In the journey to study in Canada, the role of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) holds a pivotal place. DLIs are institutions that welcome international students, and obtaining a letter of acceptance from a DLI is often a prerequisite for obtaining a Canadian study permit or becoming eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Let's delve into the importance of DLIs, their exemptions, and what happens if an institution loses its DLI status.

Understanding Designated Learning Institutions

A DLI, or Designated Learning Institution, is a Canadian institution authorized to admit international students. To embark on your educational adventure in Canada, you must obtain a letter of acceptance from a DLI. Whether you're pursuing a diploma, a degree, or a certificate, DLIs play a critical role in facilitating the education of international students. However, their significance goes beyond the classroom.

DLI Number (DLI #)

When applying for a study permit, one crucial piece of information is the Designated Learning Institution number, commonly referred to as the DLI number. You can find this number on your study permit application form, typically starting with the letter "O." The DLI number is essential as it indicates the institution you intend to study at, ensuring that you're on the right track for a Canadian study experience.

DLI Exemptions

While DLIs are integral for most international students, there are cases where exemptions apply. Some situations, although not limited to these, might not require a letter from a DLI or a DLI number in the application:

Primary or Secondary Institutions: If you're enrolling in primary or secondary education in Canada, these schools are automatically designated. Consequently, you won't need a specific DLI number in this case.

Family Members: A unique scenario is when a family member of a foreign national receives approval for a work or study permit before entering Canada. In such instances, the family member may acquire an open study permit.

Quebec Institutions: Quebec has its unique setup. While some institutions are designated by the provincial government, they might not possess an individual DLI number.

DLI Status Changes

DLI status can change for various reasons, which may impact international students differently based on the timing of such changes.

Application with a Non-DLI: If an applicant submits a study permit application with a letter of acceptance from an institution that loses its DLI status, the study permit application will be declined. In such cases, the student has several options:

  • Withdraw the application.
  • Provide a letter of acceptance from a different DLI.
  • Do nothing, in which case the application will be processed as is and eventually refused.

DLI Status Lost After Study Permit Issuance: If an individual already possesses a study permit for a DLI, and the institution subsequently loses its DLI status, the student faces two options:

  • Transfer to another DLI to continue their studies.
  • Choose to complete their education at the non-designated institution, but this may impact the renewal of their study permit.

The role of DLIs in the Canadian education system is integral for international students. Ensuring that your chosen institution maintains its DLI status and aligns with your educational aspirations is paramount. Understanding these intricacies can help you navigate your Canadian educational journey with confidence.

Check out the following official link to find your DLI