Is the study gap acceptable in Canada?

Is the study gap acceptable in Canada

Canada is always a dream study destination for international students. This country provides many things like the best education and quality living. The top-rated education system in Canada accepts students with a study gap. By ignoring the gap years of international students, the Canada Education system focuses on the student’s qualifications.

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    What is a Study Gap?

    A study gap is a time between a student’s last qualification and the present degree. Simply, if you take a break from your education and then restart it, it is considered a study gap. Gap years can happen for many reasons. If your reason is justified, you can continue your education track again.

    Does Canada accept the study gaps?

    Yes, Canada accepts students with a study gap. It provides study permits to international students who have gap years. However, when a student has an education gap, he may need to provide additional documents to justify the reason behind the gaps. But the reason should be valid and serious. You cannot just pass your time randomly and expect to be accepted by Canadian universities.

    The eligibility requirement to apply for universities in Canada?

    If you are seeking admission to a Canadian University, you must match the entry requirement to get the chance of admission. Every country and university sets some entry criteria for an international student to enrol in Canadian universities. Let’s know the entry criteria set by the Canadian University.
    1. Bachelor’s/ Diploma/ Certificate Courses
    Bachelor’s degrees in Canada generally take 3-4 years to complete. When a student takes a 4-year degree, this degree includes 2 years of foundational degree and 2 years of dedicated education.
    • Minimum overall Ielts 6/6.5 according to the requirement of course and institution.
    • 60% expected in the 12th grade.
    • TOEFL- PBT: 550 min and CBT: 213 min.
    • Flexible admission.
    1. For Undergraduate/ Bachelor’s level
    • 70% in the 12th grade.
    • 12th grade level of Maths.
    • TOEFL-PBT: 580-600 minutes. ( Depending on the course)
    • CBT: 237-250 minutes.
    1. For Post-graduate/ Master’s Courses
    • 2-3 years of full-time work experience.
    • With 70% average a 4 years bachelor’s degree.
    • GMAT- 580-600 min.
    • IELTS- 6.5 with no band less than 6.0. ( can vary from course to course)
    • TOEFL- PBT: 580-600 min.
    • CBT- 237-250.
    • Some institutions may require portfolio/ published work experience.

    How long are study gaps accepted in Canada?

    Various degrees in Canada have different levels of gap years duration. There is no specific study gap duration. Nowadays, international students with study gaps are increasing day by day. For many reasons, a study gap can happen. So Canada doesn’t focus on the gap years for international students. If you have work experience or strong academic background, you can study in Canada without having a study gap.

    • Diploma- 2 years
    • Undergraduate- 2-3 years
    • Postgraduate- 5-8 years

    However, the universities in Canada will accept students with more study gaps than the permitted ones if the student has a justified reason for the gap years and has a strong academic background.

    What if the gaps are more than 5 years?

    If you aim to take a postgraduate/ Master’s degree in Canada, then more than 5 years of the gap can easily be accepted. And if you want to pursue an undergraduate degree, then some colleges or universities in Canada can accept students with a reasonable year gap. So, if you have a valid reason like you have utilised your time by appearing for an exam or gathered experience by working, you can enrol at Canadian universities.

    Acceptable reasons for the study gap in Canada.

    You were in a gap after completing your last education. Now you want to take another degree in Canada but are worried about the gap years. Most international students face problems in justifying the reasons for the gap years. The university authority can not accept a silly reason. If you have the following reasons, you may be accepted by a Canadian university with a study gap. They are-

    • Family Issues- Family does matter. It is considered the strongest part of a person’s life that can’t be negligible. So if you had a serious family issue, and that’s why you were bound to take a break from your education, this reason is quite justificatory. And the Canadian university authority will accept this gap cordially.
    • Work experience- Let’s say, after completing the previous qualification, you have taken a break to gather work experience. Work experience is needed to achieve professional growth. These experiences will help you to find good jobs in the future. Even employers will appreciate a candidate with good job experience and skills. So when you have a study gap due to this reason, it will be accepted by the colleges and universities in Canada. But you have to provide proof of payslips and an experience letter.
    • Health Issues- If the reason for your study break is some serious health issues or an accident, this type of gap is accepted by Canadian universities. But as evidence, you have to provide medical certificates.
    • Entrance Exams- If you took a break due to the entrance exam, this reason would also be accepted by the universities of Canada. But you must prove the necessary documents such as admit card and result sheet as evidence.
    • Skill development- There are many skill-development courses available for international students. Despite a degree or a qualification, many students like to take skills and certification courses to develop their careers for a better future. So if you have gap years, for this reason, it will also be accepted by Canadian universities.
    • Financial matter- If your study gap reason was financial inadequacy, and it took a year or two to manage the required amount to study in Canada, this reason will also be accepted by Canadian universities.

    How can a student justify study gaps for a Canadian student visa?

    Study gaps always demand a clear justification. A student can clarify the reason for the gap years through the statement of purpose by attaching the required documents. A student must provide the required documents to justify the gap during visa processing. So here are the required documents you may need to explain the gap years. They are-

    • Payslip- You may need to provide a payslip or the offer letter as evidence if you worked during the gap years.
    • Work Certificates- If you have done any skill-based course during the break, you can provide the work certificates as a justification.
    • Medical Certificates- If health issues or another reason like an accident is the reason for your study gap, then you have to provide medical certificates.
    • Marksheet- If you took a year to prepare for the entrance exam but couldn’t make it, you can attach the mark sheet or result.

    All these documents are mandatory when applying for a Canada student visa. Besides these documents, other documents are also mandatory. Here we will learn about them one by one-

    Documents that are required to apply for a student visa in Canada.

    • Passport
    • Letter of acceptance.
    • Valid IELTS score.
    • Sufficient money to pay for the tuition fees and other costs.
    • Medical certificates
    • SOP or the statement of purpose.
    • Embassy report.
    • Academic documents
    • Proof of gap justification.

    Merits and Demits of a study gap.

    Though initially, the study gap seems negative, it has many positive aspects too. While you take a break from your education and utilize this time by doing many constructive things like working or being involved in some skill-based training will enhance your qualification. However, if your gap years are not justificatory, it will decrease your chance of getting admission to the universities of Canada.


    • An opportunity to learn new skills.

    As an international student, you can get new skills, knowledge or experience through many skill-improving courses during the study break. It will increase your qualification and help you find a part-time job in Canada. Seeing your qualification and skill, employers will be more impressed with you and give you a top priority. 

    • Solve the family problem- Family is such a thing that surrounds most emotions. If your family is in some crisis or problem, you will be unable to concentrate on other things. So it will give you a chance to solve family issues and graduate with more enthusiasm and concentration.
    • Developing professional skills- Taking the study gap for any job will help you gain many work experiences. You will be professionally more skilled and experienced. It will help you to get better job opportunities in the future.
    • Time to prepare for the competitive exams- You may use the gap year to prepare yourself for the competitive exams. The experiences you gained will help you in a great way to face major exams in the future.


    • It breaks the rhythm of continuing study- Everything depends on practice. You may lose your continuity in education when you take a study gap.
    • Waste of time- If you don’t do anything constructive during the gap years, you will only lose your year.

    So if you want to study in Canada and are worried about the gap years, our experts can show you the easiest solution of it. AIMS Education is a student consultancy firm that helps students to study in the UK, USA, and Canada. The Canadian AIMS Education experts will help you find your dream university.

    FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions

    Ans: Yes, Canada accepts the gaps in the bachelor’s and postgraduation courses. Canada’s education system permits international students with a study gap if the reason is valid and the student meets all the requirements properly.

    Ans: Usually, for a bachelor’s degree, 2-3 years of study gap for a postgraduate degree, 5-8 years of the gap is accepted. But if you have a gap more than this with a valid reason and meet the other academic and financial requirements, you may study at some Canadian universities.

    Ans: You can justify your gap years through a gap explanation letter. With the letter, you need to include-
    ⦿ Pay slip or the offer letter if you have worked in your gap years.
    ⦿ If you have used the time by doing any course or obtaining skills, you must attach all the certificates with the gap explanation letter.
    ⦿ Provide the medical certificates if you have medical issues behind the gap years.
    ⦿ If you took a year for any entrance exam but failed to make it, provide all the evidence like your admit card, registration form etc.

    Ans: To obtain a student visa in Canada, you must meet some entry requirements as an international student. Such as-
    ⦿ Due to the covid-19 situation, an international student must be vaccinated.
    ⦿ Students must enrol at DLI-listed universities.
    ⦿ You must be financially stable to cover the living costs and tuition fees to study in Canada.
    ⦿ No criminal records.
    ⦿ Clinically fit and a good medical clearance certificate.
    ⦿ Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada after completing your study or the expiration of the study permit.

    Ans: There is no visa interview required to study in Canada. If you submit incomplete documents for the visa or the visa officer feels like taking an interview, then you may need to attend a visa interview.

    Ans: Canada mostly accepted students after the 12th with 2-3 years of study gaps. It prioritises a student’s profile/ qualifications and financial stability.

    Ans: Yes, 3 years gap is accepted in Canada. Even a student can study in Canada with more study gaps if he has a valid reason and standard qualification.

    Ans: Most Canadian universities accept students with 2-3 years of study gap for a bachelor’s degree and 5-8 years of gap years for a postgraduation degree. Canada mostly focuses on a student’s quality instead of the gap years.

    Ans: Minimum 2 years of work experience is mandatory when you want to do an MBA in Canada. Besides, other master’s courses also require work experience to enrol in Canadian universities.

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