How to find out if a school is a designated learning institution?

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; to be able to get a study permit, obtain a letter of acceptance (LOA) and be qualified for the PGWP.

A designated learning institution (DLI) is a school approved by the government to admit international students. An international student needs to apply to a DLI school to obtain a study permit.

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. You need to get a LOA to apply for the study permit, and the permit will be based on approval.

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 DLIs 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 requirements is out of the DLI list until one is ready.

If the DLI school is not on the list; then the student cannot board the flight or is denied at the port of entry. The government updates the list frequently, check the website regularly to see if a school is currently there.

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 14-day quarantine for international students entering the country. Also, provide information about how to obtain basic things like food and medicine, health insurance, and more while 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.

Why is important that your institution is a DLI?

DLI institutions are the only ones that can host and admit international students.

In case a student is looking for post-secondary studies; it is mandatory for an international student to enroll in an institution that is a DLI. In order to obtain the study permit issued by the government, the school needs to be a DLI. If the school is not a designated learning institution the study permit will be refused.

Another benefit of a school being a DLI is that it most probably is eligible for the post-graduation work permit program (PGWPP). The PGWP is a program that allows students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution to obtain work experience. It helps students to continue in Canada and work full-time after completing their program. The PGWP has a duration of up to 3 years depending on the length of the program.

If you want more information, please go to the article ‘What is a PGWP’ or ‘Can I get a work permit after studying in a private college in Canada’ on the Acsenda website.