Canadian Designated Learning Institutions DLI

Individuals from abroad who desire to pursue studies at a Canadian college or university usually have to provide an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). This letter is essential when they apply for a Canadian study permit or aim to qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Canadian Designated Learning Institutions DLI

What is Designated Learning Institutions DLI for international students?

A Designated Learning Institution is a school that admits international students. A letter of acceptance from the institution will provide you with an opportunity to obtain your Canadian study permit and experience living in Canada as well!

All Canadian primary and secondary schools are DLIs, but post-secondary institutions must receive permission from the provincial government before accepting international students. 

The Post-Graduation Work Permit is a great way to keep your skills fresh and continue working in Canada. If you’re planning on staying after graduation, ensure that the DLI allows qualifying.

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What is DLI number in Canada?

The Designated Learning Institution Number DLI number is a unique identifier for post-secondary schools that admit international students. The letter “O” starts this string, and each school has its code. To study in Canada as an international student, one must first ensure their school is on the Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) list. There are many schools in Canada with different DLI numbers for each location.

Which schools are DLI in Canada?

In Canada, all schools are DLIs. Most provinces offer education from Grade One to Grade Twelve. When you graduate from secondary school, you get your diploma.

If you have minor children and are coming to Canada on a work or study permit, they will go to school when they get here. They don’t need a separate study permit.

Non-DLI Schools

Suppose you’re planning to study at a school that’s not designated by the territorial or provincial authority as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). In that case, it will be impossible for the institution to host international students. 

You can’t get a study permit to go to a non-DLI school. If the DLI status is removed, you will need to transfer as soon as possible or before your current permit expires.

If the school you are studying at loses its designated learning institution status after you get your study permit, you can:

  • Keep studying your program until your current permit expires.
  • But only renew your study permit if you enrol at a Designated Learning Institution.

Exemptions from DLI Requirement

In certain situations, students might not need to include a letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) or provide a DLI number in their application. These situations could include, but are not limited to:

  1. Students enrolled in primary or secondary schools. These schools are automatically recognized, and there’s no need for a DLI number.
  2. Family members of foreign nationals who have received written approval for a work permit or study permit before coming to Canada. In such cases, the family member can get an open study permit.
  3. The provincial government approves some institutions in Quebec but doesn’t use a specific DLI number.

Want to apply for a Canadian visa? Click here to start the process with our help →