The central focus of the recent IRCC announcement is the temporary pause on the processing of new Canada Study Permit applications.

This measure is set to be in effect until March 31, 2024, impacting prospective international students who were planning to commence their studies during this period.

In this article, we will be looking into the reason behind the temporary pause of the study permit application and how it affects aspiring international students.

Understanding the Reason for the Temporary Pause

New student visa applications are temporarily on hold until March 31, 2024. This is because provinces and territories are now required to issue attestation letters, in addition to the usual Letter of Acceptance, to make sure students are genuinely connected to the place they plan to study.

To do this, the government has given each province until March 31st, 2024 to create a system to make this process seamless for international students.

However, the speed at which provinces set up this new process will determine when applications can start again.

Although the new attestation letter might seem like more paperwork, it is there for a good reason. The goal is to make sure that students truly have a connection to the province or territory where they want to study.

These letters act as extra proof that a student’s plan aligns with what the province needs.

How does the temporary pause affect aspiring international students?

Application Delays:

International students planning to begin their studies in Canada will face delays in submitting their study permit applications. The hold on applications means they cannot initiate or complete the application process during this period.

Financial Implications:

Students may face financial implications due to the delay. They might need to extend their housing arrangements, postpone booking flights, or make other adjustments to their budget, leading to increased costs.

Impact on Academic Schedules:

The pause in the study permit application could lead to international students missing the start of their academic programs. This may require coordination with universities or colleges to explore options for joining classes at a later date.

Impact on Travel Plans:

The hold on study permit applications may affect students’ travel plans. They might need to reconsider their intended start dates for studies, potentially delaying their arrival in Canada.

But you need to understand that this pause does not affect all categories of students.

So what categories of students are affected by this pause in study visa application due to attestation letters?

– Students going for the Diploma program

– Students going for Undergraduate Program

– Students going for Post-graduate Diploma

– Students going for Post-graduate Certificate

What categories of students do not require attestation letters and can still go on with their study visa applications?

– Minor child applying to study in a primary or secondary school (kindergarten to grade 12)

– Students applying for a Masters or PhD

– Students applying to extend their study permit

Now that you are clear on these changes, let’s explore some tips to help you navigate some of these changes.

Tips for Navigating the Changes:

For a smoother application process, here are some simple tips:

Check official updates from IRCC and your chosen province regularly to stay updated about the attestation process and other changes.

Use the application pause wisely. Research your chosen province or territory well, and make sure your attestation letter lines up with what they are looking for.

Do not panic, you can write to your school to defer your admission to the next academic year to be on a safe side.


The temporary pause on Canada Study Permit applications until March 31, 2024, represents a significant shift in the regulatory landscape for prospective international students.

As the authorities work towards moderating expansion, individuals planning to study in Canada must stay informed about updates, be flexible in their plans, and seek guidance from an immigration consultant.

While this pause introduces challenges, staying proactive and adaptable will be key to ensuring a smoother application process once the temporary suspension is lifted.

Our suggestion for those who are yet to begin their study visa application would be this – Start the entire process of preparing your documents which typically takes 30 – 60 days depending on the documents you have at hand so that when applications pick up again you will be ready to just hit submit much faster than those who will wait until March to begin their preparations.

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