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Canada shares list of institutions approved to welcome international students

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Canada reopened its borders to international students as of 20 October
  • In order to enter the country, students must have a valid study permit and their institution or school must have had its COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its respective provincial or territorial government

The Government of Canada has published a list of designated learning institutions (DLIs) that have had their COVID-19 readiness plans approved by their respective provincial or territorial government. This approval is a critical factor in an institution or school being able to welcome international students, following the government’s decision to reopen the border to students as of 20 October.

A related statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) advises:

“To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:

  1. You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.
  2. You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.”

“Your travel to Canada will be considered essential (non-discretionary) if you have all of the required documents and your DLI is on the approved list.”

IRCC adds that:

“When the border services officer greets you [at a Canadian port of entry], they look at several factors, including:

  • your reason for travelling to Canada;
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination;
  • if you either (i) have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or (ii) can study online during your quarantine.”

The list

Students are cautioned that they cannot travel to Canada before their DLI is added to the IRCC list of approved institutions: “If your DLI isn’t included below, you can’t travel to Canada to study at this time. If you try to travel to Canada when your DLI isn’t included, you may not be allowed to board your flight or you may be turned away at the port of entry.”

Currently included – as of 27 October – on the list are all public and independent primary and secondary schools in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. Schools in all other provinces and territories are not approved to receive international students at this time.

Also as of 27 October, there are 558 post-secondary institutions, including colleges, universities, private training institutes, and language schools, on the approved DLI list. Roughly two thirds are in Quebec. There are currently no approved post-secondary DLIs in the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, or Nunavut.

IRCC regularly updates its DLI listing regularly as more institutions have their COVID-19 readiness plans approved by their respective provincial or territorial governments.

For additional background, please see:


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