Ad: University of Toronto

Our CISM editions:

more to come …

BC flag
British Columbia Prepares for Implementation of Provincial Attestation Letter System for International Students
BC flag

British Columbia Prepares for Implementation of Provincial Attestation Letter System for International Students

As provinces across Canada organize themselves in preparation for the new provincial attestation letter system put into effect by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) back on January 22nd, 2024, the province of British Columbia wants to move as quickly and swiftly as possible to avoid negative impacts on its post-secondary institutions and for international students to be successful in their education. 

The provincial attestation letter (PAL) is a letter of verification that will be sent from the province to the educational institution. PAL will come into effect on March 4th, 2024 and is now required for study permits. Once the institution has received the letter they will send it to the international applicant. This letter is required as it will demonstrate that the applicant has been accounted for within the maximum amount of spots allocated by the federal government. 

International applicants must include the attestation letter along with their study permit application or the study permit application will be returned as incomplete. 

Institutions that use their allocated quota will not be able to submit further applications until they receive a new allocation maximum the following year from the federal government. 

Currently, BC’s allocation permits 83,000 undergraduate study permit applications compared to approximately 97,000 study permit applications in 2023 for undergraduate programs. Comparing previous acceptance rates, the federal government expects the result of approximately 50,000 approved study permit applications for 2024 in contrast to 60,000 approved study permits in BC alone in 2023.

The division for the provincial attestation letter will be 53% for public post-secondary institutions and 47% for private institutions. The distribution rate is based on supporting public post-secondary institutions to maintain their international student programs increasing growth for this current year and future years to come. It is important to note that the numbers provided are based on the deferral allotment of attestation letters, and not the amount of approved study permits.

“Our government is acting promptly to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible given the new federal requirements and cap on international visa applications,” said Ravi Parmar, Parliamentary Secretary for International Credentials. “We will continue to implement the suite of actions our government recently announced to enhance post-secondary education quality and maintain and strengthen B.C.’s reputation while delivering the quality that British Columbians expect and international students deserve.”

The allocations will permit public post-secondary institutions that provide sustainable international student enrolment to continue with international student programs. Private institutions that have added to the unsustainable growth will feel the reduced allocations the most.

The majority of new study permit applications by undergraduate post-secondary international students and graduate students in a non-degree program will still need a provincial attestation letter. 

Some applicants are exempt from the requirements such as:

  • 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.

The province of BC will remain supportive of its international students to ensure they are given high-quality education during their time in Canada. In the coming future, action will be taken to better align programs with BC’s labour-market needs and most importantly secure protection for students to prevent exploitation. 

Source: Government of BC

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.
Share This Post
Additonal Setting with CSS
Related Articles​
Please feel free to contact us about this article
Please note : We will generally reply to you within 2-3 business days. Please contact us at if you don't get any reply from CISM.

Copyright & Disclaimer

The information on this site is for information purposes only. Canada International Student Magazine Inc (CISM) assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization, or third parties without verification by us.

Any form of reproduction of any content on this website without the written permission of the publisher, is strictly prohibited. CISM is operated by Canada International Student Magazine Inc. a trademarked company; all rights reserved.

Contact to CISM

Please note : We will generally reply to you within 2-3 business days. Please contact us at if you don't get any reply from CISM.

Do you want to study in Canada?

Ask us any questions about studying here in Canada! Fill out the form and we will get back to you.