Recent IRCC Announcements

Study Permit Caps and Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) Process


On January 22, the Government of Canada affirmed the value and world-class caliber of Canada’s public university system with reforms to the issuance of study permits, post-graduate work permits, and spousal work permits. Please see the information below that clarifies how this may affect new and current Lakehead University international students. For complete details, visit the following IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) announcements:

  •  International Masters and PhD students:
    • will not be subject to study permit enrolment caps
    • who meet the eligibility criteria for a PGWP as of February 15, 2024, can expect a 3-year work permit regardless of the lenth of their program
    • who have spouses, will be eligible to apply for an open work permit for their spouse while they are engaged in Master or Ph.D. programs
    • will not be required to submit a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) along with their study permit application
  • International undergraduate students admitted to Lakehead University and applying for their study permit on/after January 22, 2024, will be required to submit a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) along with their study permit application. The Province of Ontario has not yet announced the process of requesting and providing the PAL. We will update this page once we receive the details of this new process.
  • Study permit cap numbers for undergraduate study spots will be determined on a provincial basis and they are unknown at this time. Provinces have until March 31, 2024, to confirm provincial study permit numbers and finalize the Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) process.
  • The spouses and common-law partners of international undergraduate university and college students will no longer be eligible for an open work permit unless they already hold an open work permit.
  • Visiting students or exchange students will not need a provincial attestation letter (PAL).
  • International students whose applications were received by IRCC before 8:30 am ET on January 22, 2024, as well as those who have already been approved for a study permit and intend to travel to Canada for an upcoming program, do not need to take further action as a result of the cap.
  • Restrictions are being made on private, for-profit institutions that deliver their own programs, or those administered through a curriculum-licensed program. Private, for-profit institutions may see their number of study permits restricted, and their students will no longer be eligible for PGWP, and no longer be eligible for spousal work permits. As a public university, Lakehead University does not fall into this category.