Canada's List of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs)
In most cases, prospective international students who wish to study at a Canadian post-secondary institution need to provide a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) when applying for a Canadian study permit or becoming eligible for a PGWP.
A Designated Learning Institution, or DLI, is an institution that admits international students. To obtain a Canadian study permit, you will need to obtain a letter of acceptance from a DLI. If you plan to stay in Canada after your studies and apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), it is also very important to choose the right institution and the right program because only certain DLIs will make you eligible to obtain one.
Applicants must provide the Designated Learning Institution number (DLI #) for their school of choice. The DLI number is the number that begins with the letter “O” on the study permit application form.
In certain cases, students may be exempt from providing a letter from a DLI, or from providing a DLI number in their application. These cases may include, but are not limited to:
- Students at a primary or secondary institution. These schools are all automatically designated, and no DLI number is provided.
- A family member of a foreign national whose application for a work permit or a study permit is approved in writing before the foreign national enters Canada. In this case, the family member may obtain an open study permit.
- Some institutions in Quebec are designated by the provincial government but do not have a unique DLI number.
If DLI Status is Lost
Sometimes, institutions may lose their designated status. Depending on when the status is lost, the international student may be affected.
- If an individual submits an application for a study permit with a letter of acceptance from an institution that is not a DLI, the study permit application is refused.
- If an individual submits an application for a study permit with a letter of acceptance from a DLI, but the institution loses its designated status before the study permit can be issued, the student has three options. He or she may:
- Withdraw the application;
- Submit a letter of acceptance from a different DLI;
- Do nothing, in which case the application will be processed according to the information provided. The application will therefore be refused.
- If an individual receives a study permit for a DLI, and the institution loses its designated status after the study permit is issued, the student has two options. He or she may:
Contact the Cohen Immigration Law Firm for Assistance
Do you need assistance studying in Canada? The Cohen Immigration Law Firm can help. Cohen Immigration Law offers over 45 years of Canadian immigration expertise.
Please contact us to schedule a free telephone consultation with one of our lawyers.