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 statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) advises the two requirements to be met to be able to enter Canada as a student:
* You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.
* You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.
IRCC adds, “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. 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.”
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 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.