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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) quietly updated its page about Provincial Attestation Letters (PALs) to include some information about expiry dates. Here’s what you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • If your study permit application is rejected, you can apply for a second time using the same Provincial Attestation Letter so long as it is still valid. 
  • With the existing cap on the number of study permits that will be processed by IRCC this year, it is advisable to apply for your study permit as soon as possible even if your PAL isn’t scheduled to expire until 2025. 


What The IRCC Website Update Says

IRCC updated its page about study permit documents to note that the PAL is only valid for a specific period of time. 

Your PAL may or may not show an expiry date or validity on it. If it includes an expiry date, it will expire on the date shown on your PAL. If it does not show an expiry date, then it will expire on January 21, 2025. 

“How long a PAL is valid for

Your PAL only needs to be valid when we receive it with your application. Unless your PAL has an expiry date on it, it’s valid until January 21, 2025. You can resubmit a study permit application with the same PAL if the PAL is still valid.”


What This Update Means For Study Permit Applicants

There are a few important steps study permit applicants will need to take as a result of this update. 

Add Your PAL Expiry To Your Calendar

First of all, study permit applicants should immediately check their PALs to see whether there is an expiry date. If yours includes a specific expiry date, you should mark this in your calendars and make sure you have submitted your application prior to the expiry date. If your PAL does not have a specific expiry date, mark your calendar with the January 21, 2025 expiry date as a reminder. 

Your study permit application must be submitted before the PAL expires. The PAL does not need to be valid when the study permit application is processed.

Apply For Your Study Permit As Soon As You Can

Even though you only need to submit your application before your PAL expires, you should still prioritize submitting your study permit application as soon as possible. 

Study permit applications have a 60% approval rate, so there is a significant chance that your application may be rejected. If you need to resubmit your application, you will need to do so before your PAL expires, so it’s a good idea to get your initial application in as early as possible. 

If your initial study permit application is rejected, it’s important that you take time to strengthen your application before resubmitting. At this point, it can be helpful to apply for the government notes on your file, which could give detailed reasons for the rejection and a starting point for resubmitting a stronger application. 


What If IRCC Reaches The Cap On Study Permits Before My Provincial Attestation Letter Expires? 

Another reason to apply early is that there is a federal cap on the number of study permits that will be processed in 2024. ‘Processed’ means considered by IRCC officers, not approved. So, when IRCC reaches that cap, no more study permits will be considered. 

The best thing you can do to receive your study permit in 2024 is to submit a compelling and complete study permit application as early as possible. This overcomes issues with PAL validity and the cap on the number of study permits to be processed in 2024. 

A free Moving2Canada account can help you keep track of everything you need to do to apply for a study permit and manage your move to Canada. Signing up for an account is fast and easy, and you’ll get immediate access to our free resources, including quizzes, checklists, and our news. 

About the author

Stephanie Ford profile picture

Stephanie Ford

Finance, Law and Immigration Writer
Stephanie is a content marketer who has written for law firms (with a focus on immigration and privacy), legal tech companies, and finance professionals for more than 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia. Stephanie is now a permanent resident of Canada and a full-time writer at Moving2Canada.
Read more about Stephanie Ford
Citation "Provincial Attestation Letter Expiry Dates: What You Should Know." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation


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