Starting January 22, 2024, international students planning to study in Canada have a new hurdle to jump: the provincial attestation letter (PAL). This document, issued by the province you want to study in, is now required alongside your Letter of Acceptance to apply for a study permit.
What is provincial attestation letter?
Think of the PAL as a thumbs-up from the province saying you’re eligible to apply for a study permit. Similar to the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for students in Quebec, this letter signifies the province’s approval for you to take up their academic seat.
How do I get it: Unfortunately, you can’t get a PAL just yet. As of October 26, 2023, each province or territory is still figuring out how to issue these letters. You’ll have to wait until March 31, 2024, before the first PALs are even available.
Who needs it?
This new rule applies to most international students pursuing the following programs:
- Foundation or Associate degrees
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Undergraduate degrees (Bachelor’s)
- Undergraduate-level diplomas
Who doesn’t need it?
You’re exempt from the PAL requirement if you’re:
- A minor applying for kindergarten through grade 12 (schooling visa)
- Extending your existing study permit
- Pursuing a Master’s, PhD, or other post-graduate degree
Don’t panic! The Canadian government is still working on the details. Keep checking the official IRCC website for updates and specific instructions from the province you’re interested in. You can also follow Skynet Immigration on Facebook for the latest news on immigration and study permit policies.
The new PAL requirement might seem like an extra step, but it’s meant to manage the number of international students coming to Canada. By ensuring each student has the province’s go-ahead before applying for a permit, the government hopes to create a smoother experience for everyone involved.
So, stay patient, do your research, and above all, don’t give up on your Canadian study dream! With careful planning and a little extra waiting, you’ll be navigating the new rules like a pro in no time.