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Flight School while on PGWP w/o study permit – will I be in trouble with EE-CEC process?

Hi everyone,

I am currently waiting to receive ITA inland (should be this upcoming round of invitation for CEC), and I am starting to worry a lot about one thing:

While I was on my PGWP, I took a private pilot license training course within Canada at a DLI. I told the school I was on a PGWP and enquired if I needed a study permit to take the course. They told me that it was not necessary as the course was going to be a short-term course lasting less than 6 months.

I started the course on 10 June 2018 and finished the course on 15 January 2019; hence it was about 2 months longer than the 6 months I’ve been told; however, I did take 2 long breaks where I was outside of Canada. Not accounting for the time I was outside of Canada, the course took 5 months to complete.

I’ve written a letter of explanation to attach with the PR application detailing the layout of the course, the number of hours I attended classes in total, and the duration of time (in days) that I was present in Canada actively taking the course. Since pilot training does not have a standard timeline, as it is based on the number of hours you fly and attend ground school, I could not provide the “usual” duration of the course for the officer to consider.

I’ve been losing sleep over this, and I would highly appreciate if anyone has been through a similar situation with a positive outcome. I know that I should have applied for a study permit, and in hindsight, it was very stupid of me to have signed up for the course. My worst fear is that they will issue me an exclusion order where I will be forced to leave Canada for a year or more. I have been here for 11 years and Canada has truly become my only home.

Any insights is highly appreciated. Please let me know if I should consider hiring a lawyer, and if so, a recommendation for a lawyer would highly be appreciated.

Thank you!

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