New requirements for Canadian study permits

The Government of Canada recently announced a cap on the number of study visas to be issued as well as the requirement for a provincial attestation letter (PAL) when applying for a new study permit.

At Waterloo, we look after our international students; we care about you and your future success. We have a first-year residence guarantee, one of the highest visa approval rates in the country, and an excellent graduation rate.

Our graduates are among the most employable in the world according to previous QS Graduate Employability surveys.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions after reading the information below.

Related information

Are you already studying at Waterloo?

Visit the study permit updates for current Waterloo students.

Are you a high school student in Canada with a student visa?

You may be exempt. See details for high school students below.

Are you a grad student?

Learn how provincial attestation letter requirements may impact Master's and PhD students.


Have you received or accepted an offer of admission?

If you have received or accepted an offer of admission, you must take a quiz to determine whether you need a provincial attestation letter (PAL). You cannot start the study permit process without taking the quiz because it's the first step in requesting a PAL.


Information last updated: April 5, 2024

If you're an international student and you receive an offer of admission from the University of Waterloo, you'll need a provincial attestation letter (PAL) before you can apply for your study permit.

Attestation letter process

  • A provincial attestation letter (PAL) must be included with study permit applications submitted after January 22, 2024 at 8:30 a.m. ET. If you're planning to study at Waterloo, the PAL must be provided by the Government of Ontario, the province in which the University of Waterloo is located.
  • Other than a few exemptions, most international applicants to undergraduate degrees and English language pathway programs will be required to provide a PAL.
    • Exemptions include students with valid study permits who are extending them from within Canada. You can take our quiz to see if you need a PAL.
  • If you're required to request a PAL, you'll need to accept your Offer of Admission from Waterloo and provide a $1,000 tuition deposit before you are able to access your PAL. This deposit will not be refundable except in exceptional circumstances. You'll receive your PAL through the same Waterloo website (Quest) where you access your Offer Letter/Letter of Acceptance.

Student permit process

  • You can continue to prepare your study permit application while we wait for information from the government. Unless you're eligible for an exemption, you should not submit your study permit yet. We will email you once details about the process become available.
  • Please do not submit your study permit application without the required PAL. The Canadian government will return student visa applications submitted without a PAL. Resubmitting an application will delay its processing.

New financial requirements as of January 1, 2024

  • The Government of Canada has updated the financial requirements for study permit applicants. This change applies to new study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024 at 8:30 AM ET. The new amounts reflect updated cost-of-living requirements.

We're here to help

Visa application webinars

International students who have applied to Waterloo or received an offer of admission will be invited to online visa application webinars.

Contact us

If you're a high school or transfer student and have questions, please email our immigration consulting team at


Frequently asked questions


Study permits


Provincial attestation letters (PALs)


Tuition deposit


Visa cap


Tuition fees