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Is Study Gap Acceptable In Canada for 2020? – Pros & Cons

Study gap has been a common thing recently; many students take a year drop to excel the following year. Previously it was not seen in huge numbers, as the competition is rising, you can see the number of drops rising as well.

What is Study Gap?

A study gap may have been taken for numerous reasons, usually, the study gap is taken by students after their secondary/high school and before they choose an undergraduate program. In India, students mostly take a year gap to perform better in the Joint Entrance Exams and NEET.

The year gap gives them enough time to prepare for the national entry-level exams with no pressure from schools or colleges. Many students also take a gap year after their undergraduate studies. Such students often take up advanced courses, take up volunteer work, internships etc.


Check Out: Masters in Canada – Universities, Fees, Scholarships 2020


Study Gap Accepted Countries

Here is the list of Countries that accept study gap:



How Much GAP Is Accepted For Study In Canada?

For postgraduate courses, Canadian academic institutes accept up to 5 years of study gap. For undergraduate and diploma courses, Canadian academic institutes accept up to 2 years of study gap.

Other than the specified numbers, a few Canadian academic institutes make exceptions for the candidates who have exceptional expertise in their domain of study.
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How to Cover GAP For Study Visa?

For study, a visa gives a genuine reason for covering a gap year. You can fill with activities, you would possibly have done during this duration. Generally, students utilize the study gap by learning foreign languages, strengthen computer skills, pursuing internships, etc.

Possible reasons for GAP year:

  • Caring for a sick family member.
  • Medical /Health issue.
  • Reappearing for exams.
  • Taking time off to relocate and find a job in a new state/city.
  • Pursuing further education or going back to school.
  • Pursuing any other type of professional training.
  • Taking time off to travel, study, work on a solo project, etc.
  • Trying to start a business or freelance career.
  • You were laid off, your former company downsized, etc and you had trouble finding a job later.
  • You were actively searching but had trouble finding a job.

Canada Study GAP Rules

For postgraduate courses, Canadian academic institutes accept up to 5 years of study gap. For undergraduate and diploma courses, Canadian academic institutes accept up to 2 years of study gap.

Other than the specified numbers, a few Canadian academic institutes make exceptions for the candidates who have exceptional expertise in their domain of study.

There is no age limit. The college may admit students of any age, CIC might not grant a study permit to those that are of upper age. One has got to explain and satisfy CIC about: the necessity and relevance of a study at a higher age after a gap of a couple of years since the last study.

Documents required for a Canadian study visa after gap year:

  • Educational documents
  • Photographs
  • Passport
  • English language proficiency test scores
  • Medical report
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Immigration/Embassy Forms
  • Gap Justification If Necessary

Is Study Gap Acceptable in Canada?

Study gaps can be issued by the candidates who are applying for new study permits in Canada. A very long study gap can prove to be a problem for the university to consider a candidate but the Canadian education system are however lenient enough to consider it for international students.

For undergraduate applicants, the study gap for up to 2 years is accepted and for postgraduate applicants, the study gap for up to 5 years is acceptable. There are a few exceptions to a few students who have shown exceptional expertise in their field of study. If the student has some work experience then they need to show it to the university as proof for their study gap, a salary slip or appointment letter can be taken as one of them.

The education system in Canada is very vocational, they don’t want the students to only stay focused on books and theory; they inspire and educate students in a very different way by giving them knowledge about the real world through practical projects. Hence, a study gap should be planned meticulously which can then bring healthy benefits into the student’s life. Canada’s education system allows the new students an adequate study gap to make themselves comfortable with the study pattern of the country.

Pros and Cons of Gap Year

There are many pros and cons of a gap year; it has been seen that the students who are taking a gap year perform better than those who don’t but it also remains as a question of debate that it will deter the continuation of the education.


Check Out: Study in Canada- All you need to know


History of Gap Year

The Study gap was first seen in the 1960s when the young generation wanted to get away with the war of their parents’ generation. The major purpose of the gap year was for the countries to exchange cultural ideas in the hope to discourage future wars from happening. History Around the 1960s and 1970s, the first gap year organization was opened in Worcester, Massachusetts. The company was called Dynamy; it was aimed at teaching young people self-confidence and the role they play in the larger community.

In India, it is very common to see students taking a year gap to prepare for exams like JEE/AIEEE/AIPMT/NEET after their secondary education and for TOEFL/IELTS/GRE/GMAT/CAT/MAT for overseas education and post graduation courses. All other countries education system differs and so do their concept of a gap year. Study Gap in Canada In Canada the study gap window is limited to a few years, as mentioned above it can be of disadvantage and a constructive break can prove to be a deconstructive break.

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Guidelines: Let us now see some quick guidelines and tips for Canadian Student Visa recently updated in 2018

As you know, a study permit is required to study in Canada. This study permit is issued to the students once they arrive in Canada. To acquire the study permit the student must first apply for a temporary resident visa provided by the Canadian High Commission. The study permit for Canada costs CAD $150 which is around INR 7,465.

The applications are available both offline and online. This fee is to be paid when the application is submitted or a fee receipt of online payment is given. The documents required to apply for the Canadian visa is Valid passport, proof of acceptance by a recognised university, proof of financial support (candidate needs to show the proof of fees paid and also the financial that can bear the living expenses about CAD $10,000), passport sized photos (for online not more than 4MB), Immigration medical examination, English Language Proficiency test scores, Statement of Purpose, Credit Card details.

Canada accepts students with a study gap ranging from 2 years to 5 years for undergraduate and postgraduate courses respectively. Nevertheless, it varies from one university to another; they may accept the application even if you have 7 years of study gap. It all depends upon the policies of the universities and the reason for the study gap.


Check Out: Study in Canada after Graduation- Updated 2020


FAQ

Is a gap of 8 years considered by Canadian universities?

Ans. Yes, a few universities and colleges accept such applicant if you have reasonable answers to the study gap. Usually, people take a study gap if they’re doing a job or preparing for some exam. If the reason for the leave is genuine even 8 years of gap is considered.

Is a study gap of 8 to 9 years considered for a student visa?

Ans. A gap of more than 5 years may be a problem to get a student visa for Canada; however if there are explanations given to the gap you may get the visa easily.

How much study gap is accepted for Canadian visa?

Ans. There are a number of reasons students give reasons for study gap for the visa, they’re Re-appear for the exam due to low scores – the student has scored less marks in their 10 th or 12 th hence leading to a year gap in their study.

A grave family situation – the student can give a strong reason about their family situation to the visa officer which is genuine. Health issues – a severe health issue can’t be avoided, hence the student is not at fault for such a case and hence it is considered.

Hence you see, people with 5-year study gap are also getting their visa approved and some with lesser study gap don’t get their visa approved. It depends on how you give your explanation behind the study gap.

I want to go to college, Should I apply before or after I take a gap year?

Ans. The counsellors for abroad education and other admission officials advise the students to apply in college and get accepted before taking a gap year. It then keeps the choices open for the student to decide whether they want to go ahead with college or improve their scores by taking a gap year.

After taking a study gap, am I still eligible for scholarships and financial aid?

Ans. If a student is in need – basis financial aid but has taken a gap year, they need to reapply the following year for the financial aid. In the case of scholarships, there are high chances that it remains with the student until they join college after taking a year gap.

What do the college admission officials think about a gap year?

Ans. Over the years the admission officials have been considerate to accept applications having study gap in them, in fact, some even encourage the admitted ones to take one. In Harvard University 107 of 1,665 Harvard freshmen took a gap year and the results of it were positive which led them to think it as a good option.


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About the Author

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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Comments (25)

  1. Abhijeet :

    What is a study gap?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      A study gap may be a duration between your last qualification and so far Many students take a year off after 12th or degree for Government exam preparation or any other entrance exam preparation or they even fail in their first year of study or might be engaged in some work post studies.

  2. Manish :

    Which are the countries where the study gap is acceptable?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      1. USA
      2. UK
      3. Australia
      4. Canada
      5. Poland
      6. Hungary
      7. Singapore
      8. Cyprus
      9. Mauritius

  3. Akshay :

    How to cover the study gap for a student visa?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      For study visa give a genuine reason for covering a gap year. You can fill with activities, you would possibly have done during this duration. Generally students utilize the study gap by learning foreign languages, strengthen computer skills, pursuing internship etc.

  4. Vaibhav :

    What are the possible reasons for the gap year?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      1. Caring for a sick family member.
      2. Medical /Health issue.
      3. Reappearing for exams.
      4. Taking time off to relocate and find a job in a new state/city.
      5. Pursuing further education or going back to school.
      6. Pursuing any other type of professional training.
      7. Taking time off to travel, study, work on a solo project, etc.
      8. Trying to start a business or freelancer career.
      9. You were laid off, your former company downsized, etc and you had trouble finding a job later.
      10. You were actively searching but had trouble finding a job.

  5. Nupur :

    Is the study gap accepted by Canadian Institutes?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      If you’re applying for new study permits in Canada, Colleges or Immigration can question about the study gap. A very long study period may prove to be a challenge for the school to accept you. The Canadian education system is quite flexible enough to permit it.

  6. Rishabh :

    Do Canadian universities even consider a gap of 7 years?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      YES! There are a few universities and colleges in Canada that accept a gap of 7 years.
      For postgraduate courses, Canadian academic institutes accept up to 5 years of study gap. For undergraduate and diploma courses, Canadian academic institutes accept up to 2 years of study gap.
      Other than the specified numbers, a few Canadian academic institutes make exceptions for the candidates who have exceptional expertise in their domain of study

  7. Parul :

    What are the important documents required for a Canadian study visa after a gap year?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      1. Educational documents
      2. Photographs
      3. Passport
      4. English language proficiency test scores
      5. Medical report
      6. Statement of Purpose
      7. Immigration/Embassy Forms
      8. Gap Justification If Necessary

  8. Komal :

    What are the documents required in Canada if the study gap was due to work?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      1. Wage Slips
      2. Letter of Appointment
      3. Admission Letter of University or College.
      4. Marksheet and Diploma or any short course done.
      5. Any other document specified by the university.

  9. Aditi :

    Should students apply before or after they take a gap year to prepare better?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      It is advisable for the candidates to apply for universities and get admitted before taking a gap year.

  10. Madhura :

    After the study gap, what is the eligibility for scholarships and financial aid?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      If a student is in need – basis financial aid but has taken a gap year, they have to reapply the subsequent year for the financial aid. In the case of scholarships, there are high chances that it remains with the candidates until they join college after taking a year gap.

  11. Abhinav :

    Can Canadian student visa be applied for after 6 years gap in studies?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      You can apply for a student visa even after a 6-year gap, provided you can show credible information about what you have been doing all along.
      It could be work or any other thing that you have done in the last 6 years, if you can provide valid certification, Canadian consulate will consider it. A gap period of more than 6 months spent idly causes a negative impact.
      In general, Canada High Commission conducts a telephonic interview and which provides an opportunity to explain your viewpoint. Getting admission in a appropriate course in Canada and to a good college or University is also important to prove that you are not trying to migrate to Canada.

  12. Yash :

    What is the requirement to apply for a student visa after a gap year?

    • Piyush Bhartiya :

      Three primary reasons, supported by which student visa is granted, mostly:
      1. If you got admission from a reputed and accredited university / college.
      2. If you got secured funds / source to complete the whole program of study.
      3. If you truly exhibit interest to get back to your home country and will use student visa only for the purpose of study and not intend to settle down there.
      The institute which have admitted you might have already verified all criteria including gap years.

  13. Sahil :

    What is the age limit for a student visa in Canada?

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