Introduction to Provincial Attestation Letters
  • 05 Apr 2024
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Introduction to Provincial Attestation Letters

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article Summary


Regulations from the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for study permit applications have changed. Effective January 22nd, 2024, all international students requesting a study permit to Canada require a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province or territory where they intend to study.

For details, including a list of exemptions where a PAL is not required, see “Provincial attestation letter from the province or territory where you plan to study” on the website.


  • Any study permit application received by the IRCC that does not include a PAL, and it is required, will be cancelled and returned to the student.

  • Study permit applications that were received by the IRCC before January 22, 2024, do not require a PAL.


The purpose of the PAL is to provide confirmation, from the province or territory, that an applicant has a space for a new study permit application within their provincial or territorial allocation.

To meet the desired target of a maximum number of granted study permits, each province and territory will be allocated a specific maximum number of study permit applications for a year. For details about this new policy, see the February 3, 2024, edition of the Canada Gazette.

The IRCC will provide Ontario with a maximum number of attestation letters; the province will then allocate these to each Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

The assumption is that not all attestation letters (and thus study permit applications) will lead to an approved study permit; the IRCC is using a projected approval rate of 60%. (See the article on the Global News website.)

The following rules (set out by the IRCC and communicated via the MCU) apply to the attestation letter maximum:

  • For 2024, the time frame is from January 22, 2024, until January 22, 2025. (Note: This date is to be confirmed.)

  • The IRCC and the MCU will revisit the proposed attestation letter cap for 2025.

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