New Canadian immigration law requires a provincial attestation letter (PAL) to apply for a Canada study permit. Attestation from the province to apply for a Canada study permit, along with the Letter of Acceptance, is one of the most recent mandatory requirements to study in Canada. Many international students are now stuck with the clarity of the new immigration changes to Canadian student visas. IRCC requires an attestation letter from the province you intend to study in Canada as part of the new student visa policy.
What is a provincial attestation letter (PAL)?
A provincial attestation letter is approval from the individual province or territory in Canada for international students to be authorized to apply for a study permit in Canada.
The university or college checks the admission eligibility for the applicant, and eligible students get a letter of acceptance. After that, the provincial government will review the proper allocation of the international students eligible to study in that province.
For example, international students studying in Quebec province requires an Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) issued by the Government of Quebec. The IRCC has published a model similar to that of other Canadian provinces for the attestation of foreign students.
How can I obtain a letter of attestation for a study permit?
You cannot get an attestation letter before March 31, 2024. This implies that unless you fall under one of their few exceptions—a minor, a study permit extension, or a master’s, doctoral, or post-graduate program—you are not eligible to apply for a study permit until the provincial government has a policy or system in place.
The IRCC says they will update this page as more data from each province becomes available. Please keep checking this page or follow us on Facebook for regular updates on immigration, admission, visa policies, etc.
Who requires attestation from provinces or territories to study in Canada?
Any international student planning to study in Canada in the following programs
- Foundation or Associate degrees
- English as a secondary language (ESL)
- Undergraduate (Bachelor) – any duration, e.g. three or 4-year duration
- Undergraduate-level diplomas e.g. 1, 2 or 3 years diplomas, e.g. Diploma, Advance Diploma etc
Who wouldn’t require an attestation letter?
When requesting a study visa, you do not require an attestation letter if you’re
- a minor child to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a primary or secondary school – (Schooling visa)
- A student requesting an extension of their study permit;
- A student seeking a Masters, PhD, or other post-graduate degree*
Postgraduate Degree – PAL requirements
*** Post Baccalaureate Diploma, Post Graduate Certificate, Post Graduate Diploma, are non degree programs. The following title degrees require PAL from the province. If you are applying to study Post Graduate Certificate or Post Graduate Diploma courses in Canada you must obtain a provincial attestation letter before you submit the study permit application.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I’m an international student already in Canada. Do I still need a provincial attestation letter?
No, you do not need provincial attestation to renew or extend your study permit within Canada.
How long does it take to get provincial attestation for a Canada student visa?
At this stage, how long it may take is still being determined, but given the examples from the Quebec CAQ process, it may take 15-30 days on average or even less. That depends on the volume of applications and the capacity of provinces.
Are there any additional application fees or charges for provincial attestation letter?
We are not sure at this stage. We should know it before March 31, 2024, when the provincial government in Canada publishes the procedures.
Does a provincial attestation letter guarantee Canada student visa approval?
No. It does not. However, a Provincial attestation letter (PAL) applying for a Canadian study permit is a mandatory requirement and doesn’t provide any assurance for the student visa approval.