Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) for International Students


Canada has evolved as an international hub for education attracting several thousands of overseas students annually who seek lucrative career prospects and world-class education.

The Government of Provinces in Canada have launched a system known as PAL – Provincial Attestation Letters. It is a tool aimed at implementing the ceiling on overseas students stipulated by the Federal Government of Canada.

PALs are documentation offered by educational institutions to overseas students who have obtained the LOA – Letter of Acceptance. It confirms the offer’s authenticity when they file an application for the Study Permit. The numbers of LOAs that can be offered in an academic year are now fixed by the institutions acting as a cap on the enrollment of fresh students.

Effective 22 January 2024, a new policy mandates that the majority of the newly arriving overseas students pursuing college and undergraduate programs have to submit PALs offered by the authorized agency in the territory/province with their Study Permit application.

IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has specified that applications without PALs will be rejected excluding only those who are eligible for an exemption. PAL is a confirmation that the enrollment of the overseas student is in alignment with the specified quota for the territory or province within the broader national cap.

All Provinces and Territories have to establish a procedure for issuing PALs by 31 March 2024.

The Objective of PAL

The new policy is a reflection of the IRCC’s proactive approach seeking to uphold the balanced growth of the regional population. This is while continuing to welcome overseas students to make a contribution to the cultural and academic landscape in Canada.

The cap is provisional and Experts are keen to assess its impact on enrollment of overseas students and the broader Canadian educational landscape in the 2 years ahead. The aim is to empower Canada as the premier choice of overseas students

What is a PAL – Provincial Attestation Letter?

A Provincial Attestation Letter is a document with the signature of the Territorial or Provincial Government of Canada. It confirms that the overseas student has a place in the territorial or provincial allocation for Study Permit Applications. It must consist of the following details of the overseas student:

·         Complete Name

·         Date of Birth

·         Address in Home nation

PAL acts as a supporting document from the territory or province in Canada where the overseas student seeks to study. It is now a mandatory document for the Canada Study Permit application.

Provisions under PAL for Study Permit Application

For acceptance of processing of Canada Study Permit Application in compliance with the policies that have been implemented effective 22 January 2024, all applications must include a PAL – Provincial Attestation Letter.

Applications for Study Permit received by IRCC after the implementation of the new policies that do not include a PAL will be rejected and the processing fees will be refunded.

The following Canadian Provinces have declared the establishment of the PAL process (as of March 30, 2024):

·         Ontario

·         Alberta

·         British Columbia

·         Saskatchewan

·         Manitoba

·         Quebec

The remaining provinces have to soon announce their process for PAL as the deadline for this according to IRCC is 31 March 2024.

The validity of PAL currently is 1 year and the PALs issued now have validity till commencement of 2025.

PAL Application Process

The process to receive the PAL is simple and streamlined.

  • You have to file an application for LOA with the chosen institution and receive it
  • You have to accept the offer and inform the institution /fill out the request form
  • The Province/Territory receives details of the student from the institution and the institution receives the PAL which will be shared with you/the student

Processing PAL is the responsibility of the institution as well as the Province/Territory.

All Territories and Provinces in Canada will be specified the figure of the overseas students that they can accommodate and this is as per the mandate of the Federal /Provincial Government. Once they get the allocation, they will offer PALs to overseas students seeking to study in Canada according to their allocation. The Territory/Province will stop processing PAL applications after they exhaust their allocation of overseas students for that academic year.

Significance of PAL

PAL is a compulsory document needed by all overseas students seeking to study in Canada. It will assist Provinces/Territories to have a stable intake of overseas students and the processing is through the educational institutions. This will also be evidence of acceptance of the student by the DLI and subsequent verification by the concerned Province/Territory.

If you are an aspiring overseas student to Canada, this new policy concerning Study Permit application is of prime significance. It is even more applicable if yup la to study in top provinces such as Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, etc. The requirement of PAL is now an extra procedure within the Study Permit application process emphasizing the role of thorough preparation on the part of the applicants/overseas students.

For overseas students seeking to study in Quebec Province, including a precise sentence in their CAQ can act as the PAL.

Provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are now offering PALs to Colleges and Universities directly. Later, the institutions are sharing the documents with the concerned students at the appropriate time. The aim of the approach is the facilitation of the application process through the involvement of educational institutions in offering PALs.

Prospective students must remain updated and make sure to fulfill all the essential criteria to avoid complications or delays in their Study Permit applications.

If you are seeking to study in a specific University/College in Canada, you must hurry and arrange the application as yearly quotas are applicable now for the intake of overseas students. In case you have the LOA and waiting to receive the PAL or wish to check eligibility for Canada Visa for studies, contact Nationwide Visas the Best Study Overseas and Best Immigration Consultants in Delhi.

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