerequisite program for the longer program you want to take. Those are the kind of common scenarios where a student would be allowed to apply within Canada and it would be processed in Canada.

– Yes.

– Yeah.

– If the person came with a study permit as well, and they wanna extend their stay or enroll in a second program, then they can also apply from it in Canada. So if we’re considering to stay longer or you are already expecting to, you know, to apply for a second program, maybe it’s better to apply for a step program from the beginning. And there is also other two exceptions, which are less common for minor applicants. So you are considered a minor under the age of 22. So if you came as a minor, you may fit the exception to–

– Well, that’s interesting.

– Apply .

– Yeah, because our programs in our college, I’m not sure other colleges are the same, our study and work programs, some of the programs have minimum age of 18 and for some it’s 19. So they are open to people that would, I guess, technically be referred to as a minor.

– Yeah.

– Yeah, so there’s an exception, minors can apply within Canada, they–

– Yes, if they’re in Canada they can apply from within Canada and also exchange students. So for example, some people has an option through their university from their home country to come to Canada instead, like one term in Canada, right? And if they’re… And they study one term and they say, “I love it, I wanna transfer, I wanna complete my degree here,” they can also apply from within Canada.

– Okay, those are interesting, those are interesting. I didn’t know about those ones. I was… I’m very familiar with the case of students who are doing a prerequisite and that’s in our case, that’s almost always a language course. They’re–

– Definitely.

– You know, we have a lot of language school students, who are upgrading their English skills and especially academic English skills to then go into a higher education program, whether with us or with a university partner of ours and they’ll come as a tourist to do their English. And then while in Canada apply for the study permit and it’s processed in Canada. Are there any advantages to applying for processing in Canada or processing outside of Canada or is it generally the same in terms of, I don’t know, processing timeline?

– Well, that’s a very good question. I would say it really depends on the nationality, I would say, because, for example, the main aspects that are reviewed on an application for a study in Canada, it is for example, the funds that ties to the home country, the social economic stability of that student or their families to support the expenses of that student in Canada, right? So I would say, each case is different, but on a general level, if you are really spending a lot of money to come to Canada and be here, and as a visitor, you are going to leave your job, for example, you are paying for your own expenses anywhere using those funds that you later will need to show in your application for a visa, then coming to Canada as a visitor to change your status here, you are actually making your application more likely to fail because you are jeopardizing some of the important factors that you are required to prove when applying for your study permit, right? So let’s say you are very financial sound, you have a good funds, you are keeping your remote work while you are here on a visitor visa, studying your English, for example, on a vacation, on a work leave, so this means you continue to have ties to your home country. Or maybe you left back home, some family member like your spouse or children back home, so you have ties to your home country then could be an option definitely to apply to change your status in Canada. And also depends on the nationality because in some countries it is harder to get this study permit approved than the visitor. So for some nationalities, we do recommend to use the visitor way, like come as a visitor then from here we will… Of course, with everything planned before your trip, but like in some case we can plan from here. Like from here, we do a pathway program and we apply from within Canada because that specifically visa office, it is very hard to approve such twisted permit applications. Of course, this is like very rare cases, but it is some scenarios that we have to consider when deciding if we apply outside or inside Canada.

– Right, okay. Yeah, I think… And that situation changes all the time. It depend on the sort of political and economic sort of situation of the countries and how the visa offices dealing with… Maybe they have a lot of visas applications at that time and they’re having a higher refusal rate or maybe… Yeah.

– Yes, that’s–

– I’m sure that’s not a static sort of situation, it must change.

– Exactly, it changes all the time, right? So it really depends on the political, economic situation of that country. If there is any reason they just fight to have more or less applicants from that country. Something like, for example, if a lot of people from that specific country starts to file applications with fraudulent documents or fraudulent… They put a red flag on that country specifically. Right.

– So there’s so many different scenarios that has to be considered and that’s why we have different processing times for each country. That’s why Canada has a visa office reviewing applications from certain nationalities always in the same visa office, so they can understand the specific conditions of that country and also respond in terms of approval rate or refusal rate according to those specific conditions, right? So all is… All of these impacts on the decision of the application.

– Right. Presumably, I know we’ve referred students to, and I’m sure other schools do too, to get a consultation from one of your immigration consultants just even before applying, just to understand these complexities, like is it better I come to Canada on a pathway program and then apply in Canada or as my chance… Based on my profile, are my chances better at getting a study permit from home? I presume you can give that advice in a consultation.

– Definitely, yes. That I would say would be the ideal starts for your Canadian journey, your Canadian plan. Like have a consultation so you understand what you can qualify for, what your end goal and then we can plan what are the steps that it should take to have a more successful application to Canada.

– Right, okay. So speaking about successful applications, what are the tips that you would offer to students in terms of completing their application? And that kind of ties into what are the factors that the immigration an officer or the visa officer is considering, I guess, when looking at the application. But what do you recommend students do in their application? And are there any supplemental documents or any study plans that they should submit? Anything that would support and maybe make their application more successful?

– Definitely, yes. Well, as I mentioned, study plan, it is one of them, it’s one very important document to be included in the application. And what does study plan mean? It means like what’s your purpose. Why you are seeking to study that program in Canada, why that program will help you to achieve your goals back to your home country and what that relates… How that relates with any other studies or occupation that have had so far, right? And that’s actually… I would point, I would not recommend in most cases to change careers, like maybe you have a bachelor of laws back home and you wanna study here, I don’t know something that’s… Engineering, I don’t know, something completely in like a different field, right? And usually changing careers is not a good idea because this means that you are not so invested in the career that you already have in your home country. So, if you are investing in a completely new career you have less reasons to return your home country by the time you complete the program. So usually, a good tip to consider in any application to study in Canada, you have to find a program that relates to your background and experience, that you can explain, that’s a logical pathway, a logical upgrade in your career or in your academic life, right?

– Right.

– And everything that you can provide that will cooperate with that information. So for example, if you choose a business program and then say that you have been working this, this, this area, and you are seeking more managerial responsibility, you are seeking to improve your career prospects in that field, related with the work that you already do, but like an improvement, an upgrade then it makes sense, right?

– Right.

– And in few cases, we can advise you changing career, but then you have to have a very, very strong application in all other bases. For example, travel history, funds is very, very important. A lot of people want to study in Canada and they have to know that studying Canada, it is an investment, right? You can choose a little bit cheaper programs, a little bit more expensive programs, but you have to do according your budget and you have to have enough. And I would say not only you, but any person that’s supporting you through studies, so you can use a sponsor, you can have support of your family, but putting it all together, you have to have enough to demonstrate to the visa officer that you have funds to maintain yourself here, to pay for studies without working in Canada.

– Right, so–

– That’s very important.

– So it’s okay. I mean, a lot of our students, their savings aren’t big enough to pay for it and their parents pay or sometimes it’s an uncle or an aunt or a grandparent. So what kind of documentation do the parents or the relatives have to supply to provide evidence of financial means?

– That’s totally fine to have a sponsor. It’s very common for study applications, that it will have a sponsor. And can be any relative like a lot of people think only my parents could do, no, it could be siblings, could be uncle, as I mentioned, could be anyone, right? So usually we prepare a letter to be signed by the sponsor informing that they are willing to provide funds for your application and everything that we can demonstrate that that person has the funds. So bank statements, for example, that shows the balance of the account and that amount that makes sense to be set on the site for you. So for now, if you choose a sponsor that barely has money for himself or herself, it’s not a good sponsor. It has a sponsor that is also financially sound and has some money set aside. Let’s say I have an investment, I’m not using that money and I can make that available for my nephew, niece grandchild, for example, to study in Canada, right? So bank statements are very important, one. Employment, so any document that shows that person is stable economically, has a good salary, won’t need that money anytime soon. I would say any deeds, so if that person has assets, for example, houses, apartments, all of these could cooperate to make the application stronger. If the person has business, we can add that and documents from the business and the business revenue, for example. We have to understand the complete financial scenario of that sponsor and we will include everything we can to demonstrate that that person is stable enough to support your studies in Canada.

– Right. Okay, and if it’s the student who’s supporting themselves, is there some amount of time that they have to have the money in their bank account for? Because, you know, I know that there’s a temptation to maybe borrow some money, put it in your bank account, get a statement, and then pay back your family, your friend who lent you the money. Is the… I presume that, you know, immigration can see through that .

– Yes, yes, well, do–

– We wanna know if it’s your money, right? So how, how long do they have to have the money in their account? And do they have to show the source of the funds or what–

– Yes, you always have to show the source of funds, right? So let’s say if you put, I don’t know, $200,000 in your account, and it only shows there and you actually have a job that you make like, I don’t know, equivalent to 1000 a month, they say like, how come a person that has to live with 1000 a month was able to accumulate 200,000 Canadian dollars in their account. So it has to make sense, right? And I would say, the time that you have to keep the money in your account and show to the government will vary according to the visa office that’s processing your application. The most common is to ask three to four months, but some visa offices request six months, other visa offices request 12 months, right? So depending on the account that we’re applying from, they will request more or less time off make statements. But the most common is like three to four months, in most cases.

– So you would… As a student, you would then supply several months of bank statements with your application?

– Definitely, yes.

– Right.

– Yes.

– Right. So, okay. So far we’ve talked about tips. We’ve said, you know, that whether you’re providing the funds yourself or it’s a family member, they have to establish that they have access to money that they don’t need to touch for other purposes, that it’s gonna be available for this study term. You’ve said that they should do a study plan to really justify why this course, how it ties into their career plan for their future and how it relates to what they’ve done in the past. And you recommended that they try to connect what they’re planning to study in Canada somehow to what they do back at home.

– Correct, yes.

– It shows that you’re choosing this program in order to enhance your career opportunities at home.

– Definitely.

– Even if you’re hoping and intending stay longer in Canada. ‘Cause I think some students would start, for example, at a private college, with the intention to eventually transfer credits into a public university or college to then potentially qualify for a post-grad work permit and stay in Canada. But in their initial application, I guess it’s important to show an intent to return home. Is that right?

– Definitely, yes, you must. Because the application’s temporary, right?

– Right.

– Then you have a limited period of time that you are going to be allowed in Canada and you have to demonstrate that temporary intention even though you may change your mind and you may consider extending your stay, right? They just need to know that if comes out that you need to return your home country, you have that possibility and you have that commitment, right? So of course you can always consider options to enroll to a second program and apply for an extension and explain in that second application that you’re applying for an extension. Like I really love the country, I see an opportunity to continue improving myself and I wanna stay and I wanted to take this program. This actually will be blah, blah, blah, right? Aligned with my career or will be good for my future or that’s what I realized that I wanted to study so far. And then it it possible change and extend your stay in Canada, it’s possible to even immigrate to Canada, then apply for immigration, right? But the essence of your application, it is to have a temporary nature and that’s like one of the things the officer will review, is like is this person genuinely applying for temporary stay or I have reasons to believe that this person won’t leave Canada by the end of the authorized period of stay?

– Right, right. So really bad idea to say in your study plan, I wanna take this program because I wanna stay in Canada and I wanna work in Canada and my goal is to immigrate. You would say–

– Yes, it’s a bad idea.

– A very bad idea .

– Very bad idea.

– Students listening to this podcast and watching this on YouTube, make sure you heard that tip. Do not put in your study plan or in your application, in anywhere that the reason you’re taking this program is to immigrate you. You may consider that and that may be something you’ve got in the back of your mind and certainly that’s… You know, education is a legitimate pathway to immigration, but at the time of issuing the permit, the visa officer is looking to say, is this a temporary… Intended to be a temporary stay in Canada? And so you won’t indicate an intention to return.

– But there is one exception to that–

– Okay.

– It’s important to say. If a person were to applied for immigration or the person has, for example, or had in the past a present profile or has in the past an application then it does not make sense for you to declare in one application that you have a temporary intent and actually have ongoing, or you had in the past an application that has the permanent intent.

– Right.

– Right? So in this case, you do have to prepare more elaborate application that’s called a dual intent application.

– Okay.

– And then I would say it is better to find council in these situations so we can prepare the application that address both temporary and permanent intent.

– Right. So when you say council, you mean work with a registered immigration consultant–

– Yes.

– To assist you in preparing. Yeah, you’re right ’cause that’s a more complex application. Majority of students, they haven’t started a permanent residency application. Majority that we see, I rarely have seen that, that usually comes later. So yeah. So the general word of advice is you indicate and you should have a connection between what you’re studying and your return to your home country and how that’s gonna assist you. And you know, we have seen students take something different that… To what they studied at home, but often they’re able to say and it’s the case, that they studied something, but the career opportunities in that field have really evaporated due to economic situation in their country. There’s less job opportunities, they’re needing to train in sort of a… Maybe sort of a branch, a new branch or in a different direction because of the current employment situation in their home country. And they’re trying to become more eligible for other types of careers at home. I’ve seen that, I’ve seen that, you probably seen that, right?

– Yes, it could be. Like I would say if you wanna change your program, it’s not like you are prohibited from doing that, it’s just like, you have to explain the rationale behind that. You always have to explain the rationale behind that choice specifically and has to make sense.

– Yeah.

– Because you cannot just say, for example, I wanna study that and that’s my choice, right?

– Yeah.

– You cannot say that you have to elaborate. So as you gave an example, a very good one and we have used many times like I did a search, this is what the job prospects look like and I’m very interested in that field and I wanna use this opportunity to apply for this specific program. Of course, it is discretionary from the officer to accept that as a reasonable pathway. So usually if you choose a pathway, that’s more, let’s say, easy to follow and easy to explain that anyone would agree that makes sense, you kind of bring the risks of refusing by lack of genuine purpose of your application, for example, you bring it down. If you create a specific purpose and for some reason, the officer does not agree that justify or that would risk the risk of your application, then you may be refused for that. So in this case, I would say it is important that you show combined with the intent of changing careers a stronger financial background, a strong ties to your home country. So that’s why it is kind of all connected, right? Or if you are younger, it is easier to change careers or apply to something else. If you’re older or more like a person that already finished university and you know, have already a stable career, then you’ll be little more difficult to prove that. And in some cases like if you change to something, that’s a hobby, it is fine. Like you are allowed to a hobby, like a program that you not necessarily will use as your main work, but like as a side work, for example. You can say like, “Hey, my main work, my main career is this, but my retirement plan is to work with, I don’t know, have a little shop and I wanna work with customer service. So that’s why I wanna take a leave and do this.” So is everything possible as long as you can explain and convince–

– Convince the officer.

– As long as you can explain and convince the officer that that makes sense.

– Yeah, yeah. You know, and we’ve seen like, for example, on our entrepreneurship program, I’ve seen people that had backgrounds in tourism, I’ve seen people with engineering degrees, I’ve seen lawyers and they’re interested in learning how to start a business, ’cause that isn’t something that was taught to them and entrepreneurship is really, you know, a trend right now in countries all over the world. And–

– Yeah, exactly.

– And that’s easy to explain, you know, you can say–

– Entrepreneurial is very easy. It combines with any background–

– Everybody, yes.

– I would say.

– Everybody can say like, you know what? Now I wanna open a business, I wanna invest in a business.

– I mean, I always use the example, even a physiotherapist is an entrepreneur–

– Definitely.

– If she or he wants to start their own clinic, you know?

– Yes.

– So it, you know, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see somebody like a physiotherapist taking an entrepreneurship program or yeah. And–

– Yeah, both entrepreneur and business overall or even marketing, like every single professional needs to know how to sell more, how to advertise their own service, right? So, these are very easy to provide supporting arguments, you know, a study plan that makes sense, right?

– Yeah.

– So these three programs or even finance programs related could be also easy. But again, it’s always a case by case basis. Entrepreneur, easy, makes sense, business marketing, but we have to tell this story and this story has to be also well written, well explained. Because sometimes it makes sense, but if you don’t explain well, your visa may still be refused even though it makes sense, right?

– Right. So you mentioned the factors, so it’s ties to your home country and those could look like having property, having family. Like if you’re, you know, having a job that you’re taking a leave of absence from, but you’ve got an offer to return. What other ties to the country could you… What other factor, I mean, evidence could you use that you have ties to the country?

– I think we listed the main ones, right? I think overall, if you were… Even though you are not… You are living your job, right? But if you have like a history of good employment, stable employment, right? This also counts positively.

– Right.

– And so, if you… Even though you don’t have much, but if you’re younger and your sponsor has this that could be also a strong tie through your sponsor. And of course, it depends on your age, you can always use a sponsor. But like I would say, the younger you are, the more you can rely on the sponsor, the older you are, you can still have a sponsor, but it has to be like additional help, right? Cannot be the main provider for your study plan. Otherwise, if it is you can still be approved, but it’ll be a little bit riskier application. And something that I think it is important to add as well as an additional factor, it is travel history. If you have already traveled to other countries, especially I would say first world countries like US, Australia, Europe, right? Overall, this is good, this looks good on our application, right? Because they know, well, they had the opportunity to go to US, they had the opportunity to go to Europe and they had the opportunity to stay illegally if they want to and they didn’t, which means why they would do that in Canada, right?

– Right.

– And on the other hand, if the first for any reason has lived illegally in any country and this unfortunately, sometimes is very common for US, for example, then the chances of getting your visa refused, it is higher because the officer will think like, if you did before, if you didn’t respect the immigration laws of that country, why would that be different now?

– Right.

– Right.

– And of course, we have to declare and we have to prepare different in a more elaborate application to try to convince the officer that’s not the case.

– Right.

– But again, like the risks of refusal goes through the roof.

– Yeah, right. Yeah, so evidence of having gone abroad and come back is very helpful in your application, ’cause it shows that whether… You know, when you had an opportunity to maybe stay somewhere beyond your allowed time, you didn’t break the rules, you went home, you know, the officer’s gonna say, “Well, you’re more likely to do the same now.” So–

– Exactly.

– You’re better risk, okay? So history, travel history, ties to home, financial. And then in… And then reasons wanna study this program. Any other factors that the immigration officers will look at?

– No, I think that’s all that comes to my mind, right? All I would say, it is based on proving that the person’s a bonafide student, a person with genuine intention to study and convinced the officer that person will have a temporary stay in Canada and who turn home if they have to without staying here beyond the allowed period of time. So that’s the overall purpose of the application.

– And then presumably a clean criminal record. I think they ask for criminal records to issues–

– It depends on the nationality, not in most cases.

– Okay.

– In some cases they do.

– Okay, and what about health checks? I know that some students have to get a medical test before their study permit is issued. Is that the case in all nationalities or just certain regions of the world?

– It is only certain nationalities. So, on the government website, you can find if you are considered at what we call a designated country. And any person that lives in a designated country or have lived in a designated country for the past year needs to get medical exams. So for example, in South America, some countries are designated, such as Brazil, some countries are not designated and most first world countries don’t require medical. So, it is really on a case by case basis as well. We have to check the list, you may require the medical.

– And if you require a medical, how long does it take to get that? What’s the process to get that? You can’t go to your own doctor, you have to go to a Canadian recognized medical examiner, I would think. And what kind of test is it? Is it a simple test? Is it invasive test? Is it just a check of your medical records? What–

– Well, it’s not invasive, you need to go to the immigration physician. So there is a list on the government website. So put the country where you are seeking to find the immigration physician, we call a panel of physicians, the list of physicians that can do immigration exams.

– Right?

– And usually they will do blood tests, they will do chest x-ray and they also do like an overall assessment. So you know, the doctor asks you if you questions, understand your medical history, measure and hear your blood pressure, hear your breathing, just like a small checkup, nothing very invasive. And usually, like I would say it, it is quite okay. But if you have like any chronic disease, anything that you know that costs a lot to treat or you are with a situation with a disease, a that can eventually lead to a very expensive treatment, for example, dialysis, HIV. So in this cases maybe it’s better to schedule also consultation with us–

– Okay.

– To understand how you can improve your chances of passing the medical exam, right? So we’ll give instructions of what they’re looking for.

– Right?

– And how to prepare, and in this case, you still always at the risk that the visa officer will send what we call procedure letter, which is intend to refuse your application for medical reasons. And there’s three reasons that could lead to refusal for medical reasons. So one is danger to the public. So if a person has a kind of psych causes or some kind of disease that they can become aggressive, they can, you know, hurt someone that could also be a danger to the public, could be also danger in terms of–

– Infections diseases.

– Contamination infections, exactly. So for example, HIV could be one of the situation that’s very transmissible. So in this case, it is false, we do have a lot of successful clients that immigrated or applied for a visa with HIV, but depends on the count, depends on how you present the case as well, so it is a very specific situation. And any other transmissible disease could go through this additional steps to be allowed. And also what we call excessive demand, which means the treatment of your condition will require a lot of the Canadian system.

– Right.

– You cost more than expect. So usually, the amount is around 21,000 per year, that the government expects to spend with every person. And if for any reason, you may be expected to use more than 21,000 per year with medication, for example, with treatment or if a surgery, then you may be considered medical inadmissible.

– Right, okay. So I understand the medical test, how long does those… You know, students just book, applicants just book their own test, right? They go to the list–

– Yes.

– The panel physicians, they make an appointment and then the physician submits the report directly to immigration to CIC, to IRCC, I mean.

– Yes. So usually, there’s two ways and depends on the country. There’s few chains, but let’s say, you usually, if are required to present a medical exam, you don’t need to do upfront. You can submit your application and then once they assess the application, they’ll require you to perform the medical exam and they give you 30 days to do so. But usually you can get an appointment very easy with like a few days, and then you can go through the exam. And the doctor has the system with the Canadian government to send the results directly to them.

– Right.

– In some countries they do acquire, for example, Brazil, it is a designated country, everybody require is to have a medical exam and they don’t accept to sent later, you have to do upfront.

– Wow.

– So before you apply, you have to do the exam and then you have to get proof that you did and that we attached to the application.

– Right.

– Right?

– Right.

– So in some cases, for example, depending on the program or if the person has, for example, intention to work with a child in childcare, for example, as a nanny or with, for example, any medical facility–

– Right.

– Anything that has direct contact with people, you may be required to do a medical exam. So some cases, for example, the programs will allow you to have a co-op portion in any area that you want, anywhere focused to have maybe like… When I have the opportunity to work, I wanna work as an nanny, I wanna work as, you know, office facility, because of maximum background, because I’m pursuing to working that career, right?

– Yeah.

– So you have to also be aware because some of the patients require specific my a quick sense.

– Right, so yeah, that’s exceptions to, you know, cases where they’re usually not required, but in some cases they could be. If the person coming is intending to study a field that would place them in close contact with the highly vulnerable populations, I guess.

– Exactly, yes, correct.

– Yeah, right, okay. So we’ve talked about… I know where to apply, what kind of visas, where to apply, how to apply, tips and tricks and what factors, what happens if someone’s application is refused. Is there… What’s a… Is there a process of appeal or do they just reapply? And what do you recommend?

– Well, depends on a case by case, right? So technically, you have how to appeal so you can apply for what we call judicial review. And in case we need a lawyer representative to go through that process. If we’re outside Canada, you have 60 days to file judicial review, if we are inside Canada it’s only 15 days. So it’s very short period of time. But you need to know if your application was strong enough–

– Right.

– In order to see if it was… If it is worth to go through the appeal, right? So you have to… In order to win an appeal, you have to prove that there was an error in law, like the officer failed to apply the law correctly, right? And what led to the refuse of your application was a mistake from the officer, for example, a mistake of the application of the law.

– Right.

– So, I would say in most cases, I don’t think that’s worth going through the judicial review because it’s very costly. Costs a lot of money to have a judge to hear your case, takes a lot of time to get there. So, recent cases that we saw from… The client decide to go through that route was about 10 months to have the judge to hear the case. So in 10 months, a lot of could happen, right? So in most cases, what we recommend is first applying for the GCMS notes, we also call it ATIP. And what that is, is a document that you can request that explains the rationale of the officer when giving your refusal, right? So it will be like I assessed that this person present me the bank statements with good funds, but there was a lump sum that… Meaning he had no money in the account and then all of a sudden there was a huge deposit and the source of funds was not explained, right? So that’s the reason refuses. So you look like, wow, yeah, I didn’t explain that. So why I would appeal that? It makes sense, right? So in this case it’s better to–

– You could reapply and that’s… And then just provide the evidence of where that money came from.

– Exactly.

– Maybe you had another bank account and you transferred it over, maybe you sold an asset and put it in the… Put the funds in the bank account, yeah.

– Yeah, so the ATIP usually takes 30 days to arrive. So it’s not so fast, it’s having some delays, sometimes it is normal. It is a government that, you know, sometimes it is very efficient. The Canadian government is very efficient, but sometimes they have delays. But let’s say the average processing time is 30 days to see the ATIP and then through the ATIP we can create these strategies to reapply. So in this case, you know what I usually do? If you have already the intention to reapply, we see that your case is worth pursuing, we start the reapplication right away, but we wait for the ATIP notes to arrive so we can confirm if there is anything else that needs to be addressed in that reapplication that I need to make sure that’s covered or any change that I need to do before submitting a second application. And I would say, this is cheaper, it is faster because let’s say average processing time is three months for decision. And it’s way cheaper than going through the judicial review, it’s way faster, and most cases, if we can address all of the officer concerns, we can have a successful case.

– Right. Yeah, I think that’s the important message, is that Canada wants students to come, you know?

– Yeah.

– And when we talk in this episode about there’s a risk of refusal and there’s a risk of refusal, I guess what we don’t want the listeners to believe is that it’s just really difficult. It isn’t because Canada ultimately wants students to come. And we… Canada is very welcoming of international students and very supportive of the international education sector in Canada. But of course, the officers have a job to do and they just have to make sure that the conditions are met. But if they’re met, there’s no reason to refuse, right?

– Yes, and in some case, I would say it is… Even though you met the conditions, you didn’t present well. So I see a lot of people that sometimes try to apply by themselves and they… And I talk to them and I see you have this, it is perfect, you have this, it is correct. I’ve seen your applications, very strong ones show me the documents that is submitted and I see the documents are not well organized, this study plan is a mess, it doesn’t make sense. So like, say, “Hey, you just didn’t do your job correctly,” right? Yeah. And of course, we don’t have to reapply. It is already riskier because the officer… Already there was an officer before that had to refuse, but we have to explain the circumstances that led to a very bad application at the beginning.

– Right.

– And we have had a lot of success in your applications as well. So it’s say, don’t do that if you don’t know what you’re doing, if you don’t feel confident in doing your application, hire a consultant like us to help you, right?

– Right.

– So you make sure that you do a good job. It is… You know, you pay to have a little bit more assurance. We cannot guarantee though that your application is going to be approved. It is actually against our code of ethics, right?

– Right.

– Because the decision is of the officers, not us.

– Yeah.

– It’s not ours.

– Yeah, there’s no guarantee, no.

– Yeah, but I would say we have the professional experience. We have the knowledge to prepare a strong application that we increase their chances of success.

– Yeah, so, you know, I’m sure people are curious, what does it cost to get the study permit? And in the case of study and work programs, the study permit and the work permit. Can you explain to our listeners what is a… What are the government fees that they may have to pay? And I guess… And you know, especially including if they have to get a medical examiner, I presume there maybe be additional fees for that. So what does the government charge and what does the panel of selected physician charge?

– Okay, all right. So in terms of government fees, the study permit applications is $150. Even if your program has a co-op portion and you require work permit that application does not have additional fee. So you only pay the $150 for the application and insurance of your study permit. Starting from 2018, so a few years ago, the government also started requiring biometrics and you have to pay for biometrics, which is $85 per person.

– Okay.

– And you mentioned–

– What is biometrics? I’m sure some people don’t know. I know, but you can share with everybody. What does that mean when you pay for biometrics? Biometrics is pretty much a background check. So you’ll be required to go to a visa application center and take your fingerprints, take a picture so they can make sure that you are the same person that presented at the visa application center suggesting that you were going to apply for a visa and also the same person that enters Canada at the end of the day after the approval. So it’s pretty much a way to have all your information that they could do a background check, a background search, and also you are the same person that actually entered Canada after the approval.

– So it’s verifying your identity, I guess.

– Pretty much, yes.

– And preventing fraud in the application process.

– Definitely, yes.

– So an applicant has to… And then biometrics are required from all people entering Canada now.

– Yes, all people entering Canada is required to biometrics. And I would–

– Would you need to travel to a visa application center to do that prior to getting their study permit issued?

– Yes, so some countries have the visa application center in several cities, other countries have only in few cities and some countries don’t have an application… A visa application center whatsoever and you have to travel for another country… And you have to travel to another country in order to do the biometrics. So you really have to know what are the visa application centers that are near to your place of living and also consider the costs of going to that specific location to collect biometrics.

– But I think in most of the countries where we see the highest demand for Canada, like countries like Mexico and Brazil and Japan and Korea and parts of Europe, there’s a fair number–

– They all have, yeah, they’re all having multiple cities, actually.

– Multiple, multiple, yeah,

– So, it’s very, very accessible and–

– What we see is most of our applicants live in a city that has a Canadian visa application center, what we call VAC, V-A-C, visa application center, right?

– Yes.

– So they go to the VAC, they get their biometrics done and they pay at the VAC the $85 for that, or they pay online.

– You have to pay online when you’re submitting your application. And then after submission you’re going to receive biometrics instruction letter, and then you have 30 days to schedule and do the actual collection–

– Okay.

– Of fingerprints.

– So it’s 150 for the study permit, there’s no fee for the work permit and there’s an $85 fee for the biometrics. And then if they need a health exam, is there a standard fee for that as well?

– Usually it changes according to the local price, but it would say most cases it will be between the equivalent to 150 Canadian dollars to 300 Canadian dollars. So every country is different, but I would say considering the conversion would be between this range in terms of cost.

– Okay, so total costs probably roughly speaking between 400 to $600 Canadian to get your medical exam, if they’re required, not everybody requires it, your study permit and your biometrics.

– Yes, there’s few translations that may be required. So if your documents are not issued in English or French, you may require to do certified translations. And then let’s say translations of your diplomas and transcripts are usually required by the school as well to accept you as a student.

– Right.

– So that document you need to include in your application. And I would say, depending on the documentation, for example, the financial documentation, you may need to translate that documentation as well. So you have to consider the additional cost for translations.

– Okay, great, great. I think that’s it, I think we’ve really covered a lot. I think this has been really helpful. I know I’ve learned things and I think our listeners have definitely learned a lot. And I would love to just remind our listeners that you also… Your own firm has a podcast and a YouTube channel where you share or more information about immigration to Canada and visa processes. What’s the name of your show on YouTube or your channel on YouTube? Our English channel, it’s called How to Immigrate to Canada Channel by e-Visa Immigration.

– Okay.

– So, I can share the link if you are watching this on YouTube or I can share the link with you below the description. If you’re on the podcast, you can write it down on YouTube search, How to Immigrate to Canada Channel by e-Visa Immigration. And definitely you’ll see us and will find our channel to see a lot of useful tips about everything related to coming, visiting studying, working and immigrating to Canada.

– Oh, that’s perfect, that’s great. Well, thank you again for joining us today and–

– My pleasure, thank you for the time.

– Okay, take care.

– You too.

– That’s all for this week’s episode of work and study in Canada brought to you by Tamwood Careers. Tamwood is a private education company operating career colleges in Toronto, Vancouver, and Whistler, Canada. Tamwood offers popular work and study programs in fields like business, hospitality and tourism, digital marketing, web design, UX, UI, and entrepreneurship. International students who study with Tamwood gain valuable work experience in Canada and start on a pathway to a successful career and immigration in Canada. If you’d like more information about Tamwood and its programs, visit our website, You can also check out our videos on YouTube and connect with us on social at Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.