Degrees, Diploma & Certificates

A step-by-step guide for international students applying to degree, diploma and certificate programs at NAIT

How to apply - international

As an international student, learn how to apply to NAIT and what to expect after submitting your application. This tool will help you track your application to make sure you're not missing any steps in the admissions process. Remember, apply early for your best chance to secure your spot and study permit!

As of January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a limit on study permit applications for international students. To understand what this means for current NAIT international students, admitted students and applicants/future students, we’ve put together this information and FAQ here.

International applicants

NAIT defines international applicants as anyone who is a temporary resident of Canada with a study permit, work permit or visitor visa; you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and you do not have protected person status as a refugee in Canada.

Before you apply

1. Explore your options to study in Canada

Find your perfect fit

You can explore the full list of programs offered to international students at NAIT.

If you’re still deciding on a program, take our Find Your Future quiz to get you thinking of what programs may be a good fit based on your interests, skills and aspirations.

Check out if NAIT is travelling to your country for an event or attend an upcoming virtual event! You can also explore the NAIT campus by taking a virtual tour.

View upcoming events

Review program availability

Is the program open for international applications?

Check the program availability for international applicants to see what programs are accepting applications and the terms and delivery modes available.

Check study permit requirements and processing times

Do you have a valid study permit?

If you don’t have a study permit yet, be sure to check study permit requirements and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processing times prior to applying to NAIT. Make sure you have enough time before the start of the program to obtain your study permit.

  • For example, if you are applying for a program that starts in 6 weeks, but the processing time is 8 weeks – you should instead apply for a future term so you have enough time.

Get studying faster

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) – check to see if your country qualifies.

If you are in Canada on a valid work permit, you may be able to study without a study permit. Check the terms of your work permit to see if you are eligible.

2. Check program requirements

Entrance requirements

Each program page lists the admission requirements that are required to be accepted to the program.

  • Minimum entrance requirements are the required high school courses and the minimum final grades required to be considered for admission to the program. Higher level courses are also accepted to meet these requirements.

Subjects and grades

NAIT’s program entrance requirements will list the required grade level and minimum Alberta high school courses to be considered for admission to the program. NAIT will assess your transcripts for the equivalencies to these required courses.

Meet English language requirements (ELP)

If you have previous education outside of Canada in a country that is not on the exempt country list – or you completed your studies in a language other than English – you will need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) as part of the admissions process.

Learn more about ELP

There are 3 ways to meet ELP requirements

You can meet the ELP requirement for NAIT degree, diploma or certificate programs in one of the following ways:

  1. Complete consecutive, full-time studies in English
  2. Complete specific English language courses
  3. Take an ELP test

NAIT cannot make an admissions decision – such as an offer of admission – until you demonstrate you meet ELP requirements.

Additional admission requirements

Some programs at NAIT have additional entrance requirements listed on their program page, such as:

Competitive entrance

If your preferred program is a competitive program, it will list competitive entrance requirements on the program's admission requirements section.

  • If you meet a program’s entrance requirements but do not meet competitive entrance requirements, you may wish to consider adding a second program choice on your application.

Program interview

Some NAIT programs may include a program interview as part of the evaluation process. This is common for NAIT’s Health and Life Science programs.

  • As an international student, please apply early to programs with an interview – ideally as soon as applications open – so you can be eligible for the first round of interviews.

Applying as a mature student

Most NAIT programs review your high school courses to meet the entrance requirements. After applying, please make sure you submit your high school documents along with your post-secondary transcripts and documents. NAIT will evaluate all your past education. Learn more

Plan your finances and review tuition costs

It’s important to be realistic about your savings and current financial situation, both before you apply and during your studies. Take some time review the estimated cost for one year at NAIT.

  • Check the financial requirements for receiving a Canadian Study Permit.
  • Review the tuition and fee costs for your program.
  • Prior to applying, ensure you have the finances to support your studies and living costs.

Program delivery

Some NAIT programs have one delivery method, while others have multiple options available. For example, you may be able to take your program entirely online or hybrid (a mix of online and in-person instruction). 

Check program delivery options listed on the program page and carefully consider which delivery options will work best for you.

3. Know your deadlines and apply early

Check when applications open

Intake dates for international applicants

Be sure to stay on top of important dates and deadlines. When you can apply will depend on the intake you’re applying for – remember, not all programs have multiple intakes. NAIT’s international applications open on:

  • August 1 – Fall intake (starts the following September)
  • January 1 – Winter intake (starts the following January)
  • Stay tuned for dates – Spring/Summer intake (spring starts the following May, summer starts the following July)

Apply early as you need enough time to have your application reviewed and obtain your study permit before your studies begin.

Submitting your application

4. Apply online

Gather information for your application

When you’re ready to get started on your application to NAIT, you’ll need:

  • Information about your previous education, including what schools you attended and when
  • Personal email address
  • If you have a valid study permit, you will need to provide the expiry date.
  • Valid credit card, Visa Debit, or Debit Mastercard to pay non-refundable application fee.

Make sure you have the above items ready before you start your application.

Which email address should I use for my application?

  • Use an email address you check frequently. Once you have submitted your application, NAIT will communicate with you via your MyNAIT portal (see details below) and your personal email.
  • We recommend using the same email address for all correspondence with NAIT so all application and program updates are easily accessible from the same inbox.
  • You will not be assigned or receive a NAIT student email account; instead, any notices will be sent to you through the email you provide or via your MyNAIT portal that you'll create after applying.

Apply online using NAIT’s International application

Start your application

As an international applicant, you will submit your NAIT application online using NAIT’s International Application for Admission.

If you're interested in multiple NAIT programs and would accept an offer of admission to either program, the application lets you pick an optional second choice program. Be aware that applicants who select a program as their first choice will receive priority for available seats.

Apply using NAIT's International Application

Need help?

You can use this step-by-step guide (PDF) to help you with your application to NAIT as an international student. The guide includes key screenshots and instructions to support you in submitting your application correctly.

Review your application and pay the non-refundable application fee

Final review and pay application fee

After completing the application steps, it’s important to do a final review of your application to make sure all the information is correct.

The final step is paying a non-transferrable and non-refundable application fee to submit your application to NAIT.

Payment options include:

  • Credit card (AMEX, MasterCard or VISA)
  • Visa Debit
  • Debit Mastercard

After you apply

5. Explore MyNAIT

Create a MyNAIT portal account

After applying, you will be emailed a NAIT Student ID number to the email account included on your application. This email will include instructions on how to create your MyNAIT portal account (

Write down your NAIT ID number somewhere safe. You’ll need it in future correspondence with NAIT.

Your MyNAIT portal is where you will:

  • Monitor your application, including your application’s To Do List items
  • View important application deadlines and due dates
  • Review important e-letters

Need help navigating your MyNAIT portal? Visit the MyNAIT Self Service Guide.

What’s an e-letter?

E-letters are digital notifications NAIT uses to send important information to applicants and students. E-letters contain updates about your application, such as an offer of admission, and are often time-sensitive. Frequently check your e-letters in MyNAIT to avoid missing critical NAIT updates. Learn more about e-letters in the MyNAIT Self Service Guide.

6. Submit your international transcripts and documents

Know document requirements by country

You must send your transcripts and educational documents to NAIT as soon as possible so we can fully assess your application. 

  • We are unable to process your application until all your transcripts and educational documents are received.
  • Transcript deadlines are listed on your MyNAIT portal.

Find document requirements by country

To know what documents NAIT requires, you can check the document requirements by country

Find your country of study

Upload unofficial documents to MyNAIT

Initial document review

After you apply, upload copies (scanned or photocopied versions) of your original documents to your MyNAIT portal so we can complete an initial review of your application while you order your official (original) transcripts and documents. 

We call these uploaded copies unofficial documents. By submitting your unofficial documents, you may receive a conditional offer of admission.

Steps to submit unofficial documents  How to upload documents to MyNAIT 

You still must submit your official (original) transcripts

To finalize a full offer of admission, you must order and submit your official documents to NAIT.

Current secondary school students: Upload Self-Reported Courses Form

If you’re a secondary school (high school) outside of Canada, be sure to complete and submit the Self-Reported International Courses Form (PDF) so you can be considered for Conditional Admission. You’ll need to list your current secondary school courses on the form.

Then promptly upload the completed form to your “NAIT Submission of Documents” section in your MyNAIT portal for Admissions review. Learn how to upload your documents.

Complete the Self-Reported International Courses Form (PDF)

  • Important: Once you finish your studies, you must send your official transcripts for a final admission decision.
  • If you forget to submit this form but it is required, NAIT will add it to your To-Do list after assessing your application.
  • There’s no need to complete this form if you’ve already finished high school; NAIT will review your submitted transcripts for necessary information.

What’s conditional admission?

Essentially, it’s offering program acceptance with certain conditions that need to be met before being offered full acceptance. For international students still in secondary school, the conditions would include completing any required courses by the deadline on your To-Do list.

Order and submit official documents directly to NAIT

To receive a full offer of admission, you must send your official transcripts and educational documents directly to NAIT.

What is an official document?

Official documents are the transcripts and educational documents in their original state sent directly to NAIT from the issuing institution or are certified true copies by a Notary Public.

Learn more about submitting official documents 

After sending your official documents

  • Once NAIT receives your official paper documents, they will be uploaded to your MyNAIT portal and marked as official documents.
  • It can take up to 7-10 business days once these documents are received for them to appear on your account. If you have sent your documents and they haven't been received in 4 weeks, please contact the Student Service Centre.

7. Stay connected

Monitor your application frequently

Your application status

It is your responsibility to check your MyNAIT portal regularly and review your To Do List for each application.

You can view your application status and status definition on the homepage of your MyNAIT portal or by:

  1. Logging in to your MyNAIT portal, and select Open Self Service
  2. Choose the Admissions tile
  3. Select your program application
  4. View the application status and definition

Program interviews

If you applied to one of NAIT’s health programs with a program interview requirement, shortlisted applicants will be contacted via email with instructions on how to complete the interview. 

Don’t forget to check your personal email

There may be times when NAIT contacts you via email about your application – some of these messages can be important and time sensitive. So in addition to your e-letters, be sure to continue monitoring your personal email, listed on your profile in MyNAIT.

Check your application To Do List

Outstanding To Do List items

Your application’s To Do List will change as your application is reviewed. You can find your To Do List in MyNAIT Self Service - Admissions:

Timing What you will see What you need to do
Within 24 hours of applying

General program requirements

After applying, your To Do List will display ALL the program’s entrance requirements, including:

  • Minimum high school requirements
  • Competitive requirements (if required)
  • Any additional admissions criteria

As an international applicant, this is a good time to send your transcripts to NAIT. Learn more

After Admissions initially reviews your application

Your specific program requirements

Once Admissions reviews your application and educational documents, your To Do List will be updated to list only outstanding items that you need to submit or complete.

Common items include:

Carefully review the items on your To Do List – you must complete each item before the posted due date.

You can select each item to learn more about what is required.
As your application status changes

Remaining or additional requirements

As you complete items on your To Do List, they will be removed.

If your application is incomplete, be sure to complete any outstanding To Do List items as soon as possible.

If your application is "Incomplete" you may be required to submit additional information or documentation – these requirements will be listed in your To Do list. Submit any requirements as soon as possible so we can assess your application without delays.

  • Be sure to follow the deadlines (formatted as: mm/dd/year).
  • If you do not fulfill your To Do List by the indicated deadlines, you risk the chance of your application(s) being cancelled.

What does ‘initiated’ mean on my To Do List?

After applying, all program requirements will appear as ‘initiated’ which means they are a program requirement or pathway into the program. Basically, it means that your application is active.

As Admissions reviews your application, your To Do List will be updated with only the remaining items you need to complete; these outstanding items will still be listed as ‘initiated’. Once you submit an outstanding item and it’s evaluated, it will be removed and no longer visible.

Wait for an e-letter with an admissions decision

Admissions decision

Once NAIT has evaluated your application and made an admission decision, you will receive an e-letter in your MyNAIT portal. Read your e-letter carefully as it outlines important information and next steps.

Generally, admissions decisions will fall into one of the following 3 categories:

  • Accepted
  • Waitlisted
  • Cancelled

You can find a full list of all applicant statuses and definitions on the MyNAIT portal.

 Glossary of NAIT Terms 


If your chosen program fills before your application is evaluated, you will be placed on a waitlist. Waitlisted applicants may receive an offer of admission later if a seat becomes available. This could happen anytime leading up to the start of the term. Learn more about waitlists, including a waitlist FAQ.

Apply for entrance awards

Awards for incoming students

You don’t need to wait to be accepted into a program to apply for entrance awards! While you're waiting for an admissions decision, you may be eligible for entrance awards as an applicant to NAIT – including monetary awards, bursaries and grants.

After applying and creating your MyNAIT account, you will be sent an email with access to the entrance award application within 24 hours.

Learn more about entrance awards

8. Accept your offer

Accept your offer by paying your tuition deposit

Offer of admission

If you have met all requirements and a seat is available, you will be offered admission via e-letter. Congratulations on getting into NAIT!

  • Before accepting your offer, do a final check of IRCC processing times to ensure you have enough time to get your study permit before your studies start.

Accept your offer by paying your non-refundable tuition deposit by the deadline indicated in your offer letter.

Learn more about accepting your offer

Remember, the tuition deposit amount will be applied to your account and will go towards your first-term tuition payment.

If you do not pay your deposit by the deadline, your offer of admission may be cancelled and your seat could be offered to another qualified applicant.

View payment options

Your Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for a Study permit

Within 24 to 48 hours of being offered admission, you will receive your NAIT Letter of Acceptance in your MyNAIT portal (e-letters) or your email. This is the official document you will need to apply for a study permit. 

Upgrading students will need to pay their tuition deposit first to then be issued their official letter of acceptance. 

Conditional admission

If you were offered conditional acceptance, continue to monitor your MyNAIT portal for requests for information and deadlines to submit outstanding documents such as final transcripts. You must complete all your outstanding requirements or conditions by the deadlines listed on your MyNAIT portal before receiving full admission to the program.

Apply for a Study Permit

Study permit

Most international students will need a study permit to study in Canada.  After receiving an offer of admission, you will receive your NAIT Letter of Acceptance (LOA) in your MyNAIT portal or via email within 24 to 48 hours. You will need your LOA to complete your study permit application.

  • NAIT's designated learning institution number is O18713200642.

How to apply for a study permit

Be aware that all new study permit applications now require a provincial attestation letter. Without this letter, IRCC will not process your study permit application. NAIT will request the provincial attestation letter for you after you pay your tuition deposit. Once your attestation letter is available, we’ll send a notification to the email listed on your MyNAIT profile.

If your study permit is delayed or denied

If you applied for your study permit but IRCC processing is delayed, you may request to defer your admission to a future term. Deferral requests must include proof of delayed study permit processing for consideration. View timing and eligibility requirements.

If your study permit is denied or refused, you may be eligible for a refund. Learn more about NAIT refunds.

Need more help?

Find more resources for a stress-free application

Use the following resources to get more information about NAIT's admissions process:

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