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Designated Learning Institution

Designated Learning Institution DLI Canada

A Canadian institute that admits international students is called a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). To get admission to a DLI, a student must obtain a letter of acceptance from the same DLI. Furthermore, the acceptance letter is compulsory to get a valid study permit for Canadian institutions.

Important information related to DLIs
Below-mentioned is the most important key points international students must be aware of before applying for admission.

Which institutions are DLIs?
All the Canadian primary and secondary schools are DLIs, meaning they can admit international students without getting any permission from the provincial government.

However, post-secondary schools do need permission from the provincial government to operate as a DLI. Hence, the school you’re planning to study in should be included in the official list of DLIs. You can check whether your target school is on the list by clicking here.

If you have already got your study permit and the institution is removed from the DLI list, you can keep studying until your permit expires. After expiry, you will have to get a new permit from another DLI.

Every DLI also has a unique DLI number mentioned on the application form of the study permit.

What happens if I submit an application for a non-DLI school?
Your application will be rejected.

The government requires every institution to be a DLI before it can host international students.

However, be noted that your study permit will stay valid if the school is removed from the DLI list after you have got your permit. When the permit expires, you will have to reapply for a new one from another DLI still on the list.

Can I change my Level, Program and School?
Yes, students can change their level, program, and school. However, you may need to apply for a new study permit, contact the immigration agency, or extend your permit to make the change happen.

If you only wish to change the study program but stay in the same DLI, there’s no need for any alteration in your study permit. However, if the program you’re going to change to is longer than your current study permit, you will have to apply for an extension. Furthermore, if changing programs violates the terms mentioned on your study permit, you will need to contact IRCC.

If you plan to stay on the same level of study but change the school, you have to inform IRCC about it. Furthermore, make sure the school you’re changing to is a DLI, i.e., it must be included in the official DLI list.

If you wish to change your level of study, i.e., leave your secondary education institution to join a post-secondary institution, you will need to contact IRCC and get a new study permit. However, you won’t need a new permit if you’re going from primary to secondary, or from one post-secondary to another post-secondary school.

Step by Step Process on how to Change a DLI
You can modify your DLI as long as you’re still following the requirements of your study permit. You must notify IRCC of any changes to your post-secondary school when you apply for a change. The following items are required to begin the process:

  • An Active Online Account
    International students who filed for a study permit on paper must create an account in order to link their application.
  • Study Permit Number
    If you apply for your study permit on paper, you must first create an account, after which you must link your application.
  • New DLI Number of the School
    Refer to this link to find the list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLI)
  • Student Identification Number (Student ID)
    This information can be found on your new school’s acceptance letter.
  • Start date at your new school


You’re ready to start the process now that you’ve gathered all of the necessary documents. To change your DLI, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign in to your Online Account

Step 2: Under the Designated Learning Institution Student Transfer tab, click the button labelled “Transfer from DLI number”

Step 3: Enter your study permit application number and click Search for my application.

Step 4: Provide additional information regarding your original study permit application.

Step 5: Enter the following: you new DLI number, Student ID number and start date at your new school. Then click Submit Transfer.

Step 6: Review the details of your transfer. If everything is correct, click Confirm Transfer.

Step 7: Make sure that you receive a notification that your transfer is complete. This confirms that you have informed IRCC that you have changed your post-secondary school.

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