Before applying for a study course at a recognized Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) an overseas student must obtain a Letter of Acceptance from the DLI.
This is a mandatory requirement in applying for a Canada study permit. The letter of acceptance must include all of the following:

  • Full name, date of birth, and mailing address;
  • The student’s ID number, if applicable;
  • The institution, and the name of the official contact;
  • The contact information of the institution;
  • If the DLI is a private institution, the licensing information for the institution should be clearly stated;
  • The DLI number;
  • The type of school or institution;
  • The study program, level, and year of study of the student;
  • The estimated duration or date of completion of the study program;
  • The start date;
  • The latest date by which a student may register;
  • Full-time or part-time study;
  • The estimated tuition fees for the first year of study, and scholarships or financial aid;
  • The details of a required internship or work placement, if applicable;
  • The expiry date of the Letter of Acceptance;
  • Conditions of acceptance to the DLI including language proficiency;
  • If the DLI is in Quebec, the requirement of a Quebec Acceptance Certificate.

Note that if the processing of the application is not completed by the expiry date of the letter of acceptance, the student may need an extension letter to submit to IRCC (Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada).
IRCC will provide a template for the letter, and it should be noted that a letter of acceptance is not a guarantee of a study permit, the grant of which will be decided on an individual case basis.

The following are exempt from the requirement for a Letter of Acceptance:

  • Students who are granted a temporary work or study permit before entering Canada, and their family members
  • Students who are studying for less than 6 months in Canada do not need a study permit.

Applications to More than One DLI

A student can apply to more than one DLI. The Letter of Acceptance must clearly state this is the case if so. If the degree or certificate the student is studying for is issued by joint DLIs, the Letter of Acceptance must be issued by the institution at which the student began the study program. Otherwise, the letter must be from the DLI that issues the degree or certificate.
In such a case the Letter of Acceptance must also include the following:

  • The name, type, and location of the other institution;
  • The course(s) the potential student intends to pursue at a different institution; and/or
  • The semester(s) that the potential student intends to spend at a different institution.

Conditional Letter of Acceptance

A Conditional Letter of Acceptance may be issued by a DLI should the student be required to complete a particular course before beginning the intended study program. This will usually be a course covering English or French as a second language.
In such a case, the study permit will cover only the time period required to complete the prerequisite course, and the student may apply for a further study permit having successfully completed the language course (or other that may be required).

Renewal of Study Permits

The student will not usually be asked to gain a second Letter of Acceptance where renewal of the study permit is required. It should be noted that the immigration officer handling the renewal case may ask for proof that the student has met the requirements for the first letter. This can be provided in the form of a letter from the relevant DLI confirming such.