How to Study in Canada
  • Select a Program.
  • Apply to a Canadian designated learning institution.
  • Apply for a Study Permit.
  • Explore further immigration options.
Receiving a Letter of Acceptance

Obtaining a Letter of Acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is the first step in the application for a Canadian study permit. To obtain a Letter of Acceptance, a potential student may first submit an application to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). If he or she is successful, the institution may issue a Letter of Acceptance.

For the purposes of a study permit application, all the following elements are required in the Letter of Acceptance:

  • The student’s full name, date of birth, and mailing address.
  • The student’s ID number, if applicable.
  • The name of the institution, and the name of the official contact person.
  • The contact information of the institution.
  • If the DLI is a private institution, the licensing information for the institution should be clearly stated (usually in the institution’s letterhead).
  • The DLI number.
  • The type of school or institution (e.g. private, public, post-secondary college, community college, or technical college — this list is not exhaustive).
  • The study program, level, and year of study into which the student is accepted.
  • The estimated duration of the study program, or estimated date of completion of the study program.
  • The start date of the study program.
  • The latest date by which a student may register for the study program.
  • Whether the study program is full-time or part-time.
  • The estimated tuition fees for the first year of study, and scholarships or other financial aid (if applicable).
  • 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 (if applicable) — this may include prerequisite courses, previous qualifications, or proof of language knowledge.
  • If the DLI is in Quebec, the requirement of a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) should be clearly stated.
Study in Canada: Transfer Programs

A university transfer program, broadly speaking, is when a student begins studying at one institution and finishes at another.

Students choose these pathways for many reasons; some to save money or to stay close to home, while others because of university entrance requirements. Still others are looking for smaller class sizes or particular sports. Whichever reason students choose, transfer programs can provide unique opportunities for advancement.

Pathway Programs

Students who wish to study in Canada may first attend a prerequisite or preparatory program to prepare themselves for the conditions of their main study program. This is called a pathway program.

Pathway programs often take the form of a language course. In such a pathway program, a student may meet the language requirements of the main study program by completing a language course, rather than taking a recognized language test. While pathway programs are understood to include two stages, the first stage — for example, the language course — is usually referred to as the ‘pathway program’, and the second stage — for example, a college diploma course or a bachelor’s degree — is referred to as the ‘main study program’.

If the pathway program is more than six months in length, a potential international student would be required to apply for a Canadian study permit. If the pathway program is less than six months in length, a study permit is not required. In both these situations, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is generally still required. To find out if you need a TRV or ETA to enter Canada, click here.

After the student has successfully completed the pathway program, he or she is required to apply for a new study permit for the main study program. This is the case for all students, regardless of the length of the first pathway program.

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