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International Students Abroad – Your DLI may be Reopening

Posted on 25/10/2020

If you are an international student who has been accepted at a Designated Learning Institute or DLI in Canada and you are currently outside Canada, you may now be able to travel to Canada to study at your DLI. To do so you, the following must hold:

Your DLI must be on the official list of those Designated Learning Institutions who have been approved by their provincial or territorial governments to accept international students.

  • Go here to see if your DLI is on the list.
    • First select the province of your DLI, then specify if it is:
    • Primary or secondary
    • Post-secondary
  • Check back frequently as new DLIs are added to the list.
  • For example, as of the writing of this blog (late October) Nova Scotia has no post-secondary institutions on the approved list while Quebec has over 400. (This is in part because of Quebec’s unique educational system with so-called CEGEPs which function as a post-secondary but pre-university level as well as functioning like community colleges as elsewhere in Canada).
  • This is certain to change as Nova Scotia’s DLIs update their plans and are approved by the provincial government to take in international students from abroad.
  • If your DLI is on the approved list, this means they have a plan to ensure the health and safety of their students including:
  • a 14-day quarantine plan for arriving international students including how to obtain food and medication,
  • transport arrangements for getting international students to their official quarantine location,
  • all the necessary information for international students about how to stay healthy including obtaining health insurance.

You have a valid study permit OR you have a Letter of Introduction from IRCC showing you have been approved for a study permit.

  • Please note that the border services officer at your port of entry (generally the airport where you arrive in Canada) will check to see that you are arriving in time to complete your 14-day quarantine before the start of your classes.
  • If your 14-day quarantine ends after the start of physical classes, they will check if you can study online while still in quarantine.

Your immediate family members may be eligible to:

  • Travel with you to Canada
  • Travel after you come to Canada
  • But they CANNOT travel to Canada before you come to Canada

In order to be eligible to travel with you or after you to Canada, your immediate family member(s):

  • Must show that they are travelling with you for non-discretionary (to help you get set up and study in Canada, for example) or non-optional (they have to support you or are needed as guardians, for example) reasons.
  • If they are travelling with you, they do not need a letter of authorization to travel from the IRCC.
  • If they won’t be studying or working in Canada, your immediate family member should:
    • Include their visitor visa application with your study permit application if they need a visitor visa to travel to Canada,
    • Apply separately for an eTA if they require an eTA to travel to Canada.
  • If, however, your immediate family member will be studying and working in Canada, then you should submit your study application and their study/work application together at the same time to IRCC.

If they are travelling after you have arrived in Canada, your immediate family member will have to go through the process of reuniting with a family member in Canada, which generally includes obtaining an authorization to travel from IRCC and showing that their travel to reunite with you is non-discretionary or non-optional. If possible, it is easier to travel with you than to come to Canada later on. To find out more on uniting with family members in Canada, see our recent blog on this matter here.

Posted in News Tips and tagged DLI, immediate family member, Student Visa, Travel Authorization

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