How to Change University in Canada while Studying on a Study Permit

Embarking on a journey of education in a foreign country is an exciting endeavor, but it comes with its own set of responsibilities. For international students studying in Canada on a study permit, the flexibility to change universities or programs is a valuable feature. However, it is crucial to understand the conditions, requirements, and consequences associated with such changes to ensure a smooth academic transition.

Conditions for Changing Universities:

To change your university or program in Canada while studying on a study permit, there are specific conditions set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you must adhere to:

  1. Acceptance at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI): Ensure that the new university is listed as a Designated Learning Institution in Canada.
  2. Active Enrollment: You must be actively studying while in Canada to be eligible for a university transfer.

Requirements for Updating Information with IRCC:

When changing your university or program, it is essential to inform the immigration authorities promptly. Here’s what you need to provide:

  1. Online Account: Access your online account on the IRCC website.
  2. Study Permit Details: Have your study permit number on hand.
  3. DLI Information: Obtain the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number of your new institution.
  4. New Acceptance Letter: Provide your new Student ID and the start date from the acceptance letter of the new institution.

Procedure to Inform IRCC:

Follow these steps to inform IRCC about your university or program transfer:

  1. Log in to your account on the IRCC website.
  2. Locate the option for “Designated Learning Institution Student Transfer.”
  3. Enter your study permit application number and search for your application.
  4. Fill in the necessary details about your new school or program.
  5. Confirm the transfer after reviewing the information.

Changing DLI Outside Canada:

If you’re changing your university before entering Canada, failure to inform immigration officers may result in being denied boarding.

If Your Application is In Progress:

Submit a new letter of acceptance using the IRCC web form to inform authorities about the change if your application is still under review.

If Your Application Has Been Approved:

If your study permit application has been approved, submit a new application with the updated information and be prepared for a visa application fee.

Studying in Quebec:

For students moving to a school in Quebec, acquiring a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) is mandatory. Existing students must contact the MIFI to update information regarding university, course, or level of study.

Consequences of Not Informing IRCC:

Failure to inform IRCC about university changes may lead to severe consequences, including:

  1. Possible deportation.
  2. Difficulty in future entry to Canada.
  3. Visa application rejections.


Studying in Canada is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Adhering to the regulations set by IRCC ensures a hassle-free academic journey. Keep your documents updated, follow the proper procedures, and enjoy a fulfilling educational experience in the beautiful landscapes of Canada.

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