Know the Language: A Quick Glossary

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for processing the arrival of immigrants, protecting refugees, and helping newcomers settle in Canada. Additionally, IRCC grants citizenship and issues travel documents (such as passports) to Canadians. Applications for temporary residence, such as study permit applications, are reviewed by IRCC.  The IRCC website is the most up-to-date resource as you prepare to come to Canada.

BSO (Border Services Officer)

An officer of the Canada Border Services Agency, who has the legal authority to decide who can enter and remain in Canada

Canadian Port of Entry

A place where a person seeks entry into Canada, including airports, land border offices, or marine border crossings

Co-op Work Permit

A permit which enables an eligible student to participate in work that is essential to the student's program, such as co-op, internship or practicum requirements


A spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child

DLI (Designated Learning Institution)

An approved school in Canada from which you must receive a Letter of Acceptance before applying for a study permit. The University of Lethbridge Designated Learning Institution number is O18776949622

eTA (electronic Travel Authorization)

An entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air; it is electronically linked to your passport

Immigration Officer

An officer of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, responsible for deciding who can enter and remain in Canada

International Student

A temporary resident who is legally authorized to study in Canada on a temporary basis with a study permit

Letter of Introduction (also called Port of Entry Letter)

A document sent from a visa office to confirm approval of your application for a study permit. You must present this letter when you arrive in Canada

Open Work Permit

A type of work permit that allows a person to work in Canada for any employers (except for certain ineligible employers)


An official travel document and type of identification; the only reliable travel document that all countries accept

Post-Graduation Work Permit

A type of open work permit issued by IRCC to eligible graduates of Canadian institutions

SIN (Social Insurance Number)

A nine-digit identification number unique to you; required for work in Canada

Study Permit

A document allowing a foreign national to study at a Canadian institution; issued by IRCC upon arrival in Canada, upon presentation of the Letter of Introduction

Temporary Resident

A foreign national who is in Canada legally for a temporary period, including students, workers and visitors

Temporary Resident Visa

An official entry document issued by a visa office; it takes the form of a sticker placed inside of your passport and may allow one or multiple entries into Canada