Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) in British Columbia for Study Permit Applications

As an international student aspiring to study in British Columbia, it's crucial to stay updated on recent changes in study permit applications. As of March 4, 2024, the Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) system is in effect in British Columbia. This effectively implies that the processing of study permits for students wishing to undertake undergraduate, college, and language studies in British Columbia has restarted. BC is now the third Canadian province or territory, after Quebec and Alberta, to start issuing PALs. 

Here's a breakdown on everything that you need to know about the Provincial Attestation Letters:

Understanding the Requirement:

The provincial attestation letter is now a mandatory component of the study permit application process for students intending to study in Canada. Letter of Acceptance (LOA) issuance is within the purview of institutions, allowing them control over admissions. However, Provincial Attestation Letters (PAL) are governed by the Provincial Government to regulate and maintain the allocated quota assigned to each institution.

Purpose of the Change:

The introduction of the provincial attestation letter aims to manage the growth of international students effectively in Canada. By regulating enrollment numbers, institutions can uphold the quality of education while providing students with optimal opportunities for success.

Allocation and Distribution:

The allocation of attestation letters is divided between public and private institutions, with a focus on sustainable enrollment growth. Public institutions received 53% of the allocation, while private institutions received 47%.


Certain applicants, such as primary and secondary school students, master's or doctoral degree students, and those with valid study permits or in-Canada work permits, are exempt from this requirement. Applications submitted before Jan. 22, 2024, are also exempt.

Impact on International Students:

While the change may add an extra step to the application process, it aims to create a transparent and efficient system for international students. Despite adjustments, these changes are designed to enhance the quality of education and support international students in British Columbia. At Turning Point Studies Consultants, we remain committed to providing expert guidance and support as the study abroad aspirants navigate the evolving landscape of study permit applications.

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