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How Much Gap is Acceptable for a Canada Study Visa?

@vmigration January 6, 2023 0 Comments

Canada is a famous foreign land where international students majorly apply for a Canada study visa as they dream of studying at its top universities/colleges. Its affordable education training, renowned universities, and immigration-friendly regulations have made it an appealing preference for college students seeking to pursue higher education overseas. 

Many worldwide college students fear a gap of 1 year or years between their education in their home country and studying in Canada. Gap years may be complicated however that doesn’t suggest that you can’t go if there’s a gap in your education. In Canada, the general rule is that a gap of 2 years is okay for a degree or undergraduate studies and 5 years is suitable for graduate studies. 

Now, having stated that, let’s see what is the eligibility criteria for getting into a Canadian university.  

What are the requirements for taking admission to a Canadian university?

  • A minimum score of 50% from a UGC or AICTE-certified university in India is required to apply for a graduate course. 
  • Graduation degrees must be completed within the standard term of study without a gap year. For eg. (A three-year degree) must be completed in the allotted time period and not more than that. 
  • Engineering, for example, is a four-year program. The student should have finished in no more than four years.
  • Backlogs during graduation time should not be more than ten.

However, it should be noted that students may still be admitted to Canadian institutions if they have to drop out of their studies for any reason.

What is a Study gap?

The period from your last certification to the present is called the study gap. For example, if you graduated in 2019 and want to pursue post-graduation in 2022, you will have a 3-year study gap.

Undergraduate gaps are not uncommon in a country like India where you may have to stop studying for various reasons. But if you need to apply for a student visa to study abroad, that matters. Some students, particularly in India, take a year off after finishing their examination in 12th grade or even graduating. Some students take a year off following JEE, or medical school, or even fail their first year of college. Students are exempted and are given relaxation in some instances.

There’s a list of reasons that could be considered for a gap year. 

Canadian universities may accept gap periods when admitting students but they often request a statement or resume (CV) to explain the gap since you are applying to one of their programs. Why do they do this? They are looking for justifiable reasons for the gap.

What are the reasons that the university accepts for a Study gap? 

Medical Reasons

Medical reasons include ill health, accidents, or other which can be valid reasons for postponing your educational pursuits. The Covid-19 pandemic is an apt case where the health of a family or student has been affected by the pandemic.

Family Situations

Family Situations can also influence why educational goals are put on hold. Perhaps aging parents, a family breakup, or other family situations can be a reason for a gap in your education.

External Tests

Some students choose to write after completing their studies to prepare for exams such as the SAT, IELTS, GMAT, and GRE. Other tests are military entrance exams, MDCAT (MCAT), or LSAT. Preparation takes time. Even if you did not get the desired results or were not admitted to a medical school in your home country, such a gap could be a reasonable explanation for delaying your application to study in Canada.

Work Experience

Work Experience is also a valid reason for delaying your studies. In fact, some graduate programs in Canada, such as an MBA require a minimum of 2 years of work experience. Some universities want up to 5 years of relevant experience. For example, the University of Manitoba requires 2 years of professional work experience to meet their admission requirements for an MBA. Working to care for aging parents, saving for college in Canada, and gaining work experience are all good reasons for a gap year. And when we start our jobs, we find out how ignorant we are towards the need to educate ourselves to enhance our skills according to the world’s requirements.

Financial Reasons

Financial reasons are very good reasons for gap years. Saving up for university in Canada may require working or waiting for the sale of a piece of land or some other explanation for the gap due to financial reasons.

Gap years can be considered in the admissions process, but it’s best to find out how the university perceives our study gaps. Thompson Rivers University recognizes that students may want to or need to take a gap. But please note that not all Canadian universities will hold the same stance.


Many students dream of studying in Canada as it offers better opportunities along with a higher standard of living and a higher income. However, many Indian student visas get rejected for silly and irresponsible reasons such as the wrong choice, of course, improper details, lack of study plans, etc.

At VSmart Migration, a top study visa consultant in Chandigarh, we provide proper guidance with appropriate training, making our students eligible to study in Canada. Whether you need help with a student visa or any other type of visa, we are here to help you out.


Q1: How much of a gap is accepted for study in Canada?

Ans 1) Many students have multiple reasons for taking a gap in their studies, such as educational, personal, and medical. Let us have an overview of these three reasons in India. Talking about the academic reason, the study gap can be because of low scores in class 10th or 12th high school. Personal reasons may involve any family problem for taking a break from studies. Health issues can crop up anytime where a person may have to take a long time to recover, thus compromising the studies.

One should know how to justify the gap in education, even if it’s for 5 or 6 years. Keep in mind, sometimes the study visas are rejected by the Canadian high commission if the students don’t have a genuine explanation for their study gap.

Q2: How does a Canadian university treat a student with a study gap?

Ans 2) In Canada, college admission officials don’t have any issue accepting students’ applications who may have left their studies for authentic reasons. In fact, these officials support the idea of a study gap even for the existing students. However, you may have to fulfill whichever university you want to study in terms and conditions. So, it is safe to say the study gap is not an issue if you are willing to work hard and have enough resources to study in Canada.

Q3: How to cover the gap for study visas in Canada?

Ans 3) The best options available are working while studying and internships. You can go for it if you have decided to work and learn despite your study gap. However, you may have to provide the Canadian university you are applying to with offer letters, experience letters, and salary slips. You need to explain to the authorities why you have had a previous study gap and why you want to work or take an internship.

Also Read: How to Apply for a Canadian Study Permit?