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Provincial Attestation Letters (PAL)

What you need to know to become an international student at SMU.

On January 22, 2024, the Government of Canada proposed changes to the study permit application process for new international students. Most new international students will require a Letter of Attestation from the province or territory in which their Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is located to apply for a study permit.

There are some international students that may be exempt from the new IRCC measures.  To see if you are exempt, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

Find further information about proposed IRCC changes.

For undergraduate admissions questions, please contact

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Most new international undergraduate students, with some exemptions, will require a provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory in which they plan to study with their Canadian study permit application. The PAL will be required in addition to the official letter of acceptance.

Yes, your provincial attestation letter (PAL) will expire 10 weeks after it is issued. Your letter of acceptance (LOA) from Saint Mary’s will have a 5-week expiration from its date of issue. You will therefore have 5 weeks from receiving your LOA to confirm your offer and pay your admission deposit to SMU. Once you pay your admission deposit and receive your PAL, you will have 10 weeks to apply for your Canadian study permit.

You should have received an email from our Recruitment team about your next steps to obtaining a PAL. Please contact with any additional questions about this process.

No, graduate (master’s) level students are exempt from the new IRCC requirements.

No, international students already studying in Canada are exempt from the new IRCC requirements for a PAL. However, you will still require a study permit.

There is no change to the PGWP program for undergraduate programs. International students enrolled in master’s programs of two years and less will now be eligible for a PGWP of up to three years.

Yes! You can apply online. Our application deadline for the September 2024 intake is June 15, 2024.

Apply now