Following the announcement earlier this year by the Canadian federal government of the international student cap, British Columbia has stated that it will receive 83,000 applications for undergraduate study permits. The province will give a letter of verification known as the provincial attestation letter (PAL) to the educational institution.

Beginning on March 4, 2024, B.C. province will start issuing PALs necessary for study permits. If you are an international student planning to study undergraduate or diploma degrees at any BC educational institution in Canada, you need a Provincial attestation letter (PAL). Along with regular Letter of Acceptance, the particular student who falls under the CAP set by the Canadian government must submit PALs with their study permit application.

The university/college will send the letter to the overseas applicant as soon as it is received from the provincial government (B.C). This attestation letter is necessary since it will show that the application has been considered for the total number of slots the federal government allotted.

British Columbia will issue 83,000 PALs for Canada student visa

83,000 undergraduate and Diploma study permit applications are currently approved by BC’s allocation, compared to roughly 97,000 applications for undergraduate programs in 2023. The federal government anticipates that about 50,000 study permit applications will be approved for 2024, compared to 60,000 study permit approvals in BC alone in 2023, based on past acceptance rates.

The federal government allocated 53% of PALs to public institutes (Universities/colleges) and the remaining 47% of to private educational institutes in B.C. Public institutions in B.C. will issue 43,990 PALs to international students, and the remaining 39,010 PALs will be delivered to private institution students.

Who’s exempted from Provincial Attestation Letter – PAL?

Certain applicants are exempt from PAL requirements, including:

  • Primary and secondary school students;
  • Master’s or doctoral degree students;
  • Students already in Canada with a valid study permit or in-Canada work permit holders and their in-Canada family members;
  • Students already in Canada applying for extension; and 
  • Students whose application was received before 8:30 am Eastern time)on Jan. 22, 2024.

How to apply B.C. Provincial Attestation (PAL) Letter for study permit

Getting a B.C. provincial attestation letter is a simple procedure. The overseas student’s selected post-secondary institution in B.C. will request an attestation letter from the provincial government as soon as the student obtains an acceptance letter from the university. Following verification, the attestation letter will be sent directly from the government to the institution, which will subsequently forward it to the foreign applicant.

Are there any Provincial Attestation Letter application fees for B.C.? 

Some provinces may require additional fees to apply for a Provincial Attestation Letter, but at this stage, B.C. didn’t mention any PAL application fees. That means there are only application fees or charges to request a attestation letter from the B.C. government for students if the post-secondary educational institutes charge additional fees. To learn more about B.C. provincial attestation letter keep an eyes to British Columbia Provincial attestation letter page on our website.

It’s ideal to process and start your admission application early to avoid delays from your designated learning institutes provider and request your provincial attestation letter to process study permit. B.C. has only 83,000 provincial attestation letters allocation to the province which may not allow all interested student to get the provincial attestation. Hence, applying early (at least 12-18 weeks) before the term start date.

Are you considering applying to study different provinces like Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Nova Scotia or Manitoba. Contact your designated learning institutes for the further process of other provinces. You can also check our website for different province attestation letter requirements.