Designated Learning Institution Portal: Compliance Reporting

Note: This guide was last updated on October 24, 2017.

1. Introduction

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for completing compliance reporting requests from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) Portal.

The DLI Portal may also be referred to as “IRCC’s Portal” or “Partner Portal”.

1.1. International Student Program regulatory changes

Regulatory changes to the International Student Program (ISP) came into effect on June 1, 2014. These changes aim to strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration program by:

  • limiting the issuance of study permits to those accepted to an institution designated by their province or territory to host international students
  • requiring study permit holders to actively pursue their studies
  • facilitating entry of foreign nationals into Canada who sincerely want a Canadian education

Learning institutions in Canada play an active role in the promotion, recruitment, and admission of international students. DLIs are a key source of information on the enrolment status of international students. Compliance reporting by DLIs supports the objectives of IRCC’s regulatory changes.

1.2. Overview of the Designated Learning Institution Portal

The DLI portal was developed in consultation with a working group made up of representatives from

  • IRCC
  • provincial and territorial authorities
  • learning institutions.

These representatives provided valuable input on the frequency and timing of reporting, and on the portal design.

Information collected from the portal helps IRCC to identify students who may not be complying with their study permit conditions. The DLI Portal lists international students who meet both of these conditions:

  • Students have applied for a study permit as of June 1, 2014.
  • Students are enrolled in a program of study of at least six months in duration.

DLIs need to complete the compliance verification requests for these students.

Two types of compliance verification requests exist:

  • Periodic verification: Twice a year (spring and fall), DLIs report on the enrolment status of their international students, as of the date when IRCC sends the compliance reporting request. DLIs have 60 days to complete the compliance report through the DLI Portal.
  • Ad-hoc verification: IRCC may send an ad-hoc verification request. DLIs must respond to the request within ten business days, and return results to IRCC by email:

If you require a DLI Portal account, see the step-by-step instructions.

1.3. Accessing the portal

We recommend accessing the DLI Portal using Google Chrome. Before signing in to the DLI Portal, you must clear the browser history and cache.

To sign in:

  1. Go to the DLI Portal.
  2. Click Continue to GCKey.
  3. Sign in using your GCKey username and password.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Review the Terms and Conditions.
  6. Click I Accept.
  7. Answer the identity validation questions that you provided during enrolment.
Image of portal Log-in screen.

1.3.1. Primary and Secondary Users

Primary and secondary users can complete, save and submit ad-hoc and periodic verification reports to IRCC.

The primary user is the main contact for IRCC. The primary user is:

  • the employee who is the authorized Primary Representative, as designated by the province or territory
  • responsible for managing their DLI’s secondary user access. It’s recommended that primary users add secondary users to the account.
  • responsible for keeping their contact information (email address) up-to-date to so the DLIs receive all notifications sent by IRCC.

Note: DLIs must tell their province/territory and IRCC if there are any changes to the contact information of DLI and/or Primary Representative.

Primary and secondary users are responsible for keeping their GCKey username and password safe. Usernames and passwords cannot be recovered.

Contact the DLI mailbox for technical support, additional instruction and questions about access to the portal. If requests cannot be processed within ten business days, you will be advised of the expected resolution date.

Contact the provincial or territorial government for authorization to change the DLI’s Primary Representative.

2. How to complete a compliance reporting request

Periodic and ad-hoc verification requests are completed in the same way. You can complete verification requests directly in the DLI Portal, or you can export a file to complete locally and then import it back to transmit to IRCC.

2.1. Verification requests notification

IRCC sends an email to the DLI's primary user as notification of a new pending request in their Designated Learning Institution Compliance Reporting Queue.

2.2. Accessing ad-hoc and periodic verification requests

Follow these steps to see the request sent by IRCC:

  1. After signing in, click Continue.
  2. Review the Terms and Conditions.
  3. Click I Accept.
  4. Answer the identity validation questions provided during enrolment.
  5. In the What would you like to do today section, click Access Compliance Reporting.
Image of the “Access Compliance Reporting” button as described above.

2.3. Reporting directly through the DLI Portal

On the DLI Compliance Reporting page, under the Request Type you will see an Ad Hoc Verification or Periodic Verification link depending on the type of the request.

Image of the “Compliance Requests from IRCC” screen showing the location of the Ad Hoc Verification link.

Click the Ad Hoc Verification link in order to access the verification requests and report them directly in the DLI Portal. The system displays a list of students.

Image of an example list of students.


  • DLIs cannot add students to this list. DLIs report only on the students that show in the list.
  • If the list includes more than one record for the same student, select the same status for each record.

In the Search section, you can find a student record using the:

  • Family Name
  • Given Name
  • Student ID
  • DOB
  • UCI
  • Status

Users can:

  • Sort search results by clicking the arrow at the top of the column;
  • Add or modify the Student ID number of each student.

Note: Student ID numbers are stored in the system. The Student ID number is not a mandatory field. Student ID numbers may contain only the digits 0-9 and letters A-Z. Remove any special characters in the Student ID field before saving.

Tip: Users can change the number of records displayed on the table by clicking Show … entries above the Select column.

2.3.1 Completing a verification report

Once you have selected a status for each student, you can submit the report to IRCC.

To submit:

  1. Click Select All.
  2. Click Save.
  3. Click Return to Queue to return to the Compliance Requests from IRCC page.

2.4. Export and import the compliance report

You can export (or download) the compliance report and make changes directly, as required. After completing changes, import the updated file. You can export and import the report multiple times.


You can export the compliance report in three files types: .xlsx, .csv and .xml.

  1. In the DLI Compliance reporting page, click Download/Upload the report.
  2. In the Download the report applet, in the Choose a file format field, select a value.
  3. Click Download the report. A browser window prompts you to open the report.


You can import the compliance report in two file types: .xml and .csv.

  1. In the DLI Compliance Reporting page, click Download/Upload the report.
  2. Navigate to the Upload a Report applet.
  3. In the Choose a file format field, select a value.
  4. In the Choose a file from your computer field, click Browse.
  5. Find the file on your computer and click Open.
  6. Click Upload File.

You can upload as many files as you require, but you cannot submit the report until all students are uploaded.

If the report contains any mistakes, the system displays a page with a link to the list of errors.

2.5. Entering the status of a student

For all students in the Compliance Reporting Request from IRCC, primary or secondary users must select the value that best describes the students' academic or enrolment status at the DLI. The value must reflect the status on the day you received the Compliance Reporting Request.

Options are:

Note: Save your changes frequently. The system automatically logs you out after 15 minutes of inactivity. 

The system populates the Status and Student ID fields with the information submitted by the DLI from the previous request. To ensure this information is still accurate, select and save the populated statuses.

The status shows as Please select:

  • for new student records
  • if the DLI did not previously submit compliance reports

If after reading the definitions of the academic/enrolment status you are unsure of which status to choose for a study permit holder please contact the DLI mailbox for assistance.

To enter the status of a student

  • In the Status column, select a value.
  • Click on Save.
Image showing the “status” dropdown menu options in the example list of students.

To enter the same status for more than one student

If the same status applies to all of the students that show in your current search results:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on Select All.
  3. Select the Status field, select a value.
  4. Click on Apply to selected rows.
  5. Click on Save.

Tip: DLIs can use the Select All function to choose the status that reflects the majority of their students, and then change the status of the students with different status manually.

The system will apply the status to all of the selected students. Results will show in the Status column.

After updating all the student records being displayed, do the following:

  1. click on Select All
  2. click on Save.

If the report includes more than 250 records, click on Next to view the following page of student records.

2.6. Completing and submitting an ad-hoc or periodic verification report to IRCC

Make sure that the numbers in the Total Records and Records Ready to Transmit columns are the same. If the numbers are different, you must go back to the report and look for records that were not updated.

  1. In the Action column, click Transmit to IRCC.
  2. Click Transmit to IRCC to confirm you are ready to submit the report.
Image of the “Transmit to IRCC” confirmation page as described above.

Note: If you click Cancel, the system returns you to the Compliance Requests from IRCC page.

On successful transmission of the report to IRCC, the DLI’s primary user will receive a confirmation email. DLIs can no longer make changes using the DLI Portal. If you need to change the information, DLIs can contact the DLI mailbox.


Academic break (regularly scheduled break)
The student is on a regularly scheduled break between academic sessions (such as winter/summer holidays) as determined by the DLI.
Academic suspension

The student is suspended from the DLI due to poor academic performance or violation of the institution’s policies and is allowed to return to the DLI after the period of suspension.

Note: If your DLI doesn’t track Academic Suspension, indicate the student’s status as No longer registered/enrolled.

Authorized leave

The student has formally requested and received an approval to be temporarily absent from the institution, such as medical leave, maternity leave or any other type of leave where the student has a formally authorized leave by the DLI.

Note: If your DLI doesn’t track Authorized Leave, indicate the student’s status as No longer registered/enrolled.

Deferred enrolment

The student is registered or enrolled at your learning institution but they aren’t enrolled in a program of study as the start date of their program has been postponed. The delayed start date of the program must be imposed or approved by the DLI.

Reasons for deferral may include:

  • program of study has been postponed by the DLI; or
  • at the request of the student.
Full-time studies
The student is registered at the DLI and enrolled in a program of study. Each institution determines the minimal course load required for a student to be considered as having full-time status.
No longer registered/enrolled

The student:

  • is dismissed and they no longer have registration or enrolment status at your institution or their admission has been revoked; or
  • has withdrawn (i.e. doesn’t have registration or enrolment status at your institution); or
  • has transferred to another DLI.
No show
The student was issued a letter of acceptance from your institution but hasn’t registered at the DLI or enrolled in a program of study.
Not started
The student hasn’t started their program yet. This status is intended for students who may not have entered the country, but were issued a study permit to attend the DLI.
Part-time studies
The student is registered at the DLI and enrolled in a program of study. Each DLI determines the minimal course load required for a student to be considered as having part-time status.
Program/degree completed
The student has been issued a formal notification of completion of their degree, diploma or certificate from your institution indicating that they have met all of the requirements for graduation.
Unknown/no record
Your institution doesn’t have a record of a letter of acceptance issued to this person.

Frequently asked questions

I reported during the last round of DLI compliance reporting. Do I have to report this round?

Yes. Starting with the fall 2016 reporting, all DLIs are required to complete their reports every period (spring and fall).

There are international students attending my DLI who don’t appear in the compliance report. How can I add them?

DLIs don’t need to add students to their report. For this report, we only need information on the enrolment status of the students appearing on your list.

Some student records appear multiple times in the DLI compliance report. Can I delete these duplicates?

No. DLI Portal users can’t delete duplicate records. If you find a duplicate, provide the same status for each one.

I can’t complete and submit my DLI compliance report before the due date. Can I get an extension?

No. We can’t extend the compliance verification report due date.

If you have questions about the implications of not submitting your compliance, contact your province or territory.

Make sure you have access to your account before the start of the compliance reporting session. Primary users can add as many secondary users as needed to help with the reporting process.

There is a change in the primary representative/contact information for my DLI. Who should I contact?

Contact your designating province or territory as soon as any changes in contact information happen, including:

  • primary representative/user,
  • location and address, and
  • DLI name.

If your institution wants to become a DLI or has stopped operating, contact your province or territory.


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