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The documentation for symlink on php.net (great PHP resource, btw) doesn't mention anything about passing in any sort of permissions. If you want to change permissions after it's created, you can use the chmod function.
What I meant when I said to make sure you have the correct permissions, is that if you are running this PHP script through Apache, it is getting run as a different user. For instance in my setup, apache runs as the user "nobody" in the Group "nobody." If "nobody" doesn't have permissions to create a file in the directory you are trying to create your link, you won't be able to create it.
Does mkdir work for you from within the PHP script, though...
Are you getting any specific errors you can share?
The user that Apache is run from is in the apache config. /etc/apache/httpd.conf on my Slackware system. I wouldn't recommend changing that, though, as it could be a security risk.
To test if your problem is a permissions one, try changing the permissions of the directory you are creating the link at to 777 temporarily to see if it works then. (Set it outside of the script from the shell.) If that works, you can decide from there how you want to set it up.