What you need to know about Designated learning Institutes in Canada?

April 8, 2021


Best DLI in Canada, Best places to study, Designated Learning Institute, overseas admission, study abroad, Study abroad aspirants, Study in Canada


There is more to a proper university or college in foreign places than we know about. As international students, we are usually unknown about specific other options that we can explore based on our study and duration choice. Education need not be a complete four-year program; some institutes could offer more in less duration. When planning to pursue your higher studies in Canada, you need to be on top of your game when researching universities, several categories of institutions, and your course choice.

Designated Learning Institutes (DLI) are those institutes in Canada set up or authorized by the provincial or territorial government to host international students for their undergraduate or post-graduate programs. These institutes in Canada work towards hosting international students into their study program to encourage and motivate them or stay overseas to cultivate a prosperous career after completing their undergraduate courses. With the Canadian government’s imposing of proper guidelines on the country, DSI has been managed to be opened amidst the COVID pandemic to welcome more international students in the country for gaining an opportunity to receive a premier quality education.

Further, one needs to follow certain technicalities for receiving a student permit visa and study in any of the listed designated learning institutes. You must have an acceptance letter from any institutes established/registered under DSI. For all the Indian international students applying for a student permit visa under the Student Direct Program (SDS), faster processing of Visa must own an acceptance letter from the institute, which would make them eligible to apply amongst other formalities. Like any other institute or university in Canada, DSI could also be a good choice for vocational training or receiving a degree/diploma in any practical skill.

From the view of Student Cover’s team of experts, this article will talk about the rules and regulations associated with applying to any Designated Learning Institute in Canada and be aware of the checklist before you pack your bags to hop into a plane fly to your dreams. We will also discuss some listed DSIs in various provinces that are registered and own their DSI numbers for hosting international students to pursue education in Canada.


The Essential Facts: Study Permit and DSI

There are some set rules and guidelines one needs to know before going forward with the DSI applications. The government might have permitted them to open DSI in Canada, but knowing which institute is a DSI takes a little more research than normally enlightening yourself. It is essential to know that not every institute that claims it to be DSI isn’t necessarily a registered DSI. You being an international student, must know about these hard facts, which could risk your student permit visa and dream of obtaining elite education.

Below are a few things you need to check before successfully applying for your student visa and stating your DSI name.

  1. Different provinces in Canada have their DSI to host an international student or provide higher education to the locals. All these institutes have their DSI number, which establishes them as a registered Designated Learning Institute.
  2. The DSI number owned by an institution is proof that this institute is approved and authorized by the provincial or territorial government, which allows them to host an international student for pursuing their choice of vocational or a full-four year graduate/post-graduate program.
  3. The Government of Canada/Gouvernement du Canada’s official website mentions that “the primary & secondary schools in Canada are all designated learning institutions.” Still, they aren’t listed under the DSI list of institutes.
  4. A student is willing to stay in Canada post his graduation to pursue his post-graduation. He should choose a properly registered DSI that would give him/her access to a Post-Graduation Work permit.
  5. A student willing to take admission in post-secondary school must give assurance of their school listed under DSIs. This isn’t in the case of all primary or secondary schools since all of them are automatically assumed to be DSIs.
  6. A Canadian education system has been divided into three categories: Elementary, Secondary, and Post-Secondary. Post-Secondary is a category for Colleges and universities, and the courses provide there must pass the government’s quality control. Hence, an international student applying for a program would only be granted a student permit visa when these institutes fulfill the criteria.
  7. A student applying for a study permit visa to study at a DSI must prove that they can support themselves and their family (parents, partner) who might be traveling with them.
  8. The students must know and follow the conditions like, they would be leaving Canada when their authorized stay comes to an end, only then they would be eligible for return for further education or work to Canada if they wish to do so.
  9. The student must remain enrolled in their respective DLI till the end of their study period and be active in their course program and study.
  10. It is important to note that if a DSI in which a student is pursuing his/her study loses their status during their education, it won’t affect the student’s stay or education. He or she can continue studying in the institute until their study permit expires.
  11. After the study permit expires, a student gets 90 days additional to deciding whether to obtain a PGWP (Post-Graduation Work Permit) or return to their homeland. A student needs to study for a year or to program for getting a PGWP to post that.

With the government’s willingness to open DLIs in Canada amidst the pandemic, the international students should follow the rules and regulations for obtaining a student permit post being accepted into their choice of DLI. The Canadian government has implemented various rules and modified their guidelines which enabled the DSIs to open and welcome international students in the country.

Let’s look into some of the government-listed DSIs studying into which would be a wise choice and easier to obtain a study permit.

Some Listed Designated Learning Institutes in Canada


Location & Province

Columbia International College

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Community College

Vancouver, British Columbia

Alexander College

Burnaby, Vancouver,

British Columbia

University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta

University of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta

Mount Royal University

Calgary, Alberta

McGill University

Montréal, Quebec

University of Montréal

Montréal, Quebec

Royal Military College Saint-Jean



Centennial College

Toronto. Ontario

York University

Toronto, Ontario

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Ontario

McMaster University

Hamilton, Ontario

University of Windsor

Windsor, Ontario

Université du Québec

Quebec City

Acadia University

Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton University

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD)

Halifax, Nova Scotia

University of King’s College

Halifax, Nova Scotia


Let’s Wrap up!

All the above-listed universities are government-approved DLIs. For more listed universities, an extensive list of all the institutes is available on the Canadian government’s official website. You need to make sure whether you are applying to the listed DSI for a study program, making your institution available for granting you a study permit visa and hosting you as an international student in Canada.

All these rules based on the listed DLI make a candidate eligible to enter Canada and pursue their career choice. A listed DLI holds immense importance to work or study in Canada, or it becomes difficult to obtain the visa from the concerned authorities.

{To know more about Canadian study visas, education loans, and more, visit Student Cover and get an expert’s opinion regarding your future}.

Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of this blog’s content.

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