Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) Eligibility Checker

Use this tool to find if you need Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) when applying for Canadian study permit.
Stay tuned! An improved version of the PAL checker is coming soon.

Canada made Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) mandatory for all new study permit applications starting January 2024 with certain exceptions. 

Who does not need a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)?​

Not everyone needs a Provincial Attestation Letter. You don’t need a PAL, if you are:

  • Applying to study in a preschool, primary school, or secondary school (up to grade 12)
  • Applying to study in a master’s degree or doctoral degree program
  • In Canada and fall under one of the following situations:
    • Applying for a study permit extension
    • Holding a work permit
    • Being a temporary resident enrolled as a visiting or exchange student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • Being a temporary resident who has completed a prerequisite course or program of study for enrollment at a DLI
    • Under a removal order but currently unable to be removed from Canada
    • Holding a temporary resident permit valid for at least 6 months
    • A family member of a foreign national residing in Canada who is one of the following:
      • A study permit holder
      • A work permit holder
      • A temporary resident permit holder with a valid permit for at least 6 months
      • A member of armed forces from another country under the Visiting Forces Act
      • An accredited foreign government representative
      • A participant in certain sports activities or events
      • A worker in Canada employed by a foreign news company
      • A religious worker

PAL process by province

Province PAL process
Newfoundland and Labrador Available here
New Brunswick Available here
Nova Scotia Available here
Manitoba Available here
British Columbia Available here
Ontario Available here
Alberta Available here
Northwest Territories Available here
Prince Edward Island Available here
Quebec Available here
Yukon Available here
Nunavut Available here
Saskatchewan Available here

British Columbia provincial attestation letter (PAL)

British Columbia’s has started issuing provincial attestation letters as of March 4, 2024. 

As per the new process, British Columbia will be sending provincial attestation letters to institutions, and then institutions will be sending the letters to international students.

This letter will work as a proof that the student is within the maximum number allowed by the federal government for British Columbia.

british columbia provincial attestation letter (pal)

As per the new regulations by the federal government, B.C. can accept up to 83,000 undergraduate study permit applications in the year 2024.

The provincial attestation letters will be distributed with 53% going to public post-secondary institutions and 47% going to private institutions.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

The Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) government has a process for undergraduate students to get a PAL from the DLI (Designated Learning Institution).

Here’s how it works:

  • Confirm Acceptance: First, you’ll need to confirm you’re accepting your offer of admission through the DLI’s admissions portal.
  • PAL Request Form: Once confirmed, the DLI will email you a link to an online form. This form asks if you need a PAL and your passport information for the NL government.
  • DLI Review: The DLI will review your request and send the necessary information to the NL government if needed.
  • NL Government Decision: The NL government will then decide if you qualify for a PAL and issue it to DLI via email if approved.
  • DLI Sends PAL: DLI will then forward your PAL directly to your email address.
  • Non-Issuance Notification: If a PAL isn’t issued, DLI’s Admissions Office will let you know.

New Brunswick Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

As of April 16, 2024, the specific process for obtaining a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) in New Brunswick is not yet finalized. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Contact your chosen DLI in New Brunswick. They should have the latest updates on how to acquire a PAL in the province.
  • Search online for updates from the New Brunswick government on the PAL process. Use keywords like “New Brunswick Provincial Attestation Letter” or “PAL New Brunswick”.

Nova Scotia Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

Nova Scotia began issuing Provincial Attestation Letters (PALs) on March 28, 2024, following the federal government’s cap on international student permits.

Nova Scotia has been allocated 12,900 study permits for international students in 2024 by the Canadian federal government. This is a decrease compared to the previous year. The permits are distributed among Nova Scotia’s universities, community colleges, private career colleges and language schools.

Universities and Nova Scotia Community College: 11,565 permits

Private career colleges: 710 permits

Language schools: 526 permits

Nova Scotia holds back 99 permits for unforeseen circumstances and new programs.

PAL Process for Nova Scotia:

Since Nova Scotia just began issuing PALs, the specific application process might vary slightly between institutions. However, you can generally expect the following:

Contact your chosen institution: They will handle your PAL application and have the most up-to-date information on deadlines and requirements.

Manitoba Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

Starting March 4, 2024, undergraduate international students in Manitoba needing a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) for their study permit application will face a new process. 

Here’s what to expect:

Eligibility: Applies to most undergraduates, except those in primary/secondary or Master’s/PhD programs.

Deposit: Your chosen Designated Learning Institution (DLI) might require a non-refundable tuition deposit (around $2,000 CAD) before applying for your PAL.

Process:

  • Apply to a DLI program.
  • Get accepted and pay the deposit (if required).
  • Your DLI submits your PAL application to the province.
  • Receive your PAL from the DLI (processing times vary).

Important:

Similar to Alberta: Manitoba’s PAL system is similar to Alberta’s, where students might need to pay a deposit to their DLI before the school can apply for the PAL.

Ontario Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) 

Large Allocation: Ontario received the most PAL allocations (over 235,000) but hasn’t launched the application process yet (as of March 31, 2024).

Distribution:

  • 96% for public colleges and universities
  • 4% for private DLIs (disappointing private institutions)

Priorities: High-demand fields like skilled trades, healthcare, STEM, hospitality, and childcare.

Expected Limit: International enrollment is capped at 55% of domestic enrollment in 2023 for each institution.

How to Apply (Currently): Contact your chosen Ontario DLI admissions office for the latest PAL information and procedures. The application process is expected to go through institutions.

Alberta Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

Eligibility: International students applying for undergraduate or diploma programs in Alberta.

Exemption: Students in Master’s or PhD programs (exempt from the international student cap).

How to Apply (Through Your DLI):

Get accepted to a program at an Alberta DLI.

Pay the initial tuition deposit required by the institution.

Contact your DLI’s registrar or international admissions office for specific instructions on their PAL request process. They will guide you on any further steps needed from you (e.g., accepting your offer).

Important:

DLIs handle PAL applications, not you directly.

Paying the tuition deposit is often a requirement to request a PAL.

Similar to Manitoba: Students might need to pay a deposit to their DLI before the school can apply for the PAL.

Northwest Territories Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

Applications for 2024-2025 are closed for international students.

Residents of the Northwest Territories have priority admission for NT DLIs.

International students living in NWT for over a year can apply at the same time as residents but will pay international tuition fees.

Nunavut Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

Since Nunavut doesn’t have any Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), there wouldn’t be a need for Provincial Attestation Letters (PALs) for international students. PALs are only required by provinces with DLIs that accept international students.

Prince Edward Island's Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) 

Starting January 22, 2024, the province has been allocated 2,000 new study permits for 2024-2025.

Allocation: The 2,000 PALs are divided among the three public colleges:

  • College de l’Île: 105 PALs
  • Holland College: 710 PALs
  • University of Prince Edward Island: 1,185 PALs

Once an institution reaches its limit, no more PALs will be issued until a new allocation is received.

Here’s how it works:

  • Island post-secondary institutions will confirm your eligibility with the provincial government.
  • If approved, the Department of Workforce and Education will issue a PAL to your chosen institution.
  • The institution will then provide the PAL to you as part of your federal study permit application.

Important Note:

Contact your chosen institution for details on the PAL application process and deadlines.

Quebec Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) 

A Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) is not required for international students in Quebec.

Quebec has a different system in place. International students applying to study in Quebec need a  Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) issued by the provincial government instead of a PAL. The CAQ acts as proof of acceptance by a Quebec educational institution and fulfils the purpose of a PAL.

Saskatchewan Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

Since January 2024, most undergraduate international students (with some exceptions) need a PAL to apply for a study permit in Saskatchewan.

Allocation: Saskatchewan has been allocated over 15,000 PALs for international students in 2024.

How to get a PAL:

  • Apply to your chosen institution and get accepted (Letter of Acceptance – LOA).
  • The institution will notify the Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education.
  • The Saskatchewan government will issue your PAL through MyCredsTM (digital credential wallet) – you’ll be notified when it’s available.

Important Note: As of April 1, 2024, some LOAs may also be issued through MyCredsTM.

Yukon Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) 

Information unavailable as of this writing.

Frequently asked questions

Who needs a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)?​

All new study permit applications made after January 22, 2024 need to include PAL except for those falling in one of the categories above.

Do you need PAL for Quebec?

To study in Quebec for over 6 months, you’ll need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) issued by the Government of Quebec. The government is exploring how the CAQ could function as a Provincial Attestation Letter.

Do you need PAL for a Master's program?

No. You do not need a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) for Masters programs.

Do you need PAL for study permit extension?

No. Study permit extension applicants do not require PAL.

How to get Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from Ontario?

Ontario and other provinces have until March 31, 2024 to create and publish processes for obtaining PALs. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Why did Canada make PAL mandatory?

Government of Canada made PAL mandatory to control the number of international students and let provinces have more say in who gets approved.