Canadian Designated Learning Institution(DLI)

The Designated Learning Institution is a school that admits international students. A letter of acceptance from a DLI is very essential in order to obtain a study permit in Canada.

All the primary and secondary schools in Canada are Designated Learning Institutions. The Post-secondary schools must first receive permission from the provincial government in order to accept any international student.

If you desire to come to Canada to study at the post-secondary level, you must make sure that your school and the program you desire to study are on the list of the Canadian DLIs.

How To Become An International Student

Becoming an international student in Canada requires a two-step process.

First and foremost, you need to become accepted into any Canadian school, or any designated learning institution. Once you have gotten a letter of acceptance, you can then apply for the study permit from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. If you are issued a study permit, it is on the basis of acceptance into the Canadian school.

However, if you are studying at any post-secondary level, you can change your school, program, the field of study, or even the level of study without the need to apply for a new study permit. Immediately you are accepted into any program you desire to transfer into, you just need to notify the IRCC if you have changed schools already.

Designated Learning Institution Number

The post-secondary school that admits international students must have a unique DLI number. The number can be found on the study permit application form given to the students. This is the number that begins with the alphabet letter “O”.

If you desire to come to Canada as an international student, you must first ensure that your school is on the list of the Designated Learning Institutions.

Primary and Secondary Schools are DLIs.

In most of the provinces, the schools offer education from Grade One up to Grade Twelve. When any student graduates from secondary school they receive their high school diploma certificates.

The dependent minor children do not need any study permit for them to study. If anyone has any minor children and is migrating to Canada either on a work or study permit, they will be very much eligible to attend school. There will be no need to apply for any separate study permit for them.

Changing Programs

Peradventure an international student decides to change the programs he is currently taking within the same designated learning institution (DLI), there will be no requirement to change their study permit or need to contact IRCC for an update on the changes.

Changing Schools

If any international student chooses to change institutions within the same level of the study, then they will not be required to obtain a new study permit from the agency but they will be required to contact the IRCC and notify them of the change to the new institutions.

The student must also ensure that the new institution he is going to is a designated learning institution (DLI) since the non-DLI schools are not eligible to host the international students for study.


The Designated Learning Institutions focuses more on the primary and Secondary Schools which makes it much easier for the students and even the guardian. If such an opportunity comes, do well to make do with it and enjoy the benefits attached.

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