FAQ

Study Permits
for Canada

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Study Permits for Canada

On January 22, the Canadian government introduced a new cap on study permit approvals for 2024 and implemented a provincial attestation letter policy for international students applying for their study permit.

Below are some of the most common questions and answers regarding the changes.

A Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) is a document issued by a provincial or territorial government confirming your studies and that your program aligns with immigration and labour market needs.

Most study permit applications submitted after 8:30 a.m. EST on January 22, 2024, require a PAL. Individual provinces will provide more information on how to apply for a PAL by March 31, 2024.

Exceptions to the PAL:

  • Students whose applications were received by IRCC before 8:30 a.m. EST on January 22, 2024
  • In-Canada study permit holders applying for an extension
  • In-Canada pathway students (having completed a course or program of study that is a prerequisite to their enrolling at a designated learning institution)
  • In-Canada work permit holders
  • Visiting or exchange students
  • Primary and secondary school students
  • Master’s or doctoral degree students
  • In-Canada family members of study permit or work permit holders

Yes. As of 8:30 a.m. EST on January 22, 2024, most students must include a provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory where they plan to study with their study permit application.

No. If you have already received your study permit you do not need an attestation letter.

Yes. If you are enrolled in a program that is less than 6 months (24 weeks) you do not need a study permit. If you wish to study for longer than 6 months you must apply for a study permit, and exceptions apply on who can apply for a SP from inside Canada.
No. There is a freeze on new study permit applications expected until March 31, 2024. Once the PAL process is confirmed by all provinces and territories in Canada the freeze will be lifted.

Yes. A PAL is required for any ESL program longer than 6 months if you did not apply for a study permit before January 22. 

The following students or temporary residents inside Canada do not require an attestation letter:  

  • Work permit holders 
  • Students on exchange or visiting student status at a DLI 
  • Visitors who have completed a course or program of study that is a prerequisite to enrolling at a DLI 
  • Visitors with a temporary resident permit (visitor record) with more than 6 months
Yes. In-Canada study permit holders applying for an extension are exempt from the PAL.

Only some people can apply for a study permit from inside Canada. This includes those who have completed a short-term course or study program required to be accepted at a DLI such as pathway students.  

Other exemptions for those who can apply for a study permit from inside Canada: 

  • If you have a valid study or work permit
  • If your spouse, common-law partner or parent has a valid study or work permit
  • A minor child in primary or secondary school
  • An exchange student or visiting student
  • A Ukrainian national or family member of a Ukrainian national
  • A spouse, common-law partner or dependent child who has a temporary resident permit (TRP) valid for 6 months or more
  • If you were sponsored to immigrate and already applied for permanent residence 
Yes. You can apply to 100+ ILAC pathway partners, both universities and colleges. Your pathway certificate is valid for up to two years. Please contact your pathway specialist for a free consultation.

Yes. Students enrolled for May 2024 upon successful graduation will be eligible for a PGWP. The length of their PGWP will align with the length of their program.

In-Canada study permit holders applying for an extension are exempt from the PAL.

In the coming weeks, eligibility for open work permits for the spouses and common-law partners of international students will be updated.
For new applications, eligibility is now limited to the spouses and common-law partners of students in master’s and doctorate professional degree granting programs only. Spouses and common-law partners of international students in other levels of study, including college programs, will no longer be eligible for an open work permit.

Spouses and common-law partners can still come to Canada as a student or visitor.
To apply for a study permit, your spouse needs to apply for admission at a DLI, either public or private. Study permit holders enrolled as full-time students at a DLI can work for 20 hours/week off-campus or full-time on-campus and full-time during regular breaks.

IMPORTANT: Always confirm your immigration questions with a registered immigration consultant.

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