Studying in Canada can help you build a solid base for your future profession and personal life.
However, the first step to beginning your journey in Canada is to acquire a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
A letter of acceptance (LOA) from a Canadian university or college is essential to qualify for a Canadian study permit.
This article will help you understand:
- What a letter of Acceptance (LOA)?
- What should LOA include?
- Who is exempt from LOA?
- What is LOA with conditions
What is a letter of acceptance (LOA)?
A Letter of Acceptance (LOA), often known as an acceptance letter, officially confirms your admission to a Canadian university or college.
However, your acceptance letter should be from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
Getting a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution is required to apply for a study visa.
A designated learning institution is a school the government has approved of a province or territory to accept international students.
Further, not all designated learning institutions (DLIs) offer Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) programs.
You can verify if your institution offers a PGWP program using the official database. Select the province your institution is, then search for your college or university.
Typically, only international students with an LOA are permitted to study in Canada (some exceptions apply, see details below).
Consequently, applying to and being accepted into a DLI should be your first priority.
What should a letter of acceptance include?
IRCC uses a letter of acceptance format to ensure that your LOA is valid. It contains all of the required information and will make processing study permit applications easier.
You can demonstrate your acceptance into a Canadian study program by presenting immigration officer with an authentic letter of acceptance (or a scanned copy if applying via e-Apps) from the DLI you will be attending.
The following information should be included in your letter of acceptance from the DLI when submitting your study permit application:
- Your full name, date of birth, and mailing address;
- institution’s name and official contact information;
- DLI number of the institution;
- Information for the institution’s phone, fax, website, and email;
- Type of school or institution you will be attending
- If the institution is publicly supported but not a university,
- An indication if the institution is a post-secondary college, community college, or technical college);
- Your program of study, field, level and year of study
- Study program’s expected duration or completion date;
- Start date of the chosen course of study
- Last day for a student to register for a selected course;
- The academic year in which the student will enroll;
- If the course of study is full-time or part-time;
- The program’s tuition fee;
- Scholarships and other forms of financial assistance (if applicable);
- An expiry date stating how long the letter of acceptance is valid;
- Any acceptance or registration conditions, such as meeting academic prerequisites, completion of a prior degree, proof of language proficiency, etc
- The educational institution’s clear identification, which is usually confirmed by its letterhead;
- A Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) is required for study in Quebec, and
- Licensing information for private institutions is typically validated on letterhead when appropriate.
Here is a sample letter of acceptance.
Who is exempt from the letter of acceptance requirement?
A letter of acceptance is not necessary if the family member of a foreign national’s application for a work or study permit is accepted in writing before they enter Canada.
However, this exemption does not ensure that a study permit application will be approved.
Moreover, a foreign national’s family member who applies for a study or work permit from within Canada is not excluded from the requirement to receive a letter of acceptance when applying for a study permit.
Acceptance letters with conditions
When a foreign national must complete a prerequisite course or program before being admitted to the study program, the DLI may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
This letter should be submitted when the candidate applies for temporary residencies, such as a study permit in Canada.
Suppose a study program requires you to complete a prerequisite program, such as English or French as a second language and is also a condition for subsequent program enrolment.
In that case, the officer may issue a study permit for the duration of the prerequisite program plus one year.
Students who successfully finish their prerequisite program must then apply for a new study permit and demonstrate that they have met all of the admission requirements.
However, international students must meet the funding requirements for their main program.
Moreover, international students who received a study permit to complete the prerequisite program are ineligible to work off-campus in Canada until they start their main program.