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recent updates on study permits a summary released on february 5
Recent Updates on Study Permits: A Summary Released on February 5
recent updates on study permits a summary released on february 5

Recent Updates on Study Permits: A Summary Released on February 5

Information on study permits is being updated one after another, and a summary of this information was released on February 5.

1. Cap and provincial attestation letter

  • Starting January 22, 2024, most new post-secondary international students in Canada must include a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) with their study permit application. 
  • The PAL proves inclusion in a provincial or territorial allocation under the national cap. Applications lacking a PAL will be returned by IRCC, unless exempt.
  • Provinces and territories should have PAL issuance plans by March 31, 2024.
    • Collaboration between the Canadian and Quebec governments is exploring if certificat d’acceptation du Québec pour études can serve as a PAL.
  • Applications received before 8:30 a.m. on January 22, 2024, and approved study permit holders planning to travel to Canada for an upcoming program are exempt from this cap-related requirement.

Who NEEDS a provincial attestation letter?

  • most post-secondary study permit applicants
  • most non-degree granting graduate programs (for example, certificate programs and graduate diplomas)
  • anyone else not included in the exception list below

Who DOESN’T need a provincial attestation letter?

  • primary and secondary school students
  • master’s or doctoral degree students
  • visiting or exchange students
  • in-Canada study permit and work permit holders (includes study permit holders applying for an extension)
  • in-Canada family members of study permit or work permit holders
  • students whose application we received before 8:30 a.m. ET on January 22, 2024

Please visit here for more about PAL.

2. Post-graduation work permit (PGWP) update for graduates of master’s degree programs

  • Beginning February 15, 2024, individuals graduating from a master’s degree program lasting less than 2 years will have the opportunity to apply for an extended 3-year PGWP, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria for PGWP. 
  • For programs other than master’s degrees, the length of PGWPs will still be tied to the duration of the study program, with a maximum limit of 3 years.

Who is eligible for a longer post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?

  • Graduates of programs that are at least two years in length at PGWP-eligible designated learning institutions are eligible for a 3-year PGWP, as are graduates of master’s degree programs less than 2 years in length.

3. PGWP eligibility for public-private partnership college programs

Some provinces allow public colleges to license their curriculum for delivery by affiliated private colleges. Despite students physically attending private colleges, they graduate with a diploma from a public institution. 

Concerns include worries about education quality and inadequate student support. In response, IRCC has restricted PGWPs for these institutions, anticipating a decline in international student enrollment without PGWP eligibility.

Who is eligible for a PGWP after graduating from a public-private partnership college program?

  • International students currently enrolled will remain eligible for a PGWP if they meet other program eligibility criteria.

Who is NOT eligible for a PGWP after graduating from a public-private partnership college program?

  • New students enrolling in this type of program will not be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.

4. Changes to open work permit eligibility for spouses

In the upcoming weeks, there will be updates to the eligibility criteria for open work permits for the spouses and common-law partners of international students.

Who CAN get an open work permit?

  • Eligibility is limited to the spouses and common-law partners of students in graduate (master’s and doctorate) and professional degree–granting programs only.
  • Once these changes are in effect, spouses and common-law partners of international students seeking to extend their existing work permit will continue to be eligible under this stream.

Who will NOT be eligible for an open work permit?

  • The spouses and common-law partners of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible for an open work permit unless they already hold an open work permit under this stream.

Source: Government of Canada

Disclaimer: The information is obtained directly from the websites in the source section. The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Please check their official website and digital channels for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
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