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International Students

​​​International students are individuals who are not one of the following:

  • Canadian Citizens – no specific ID required​
  • Permanent Residents (includes 'landed immigrants') – a certified true copy of a Provincial Government ID card, motor vehicle licence, or permanent resident card is required to be kept on the student file

International students are responsible for all of their visa/study permit, travel, health insurance, accommodation and financial arrangements.



1. Programs Greater than Six Months in Length

An international student requires a valid student visa (also called a study permit) in order to enrol in a program that lasts longer than six (6) months. International students must be taking programs that include a face-to-face component and they must be full-time at one of NLC's campuses. 

A letter confirming acceptance (if qualified) will be provided to assist in applying for a student visa. New rules for prospective international students came into effect on June 1, 2014. When applying to study in Canada, the applicant should consult the Government of Canada's Immigration and Citizenship website for processes, applications, and any special requirements:

Northern Lakes College is registered as a Designated Learning Institution and our registration number is required when applying for a study permit. 

Northern Lakes College Designated Learning Institution Number

Please note that the first character is the letter "O", followed by eleven numbers​

It is recommended that applicants begin the process of acquiring a study permit (student visa) while still in their home country, at least six months prior to registering in a program at NLC.  If already in Canada, the applicant is required to provide a copy of their current visa (work, visitor, etc.) to be followed by the study permit once received.  The student visa must be presented no later than the program's last date for registration.  ​

2. Programs less than Six Months in Length

A student visa (also called a study permit) is not required to enrol in a program that is shorter than six (6) months in length. International students in these programs may take part-time or full-time studies, and delivery may be asynchronous (any time) or synchronous (real time).

The applicant must present a copy of their current visa (temporary, work, visitor, study, etc.)  and/or passport no later than the program's last date for registration.

Admission Requirements​​​


Applicants must be at least 17 years of age to apply to Northern Lakes College programs.  Exceptions may be approved for specific situations by the Registrar.

Applicants must meet all admission requirements before a "Letter of Acceptance" is provided.  The appropriate documentation verifying the applicant's eligibility to attend the program must be presented no later than the program's last date for registration.

Those who plan to enter into a program with a practicum, work experience or clinical placement element may be required to provide a satisfactory Police Information Check to the host site. 

English Language Proficiency

English is the language of instruction and communication of the College.  All course work required of the students will be in English, except for other language courses. Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit evidence of their English Language Proficiency (ELP) as part of the application process. 

NOTE: The results of the Proficiency Tests listed below must be issued directly from the testing office; photocopies will not be accepted.  Test scores must be valid and verifiable and be current within two years of admission.

Demonstration of written English language proficiency may be done by providing any one of the following to the NLC Admissions Office: 

CLBA Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment Score 8 with no skill score below 7
TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based......Score 84 & TSE 50
IELTS  International English Language Testing Systems Score 6
with no band score below 6
CAEL Canadian Academic English Language Score 60 with no subtest below 60
TEIC Test of English for International Communication Score 730/790 and TSE 50

Application Process


1. International students submit an application to Northern Lakes College, either paper-based (available for download from the College's website) or electronically through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System, "Apply Alberta"

2. Applicants are to submit, with their application, documentation or a list of all high schools and post-secondary institutions attended or currently attending. This is to include dates attended and degrees/diplomas earned.

3. Applicants are required to arrange for official transcripts to be forwarded to an approved assessment organization for assessment and documentation of comparison to educational credentials offered in Alberta.

*Note: Official Transcripts must bear original, authorized signatures and the stamp or seal of the institution.  If these transcripts are written in a language other than English, the transcript must be translated and properly notarized by a Notary Public.

Organizations that are accepted for Northern Lakes College review are as included in the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC), specifically:

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC)

The completed results of the assessment are to be sent directly to the College, along with a copy of the transcripts. All assessment and shipping costs are the responsibility of the student.

4. The College will evaluate qualifications to ensure that admission requirements for the program have been met. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the specific requirements of the particular program for which they are applying. Refer to "Admissions Requirements" under the specific program section of the website for details. Applicants are contacted by either email or mail if there is additional information required.

5. When all admissions requirements for the program have been met, the applicant is sent a letter verifying that the applicant is eligible to be enrolled. This letter is to be used for the student's visa application. Registration in the program will not be final until the appropriate study permit(visa) or other documentation is received, registration and other documents are received, and fees are paid. If the admissions requirements are not met, the applicant is notified and the application is closed.

International students requiring more information, please contact Admissions Services at: +1-(780) 849-8600 ​

Admission to the Program


Once your application and all the required documents have been reviewed, you will be issued a conditional acceptance letter. The terms of the acceptance will typically include the following conditions:

1. Payment of a non-refundable tuition deposit (commitment fee) of $200 (See "Fees and Refunds" below)

2. Copy of a valid student visa/study permit

Fees and Refunds


On balances exceeding the non-refundable tuition deposit (commitment fee), the following applies:

  • Closed application (prior to start date): refund of all fees paid, less the commitment fee
  • Withdrawal up to, and including, the first 10 days of studies after the start date (or five days for shorter programs): full tuition and Students' Association fee refund, less the commitment fee.  The Learning Resource fee may be refunded if books have not been opened.
  • Withdrawal between the first 10 and 20 days after the start date: refund of 75% of tuition and the Students' Association fee. No refunds on the Learning Resource Fee will be given.
  • Housing refunds are automatically prepared based on checkout information. The student will receive a refund as per the Student Housing regulations.​

Other Information​


Health Insurance: 

Students are responsible for ensuring they have health care coverage during their stay in Canada.

International students (and their dependants) planning to remain in Alberta for 12 months or more can apply for coverage under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).  

They should apply within 90 days of arrival in ​Alberta.

Applicants planning to reside in Alberta for less than 12 months will have to arrange for their own private health coverage.   ​

Student Residence:

Northern Lakes College Student Residences are available at the Grouard, Slave Lake and Peace River Campuses.  ​

Program information:

Check out the full listing of Northern Lakes College programs and courses