International students enter community college programs directly from high school and must apply using their respective provincial application centre or directly to each institute. Community colleges in Canada generally have open admission in which students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. However, admission to most 2 - 3 year engineering technology or applied technology diploma programs also requires that international students submit proof of completion of a secondary school diploma along with acceptable performance in required subjects such as English, mathematics, physics and chemistry. In some instances other documentation may be required, as in the case of a medical certificate. As well, some community colleges require an essayin order to assess a candidate's readiness to pursue the program. International students who do not meet the entrance requirements may be allowed take a pre-technology program to facilitate success in their technology path.

Admission to career college engineering technology and applied technology programs in Canada generally requires that international applicants demonstrate academic proficiency in English and math. Additionally, international applicants may be required to write an essay.

Career colleges in Canada differ in that some offer continuous enrolment with programs starting every month; others operate on a more traditional semester system with a fall and/ or winter intake. Many career colleges therefore have no cut-off dates for admission and instead process both local and international applications all year round. Others have specific deadlines after which applications are no longer considered. Both community colleges and career colleges with internal international student scholarships and bursaries may encourage early application in order to qualify for these awards and financial assistance. At this level as well, application consists of an official application form (usually downloaded), a fee, transcripts, and any of the additional requirements mentioned above.