Studying in Canada

How to Check DLI Number on Study Permit

Find out how to locate and verify the DLI number on your Canadian study permit.

Embarking on a journey to study in Canada is exciting but brings many questions and doubts.

In addition to choosing the right educational institution and getting used to another country and a new culture, certain administrative obligations can be incredibly overwhelming, especially for international students.

One crucial aspect of your study permit you must pay attention to is the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number. So, how do you check the DLI number on the study permit? 

This comprehensive guide will delve into the significance of DLIs for international students in Canada and the procedures for checking and changing your DLI on your study permit. So read the article to the end, and you will get answers to all your questions about the DLI number.

What is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) Number?

Designated Learning Institutions in Canada are educational entities approved by the provincial or territorial government to host international students. Each institution has a unique identifier crucial for study permits.

A Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number is an alphanumeric code that signifies a school's official recognition by the Canadian government to enroll international students. 

Specifically, it is known as the Organization ID and can be located in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) under the "Organizations & Entities" tab.

Importance of DLIs for International Students in Canada

For international students planning to study in Canada, obtaining a study permit hinges on acceptance from a DLI. A DLI number on a study permit implies that the student attends an approved institution. 

Post-secondary schools must secure the DLI designation to admit international students and for students to maintain legal student status in Canada. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are automatically classified as DLIs, while post-secondary institutions need to apply for and receive DLI status from provincial authorities.

Identifying Your DLI and Its Number

When preparing to study in Canada, students must confirm that their school is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and know the DLI number. This is essential for the study permit application process.

How to Check DLI Number on Study Permit?

Let's go through this one more time. Checking your DLI number on your study permit is a straightforward process. 

Follow these steps to find this essential piece of information:

  1. Study Permit Approval Letter: Your study permit approval letter is the key to discovering your DLI number. This letter contains detailed information about your approved study permit, including the name and DLI number of the institution you'll attend.
  2. Online Verification: Visit the official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and use their online tool to verify your DLI information. This tool is designed to help you confirm whether your institution is a recognized DLI.

A student can locate the Designated Learning Institution number (DLI number) directly on their study permit document. This number typically begins with the letter "O" and is clearly indicated on the permit. 

Students already in Canada can access this number by logging into their online account with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and checking the details under their account's "Study Permit" section. Students need to ensure that the DLI number matches the institution they are enrolled in.

Complete List of DLI-Approved Colleges in Canada

The complete list of DLIs is available on the official Government of Canada website. Students can search for their institution by name, city, or province. Each college on this list has been vetted and approved, signifying that they meet the standards set by provincial or territorial governments.


To access this list:

  • Visit the Canada.ca website
  • Navigate to the Designated Learning Institutions list
  • Use the website's search function by entering specific keywords, such as the name of the school or city

Each DLI is associated with a unique DLI number necessary for the study permit application. Students should note this number as it must be included on their permit application form.

Study Permits and DLI Requirements

Every foreign national looking to study in Canada must know the importance of selecting a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) when applying for a study permit.


The study permit application must be associated with a DLI to ensure compliance and eligibility for post-graduation work opportunities.

DLI Requirements for Study Permit Applications

A Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is an educational entity approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) mandates that all applicants for a study permit must provide a DLI number—this number signifies that the institution they plan to attend complies with government standards.

Specific steps applicants should take:

  1. Go to the Government of Canada's DLI List website.
  2. Select the province or territory where the school is located.
  3. Input the school's name or other keywords.
  4. Retrieve the school's DLI number.

This number must be included in the study permit application to demonstrate that the prospective student intends to attend a recognized institution.

What Happens if Your Institution Loses DLI Status?

In some cases, institutions may lose their DLI status for various reasons. Addressing the situation is crucial if this happens after obtaining your study permit. Contact the immigration authorities to understand the necessary steps to maintain your legal status in Canada.

If an institution loses its DLI status, the implications for current and prospective students are significant. 

Students already in Canada on a study permit can continue their education until their permit expires. However, for future enrollment or permit renewals, they must transfer to an institution that maintains a valid DLI designation.

Moreover, compliance reporting by the institution might impact students' ability to work after graduation, specifically for those seeking to join the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. It is paramount that students ensure their institution's status is active for the duration of their studies to safeguard their post-study work rights in Canada.

Changing Your DLI

When an international student in Canada needs to change their Designated Learning Institution (DLI), they must update their study permit with the new DLI number. This process is essential to maintain the validity of their immigration status.

How to Change a Canadian DLI Number?

An international student must inform Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) when they change schools. This involves linking their study permit application with their online account or creating a new one if they applied on paper. 

They'll need their study permit number, which begins with an "S" and can be found at the top right of the permit.

Step-by-step guide to updating the DLI number:

  1. Log in or create an IRCC online account.
  2. Link your study permit application using the Unique Client Identifier (UCI) and application number.
  3. Navigate to the section to Change DLI Number.
  4. Provide the new DLI number listed on the letter of acceptance from the new institution.

Procedures for Changing Schools, Programs, or Levels of Study

When changing schools or programs, the student may need to inform IRCC and the visa office that processed their original study permit, especially if there are substantial changes to their study situation.

To change schools or programs, one should:

  • Ensure the new institution is a DLI.
  • Obtain an acceptance letter from the new institution.
  • Verify if the program level change requires a new study permit. Program-level changes can include moving from an undergraduate to a graduate-level program.

Students should consult the IRCC website or contact an immigration professional for personalized guidance.

Key Takeaways

  1. DLI Number Importance: The DLI number is a crucial element of your study permit, impacting your eligibility for the license, PGWP, and overall academic experience in Canada.
  2. Verification Tools: Use the study permit approval letter and the online verification tool provided by IRCC to confirm your DLI information.
  3. Proactive Approach: Stay informed about your institution's DLI status and proactively address any changes that may arise during your academic journey.

In conclusion, understanding and keeping track of your DLI number is a fundamental aspect of your journey as an international student in Canada. Stay informed, follow the outlined procedures, and enjoy a seamless academic experience in this vibrant and welcoming country. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Change DLI After Arriving in Canada?

Yes, it is possible to change your DLI after arriving in Canada. Follow the outlined procedures, including obtaining a new Letter of Acceptance, updating your study permit, and verifying the new institution's DLI status.

By carefully following these steps, you can successfully change your DLI and continue your studies in Canada.

What should I do if my study permit approval is for a different DLI?

If you notice an error in your study permit approval, particularly regarding the DLI (Designated Learning Institution), it is essential to take immediate action.


Contact the immigration authorities right away and provide them with the correct information. Follow their guidance carefully to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Please address the error promptly to avoid serious consequences, such as cancelling or revoking your study permit. 

Are All DLIs Eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

Not all DLIs are eligible for the PGWP. It's crucial to check the specific eligibility criteria for the PGWP, which may include completing a program of study at a designated institution and meeting other requirements.


These requirements may include the duration of your program, the type of credential you have earned, and the level of your study program.

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