Before coming to Canada, international students need to make sure to choose a school that is on the designated learning institution (DLI) list of the Canadian government. It is essential for an international student to find an institution that is on the DLI list in order to be able to study there, apply for a study permit, get an acceptance letter and be qualified to apply to the PGWP in the future.

A designated learning institution (DLI) is a school approved by the government to admit international students. In the case that an international student tries to apply to a school that is not a DLI, the study permit will be refused.

How to know if a school is a designated learning institution (DLI)?

All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLI, however before choosing a program of study, look for a good college, university or school with the help of the government website. You will need to get a letter of acceptance in order to apply for the study permit, and the permit will be based on your approval into the post-secondary institution.

If you want to remain in Canada after your graduation you need to make sure that the DLI that you are in, is eligible for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP) because not all DLI schools qualify for that. If you want to find out what schools are listed on the DLI list by province or territory please go to the Canadian government website.

What happens if there are schools that are DLI but are not currently on the list?

There are some schools that are designated learning institutions but are not currently on the DLI list. The reason is that due to the pandemic every DLI school has to have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the government. Any school that does not meet that requirement is out of the DLI list for the meantime until they prepare one and is approved by the government.

If the DLI school is not on the list, the international student cannot board the flight or might be turned away at the port of entry. The government updates the list frequently so if the school is not there at this moment, check the website regularly to see if it is been added.

Why is important for an institution to have a COVID-19 readiness plan?

The importance of a COVID-19 readiness plan is that protects the health and safety of communities and students. It also gives an insight into how the institution will handle the mandatory 14-day quarantine for international students entering the country, provides information about how to obtain basic things such as food and medicine, health insurance, and how to maintain a healthy and safe space while being in Canada.

If you want to know more about the COVID-19 plan that Acsenda has for students and the preparation guide please go to the link attached. Also, here is the return to campus response plan that Acsenda is managing to go back to classes in person safely.