Study Destination

What is DLI Canada: Complete Designated Learning Institutions List in Canada

Yocket Editorial Team

The educational system of Canada is well known for offering advanced knowledge, training and research opportunities. But not all universities/colleges are sought-after by international students. Why is it so? Well, educational institutions in Canada are divided into two groups: DLIs and Non-DLIs colleges. DLI or Designated Learning Institutions are approved by the government to offer all facilities for international students. Besides, it is only through a DLI Canada that you can acquire your study permit. You must include a valid DLI number to your study permit application form (IMM 1294) and the college application form (IMM 5709) to change any terms and conditions as a student in Canada. 

Hence, choosing the best DLI schools in Canada is utmost important for you to study and stay as an international student. For that, you must be aware of the designated learning institution list Canada. In this blog, we take you through all the information related to DLI Canada, ways to change DLI number, DLI list Canada, and also some frequently asked questions to clear all your possible doubts. 

  Table of Contents:

What is DLI in Canada?

A Designated Learning Institution Canada is a college/university approved by a provincial or territorial government to host students from different parts of the world. DLI colleges play a major role in the acquisition of your Study Permit in Canada. There is a long list of DLI approved colleges in Canada. Approval from a college present in DLI Canada list is in fact, one of the mandatory eligibility criteria to study in Canada for international students

  • This criterion came into effect on 1st June 2014. According to Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR), an international student willing to pursue courses in Canada that last longer than 6 months must have a Letter of Acceptance from a DLI Canada. 
  • The student is expected to mention the DLI number (DLI#) beginning with Letter 'O' on the study permit application form. Hence, you must check the DLI number of the respective DLI schools in Canada that you wish to apply. 

Now that we are aware of the DLI concept in Canada, let us see the benefits of studying in DLI colleges in Canada: 

Reasons to choose DLI Colleges in Canada

In Canada, each province or territory has been entrusted with the responsibility of designating schools that enrolls international students at a post-secondary level. The Designated Learning Institution list may include colleges, universities, CEGEPs, private career colleges, vocational and language schools. But there are some exceptions incase of some colleges in Quebec. Although they are designated by the provincial government, there is no DLI number assigned to them.

There are primarily 3 reasons for choosing a Designated Learning Institution in Canada. They are as follows:

  • DLI colleges in Canada are administered by the federal government or agency
  • They fulfill all the provincial requirements in terms of higher offering education in Canada
  • The degrees or diplomas from DLI institutions in Canada have a worldwide recognition

The most important element of the colleges in the Canada DLI list is their DLI number. Let us have a better understanding of the importance of DLI number in to study in Canada: 

What is DLI Number in Canada?

The DLI number refers to a specific set of numbers assigned to all the colleges and universities present on the DLI Canada list. It is allocated to the post-secondary institutes once IRCC receives a confirmation of their designation status from the provincial or territorial ministry of education. You may find the complete DLI list Canada on the IRCC website. 

Here is a step by step guide for the same:

  • Visit the official IRCC website
  • Choose the province or territory in which your Designated Learning Institution is based, and you will see the DLI Canada list for that region.
  • Search by entering the name of the institution, city or other related details. You will find the name and DLI number of the institution there.
  • Note down the DLI number and use it to further in your application process to study in Canada. 

Suggested: Best Cities to Study in Canada for International Students!

How to Change DLI Number? 

If there arises a situation when you need to shift from one post-secondary institution to the other, you must inform IRCC first. Since you will be changing your DLI number, you must keep the following document ready before starting the process:

  • Copy of your study permit. 
  • Letter of Acceptance from the previous DLI institution.
  • Letter of Acceptance and DLI number of the Designated Learning Institution Canada that you want to shift. 

Now let us see the steps involved in changing your DLI number:

  • Visit MyCIC account and log in to your account.
  • Find the Students: Transfer Schools link under the Start an application option.
  • Click on Start an application option by entering your application number.
  • You will be then directed to the Tell us about your application page. Enter all the information and proceed. 
  • After that, you need to click on the Search for my application link.
  • Enter the DLI number of the institution you want to change to.
  • Click on Submit transfer option and you are done. 

List of DLI Colleges in Canada

The approved DLI list Canada is a long one which means that there are wide range of options to choose from. You may choose them based on province or the city that you wish to live as an international student. Here we have provided a Designated Learning Institution list based on different provinces in Canada:

DLI Colleges in Ontario 

Name of the Institution 

DLI Number 


ABC Access Business College


North York

Algonquin College



Canada College of Education



Centennial College



Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology




DLI Colleges in Alberta

Name of the Institution 

DLI Number 


Columbia College



Alison College



Canadian Imperial College



Lethbridge College



NorQuest College




DLI Colleges in British Columbia 

Name of the Institution 

DLI Number 


Ashton College


Abbotsford, Vancouver

Canadian College



Camosun College



Columbia College



Eton College




DLI Colleges in Quebec

Name of the Institution 

DLI Number 


Vanier College 



CDE College



Cegep John Abbott



College Canada inc.



College LaSalle



Choosing a reputed DLI in accordance with the subject of interest is indeed a major requirement for international students to study in Canada. DLI Canada is also a part of the SDS program that offers another set of benefits for international students. To know more, check out our SDS Colleges and Universities blog now! 


Frequently Asked Questions About DLI’s in Canada

What is the full form of DLI in Canada?

What is the importance of DLI in Canada?

Can I change my DLI number?

What are the DLI Colleges in Vancouver?

What are DLI Colleges in Toronto?

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