Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) are education institutions approved and authorized by Canadian provinces and territories to administer learning to foreign students. They include primary, high, and post-secondary schools (universities, colleges and special institutions) in Canada with legal permission, government backing necessary accreditation to accept international students via offer of admissions. Canada’s immigration department, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are updating the list of approved designated learning institutions (DLI).
All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated and authorized to accept students from abroad. But, post-secondary schools on the other hand must receive permission from provincial or territorial government to accept international students. If you want to study in Canada at the post-secondary level, you must first obtain a letter of acceptance from a DLI. This letter is crucial to obtaining a Canadian study permit.
International students should also apply all the necessary due diligence when selecting a DLI to study in, as you do not want to choose a school that will disqualify you from obtaining a Post-graduation work permit. You must be sure that your school is on the list of designated Learning Institutions in Canada. However, if the school you are studying at loses its accreditation status, you may stay at the school until your Canada study permit expires. Otherwise, you can transfer to another school with a DLI status.
List of 97 Accredited Universities in Canada
The list below lets you know if your school offers programs that will make you qualify for a post-graduation work permit.
- University of Toronto, Toronto
- University of British Columbia, Vancouver
- University of Waterloo, Waterloo City
- McGill University, Montréal City
- Simon Fraser University, Greater Vancouver
- University of Alberta, Edmonton
- York University, Toronto
- Queen’s University, Kingston
- University of Calgary, Calgary City
- University of Victoria, Victoria
- McMaster University, Hamilton
- Western University, London
- Université de Montréal, Montréal
- Université Laval, Quebec City
- Laval University, Quebec City
- Ryerson University, Toronto
- University of Guelph, Guelph City
- University of Ottawa, Ottawa
- Concordia University, Montréal
- Dalhousie University, Halifax
- Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal
- University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
- Memorial University of Newfoundland, St.John’s
- University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
- University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
- Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke
- Brock University
- St. Catharines Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo
- University of Regina: Regina
- University of Windsor: Windsor
- British Columbia Institute of Technology: Burnaby
- Université du Québec à Chicoutimi: Chicoutimi
- University of Lethbridge: Lethbridge
- University of Winnipeg: Winnipeg
- HEC Montréal : Montréal
- Lakehead University: Thunder Bay
- Université du Québec: Quebec City
- École Polytechnique de Montréal: Montréal
- Trent University: Peterborough
- Vancouver Island University: Nanaimo
- University of Prince Edward Island: Charlottetown
- Acadia University: Wolfville
- École de Technologie Supérieure: Montréal
- Ontario Tech University: Oshawa
- University of Northern British Columbia: Prince George
- Thompson Rivers University: Kamloops
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Surrey
- St. Francis Xavier University: Antigonish
- Mount Allison University: Sackville
- Saint Mary’s University: Halifax
- Mount Royal University: Calgary
- OCAD University: Toronto
- Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières: Trois-Rivières
- Laurentian University: Sudbury
- Université de Moncton: Moncton
- Mount Allison University: Sackville
- Mac Ewan University: Edmonton
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology: Edmonton
- Bishop’s University: Sherbrooke
- SAIT Polytechnic: Calgary
- Trinity Western University: Langley
- Nipissing University: North Bay
- Brandon University: Brandon
- Capilano University: North Vancouver
- Mount Saint Vincent University: Halifax
- Université du Québec à Rimouski: Rimouski
- Royal Roads University: Victoria
- Cape Breton University: Sydney
- Royal Military College of Canada: Kingston
- Université du Québec en Outaouais: Gatineau
- Algoma University: Sault Ste. Marie
- Yorkville University: Fredericton
- The King’s University College: Edmonton
- The University of Western Ontario: London
- Canadian Mennonite University: Winnipeg
- École Nationale d’Administration Publique: Quebec City
- Université de Saint-Boniface: Winnipeg
- St. Thomas University: Fredericton
- Concorida Unviversity of Edmonton: Edmonton
- University of King’s College: Halifax
- University Canda West: Vancouver
- The King’s University: Edmonton
- College of North Atlantic: Stephenville
- Emily Carr University of Art and Design: Vancouver
- Quest University Canada: Squamish
- Ambrose University: Halifax
- University of Lethbridge: Calgary
- Redeemer University College: Ancaster
- Université Sainte-Anne: Pointe-de-l’Église
- Luther College at the University of Regina: Regina
- First Nations University of Canada: Regina
- University of Regina: Regina
- Crandall University: Moncton
- Kingswood University: Sussex
- Université de Hearts: Hearst
- Collège Universitaire Dominicain: Ottawa
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: Merritt
What is the designated learning institution number?
Every post-secondary schools that admit foreign students in Canada have a DLI number. A DLI number is a unique code or number that’s associated with the school. The DLI number can be found on the Canada study permit application form. It is the number that starts with the letter “O”.
If you want to study in Canada as an international student, you must first make sure that your school is on the list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs).
Also, bear in mind that there are schools with several campuses or smaller departments that may have a different DLI number for each location.
How to Change a Canadian DLI Number?
As an international student studying in Canada, you are allowed to change your DLI number anytime. You may change the level of study, institution of study, and/or program of study. You do not need a representative to change your DLI number. You can always do this yourself if you have your study permit application details intact. However, before initiating this process, you may need to notify the appropriate immigration department in charge of this.
Basically, you need the following documents to change your DLI number:
- a valid online account linked to your application.
- your study permit number.
- your new school’s designated learning institution (DLI) number.
- your new Student Identification Number (i.e Student ID).
- your start date at your new school.
7 Steps to change your DLI Number
An international student with valid study permit and with the necessary documents may change or switch from one school (DLI) to another as an international student in Canada. Eligible students may follow these steps to change their DLI number online:
- Step 1: Sign in to your online CIC account.
- Step 2: Find the section Designated Learning Institution Student Transfer and click on Transfer from DLI number.
- Step 3: Enter your study permit application number and click Search for my application.
- Step 4: Insert more information about your original study permit application.
- Step 5: Insert your new DLI number, your new Student ID number, and your start date at your new institution. Then Click Submit transfer.
- Step 6: Confirm the details of your transfer. If all the information is correct, click on Confirm Transfer.
- Step 7: You will receive a notification that your transfer is complete. This shows that you have notified IRCC of your intention to change DLIs.
Changing Schools in Canada
As a foreign student, you are permitted to change your institution of study. You do not need to obtain a new study permit to effect this change. However, if you wish to change school within the same level of study, then you are required to contact Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and notify them of the change in institutions. And you must ensure that your new school is accredited to host international students.
Transferring from one DLI another is easy, provided the student have a valid study permit and acceptance letter from the new school they are changing to. See steps.
Furthermore, if you wish to transfer from a school outside of the province of Quebec to a school inside of the province of Quebec, you will have to obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) before you can transfer. This is because Quebec has unique requirements for accepting international students.
Popular Questions About Designated Learning Institutions
A. As an international student studying in Canada, you can initiate a transfer from one school to another. This process is known as Designated Learning Institution Student Transfer. To do this, you will need to inform immigration refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) about your change of post-secondary school.
Kindly also know that you don’t need a representative to change your post-secondary school, even if you used one to apply for your study permit. You can initiate this by yourself if you have your study permit application details.
How to check if a Canadian School is COVID-19 ready
International students are cautioned that they can’t come to Canada before their school is added to the IRCC list of approved schools.
“If your institution isn’t included below, you can not come to Canada to study at this time. If you try to come to Canada when your institution isn’t included, you will not be allowed to board your flight at the port of entry.”
A total of 1, 548 DLIs are listed on the official IRCC website, across all Canadian provinces across the country except Nunavut. Each of these Learning institutions must be individually assessed before they are listed as ‘approved’ on the official IRCC website. Canada immigration ministry regularly updates its list of designated learning institutions regularly as more and more post-secondary institutions have their coronavirus readiness plans approved by their respective provincial or territorial governments.
As of November 17, 427 out of 436 institutions in Quebec have had their coronavirus readiness plans approved. On the other hand, out of the 482 learning institutions in Ontario, only fifty-six (56) have had their plans approved. In British Columbia, eighty-one (81) out of 266 DLIs have approved plans. While there are plans pending federal government approval, certain Canadian universities may not have lodged their COVID-19 readiness plans for approval yet.