You must have heard about the recent update to the Canadian study permit application process and the processing pause for all current applications. Yes, the rumours are true, but do not worry! Your Japa dreams are still valid. Like many other countries in the world, Canada is facing some crises, and like what every normal government will do, they have had to make some policy adjustments to fit their current situation. These changes were announced on January 22, 2024, by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They are to manage the influx of immigrants pursuing study programs in Canada. Amongst these new policies attached to obtaining a Canadian study visa includes the acquiring and submission of a Provincial Attestation Letter from the province you are moving to. So, let us start by defining a (PAL). Read more here.
What is a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)?
This is a supporting document from the province you are applying to study in. This document would state that they can confirm your acceptance to a school in the province and that you can apply for a study permit. As soon as the school offers you admission, its province must also review and issue the PAL to the student. For now, we have no information on the standards or metrics of eligibility for a PAL, but we can say that it would not be a lengthy procedure, and there should be nothing to worry about.
Who requires a PAL?
To apply for a study permit, you must submit a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL), except for Masters and Ph.D. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of the application. This new requirement is part of the IRCC strategy to regulate and optimize the immigration process, emphasizing the importance of provincial endorsements.
What this means for current applications
Due to these changes and new policies, a temporary suspension is in place for study permits falling under this category. This pause will remain in effect until each province provides specific guidelines on obtaining the Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL). The provinces should release detailed information before the end of March 2024, enabling applicants to fulfil this additional requirement effectively.
Who does not need a Provincial Attestation Letter?
I know this news might sound worrying to you. But fear not! This process may not even apply to you. While Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) is now mandatory for study visa applications, there are exceptions you might fall under, and they include people who are:
- People applying to study in preschool, primary school or secondary school (up to grade 12).
- People applying for a Masters degree or doctoral degree program.
- Applying for a study permit extension.
- Have a work permit.
- People visiting or exchange students studying at a designated learning institution (DLI).
- Temporary residents who have completed a course or program of study that is a prerequisite to enrolling at a DLI.
- People under a removal order but can’t be removed from Canada at the time.
- Holders of a temporary resident permit valid for at least six (6) months.
- Member of armed forces in another country under the Visiting Forces Act.
- Accredited foreign government representatives.
- Participate in certain sports activities or events.
- Religious workers.
While this development has raised concerns and uncertainties amongst intending international students and current Canadian study permit applicants, especially Nigerian students, we encourage you to regularly check this blog for the latest updates and guidance on obtaining attestation letters. We are committed to keeping you informed and ensuring you have the most accurate and up-to-date information at your disposal.
As we await further details from the provinces, we recommend that affected individuals stay proactive and prepared. Begin gathering the required documentation for your Canadian study permit application, and keep a close eye on this blog for announcements and step-by-step instructions on securing the Provincial Attestation Letter.
Ready to turn your Japa dream into reality? We can process your school admission and guide you on your Canadian study permit journey. ➡️ Contact us here.