How Much Gap Is Accepted for Study in Canada?

Canada is a land of opportunities that welcomes immigrants and international students with open arms. Higher education, good living quality, high chance of employment, and more such reasons make it a dream for many students from India.


How Much Gap Is Accepted for Study in Canada?




Are you someone that wants to move to Canada for your higher education? Do you have questions like how much gap is accepted for study in Canada? Do not worry about your gap year since it’s still possible for you to study in Canada with gap years. Keep reading to learn more about all that. 

What’s A Gap in Study?

It’s the time between your last graduation and the present. E.g., if you graduated in 2020 and plan on pursuing your higher education in Canada in 2022, you’ll have a 2-year gap in your study that you will have to justify.  

A gap in study is not a huge issue in India, but when you apply for a degree programme in Canada or other developed nations, it is a matter of concern. 

It is a commonplace in India for students to take a year off after 12th grade, JEE, or even medical school before they get a job or pursue post-graduation. 

How Many Gap Years Are Accepted for Study in Canada?


Students face many issues when applying for a Canadian study visa when they have a study gap. Note that pursuing higher education in Canada might be difficult if your study gap is too long. 

If you’re wondering how many years gap is accepted for study in Canada, here we go: 

  • A 2-year gap for diploma students
  • A 2-year gap for undergraduate students
  • A 5-year gap for postgraduate students

The above numbers might vary with each university. So, check with your university of choice to ensure they accept your study gap. 

The only way out is to provide evidence for the gap in your education. Some acceptable reasons include, 

  • Retake tests for better grades
  • Unexpected family emergency
  • Health issues
  • Psychological illnesses
  • Unemployment after graduation
  • Upskilling

Eligibility For Getting into A Canadian University

Here’s the list of factors that a Canadian university will consider when you apply to pursue higher education with them

  • A minimum of 50% score in a degree approved by the UGC or AICTE in India.
  • Completion of a degree in the allotted period without a gap. (A three-year degree should be completed in 3 years)
  • The number of backlogs during graduation should be at most ten. 

How To Justify Your Study Gap?


Students applying for a Canadian student visa should get in touch with visa experts to learn about study gap-related requirements. 

Based on this, you can attach appropriate reports and explanations in your statement of purpose while applying for your visa. 

Some documents accepted in Canada for a study gap include 

  • Pay slips
  • Letters of appointment
  • Confirmation letters from universities and colleges
  • Educational certificates
  • Medical records of illnesses 

Common Reasons for The Study Gap 

You should be able to explain your study gap in your college application. Failing to do so is why most students do not get a student visa. 


Common Reasons for The Study Gap 

A bar chart visualising the reasons people take a gap year along with the percentage for each. 



The list of reasons is endless, but you’ll need a legitimate one for your application to get approved. 

Here are a few common reasons, 

1. Family Issues

Students may have to pause pursuing education to help support their families during times of crisis. If that is your case, you’ll have to be honest while applying for a Canadian student visa. You’ll have to provide the concerned authorities with enough proof to justify your claim. 

2. Medical Issues

In life, you never know what’s around the corner. For instance, if you meet with a road accident requiring you to rest for a year to heal, you will have to pause your education. 

The same goes for serious illnesses that affect people regardless of age. Such situations are unavoidable, and students will have to take a gap year to handle situations like that. 

If you’re in a similar situation, gather all your evidence and present it to the authorities while applying for a visa. 

3. Retaking Tests

Students expect a lot from themselves and are disappointed when they do not see their effort reap the benefits they expect. This dissatisfaction can often lead them to take a test again to improve their scores. 

Although not everyone can afford this, those who reappear for an exam must sacrifice a whole year to improve their score. 

Canadian universities accept this as a valid reason. But make sure you mention the reason in your statement of purpose while applying. 

4. Work Experience

Most people get a job straight out of college to gain work experience or out of sheer interest.

However, they realise that their educational qualification has become a bottleneck for their growth and decide to pursue higher education. 


Work ExperienceSource:



Some programmes in Canada, like an MBA, require a few years of work experience. This will require students to work for a few years after their undergraduate degree and then apply for post-graduation and work experience. 

The above situations are all perfect reasons for gap years. You can clarify such situations by submitting proof of employment while applying for the study license. 

5. Preparing for Government Jobs

Many graduates aspire to land a job in the government sector upon graduating. Students take a year off after school or college and invest the effort to prepare for government recruitment examinations. 


Preparing for Government JobsSource:



The gap year allows students to prepare for exams without any pressure from schoolwork. 

Students can prepare for the exams and then enrol in an undergraduate or postgraduate programme while they attempt to clear the exam. It is a reasonable excuse when you apply for a Canadian visa with a gap in your education. 

6. Upskilling

A major reason students take a year off after graduation is to learn skills their degree program could not provide them. This might include learning new languages, soft skills, writing, etc. 


Preparing for Government JobsSource:

Canadian universities appreciate such initiatives from the students and will not mind if you can substantiate your claim with proof. 

It might even give you a better chance of getting into a postgraduate programme at a Canadian university. 

7. Financial Issues

It is an excellent reason for gap years in study. People might need time to save up to pay for their higher education in Canada. 

It may require them to work for a year or two, sell a property, etc. Some universities recognize this as being reasonable. But only some universities in Canada take the same stance. 

Why Opt for Higher Education in Canada?

Canadian universities help students with great research ideas and award scholarships based on research work. 


Why Opt for Higher Education in Canada?Source:



Here’s a list of reasons why you should opt for a postgraduate degree in Canada 

  • Affordable education
  • Abundant research opportunities
  • Possibility of working in Canada after graduating
  • Healthy, inclusive, and safe communities
  • Work and internship opportunities while studying

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is a study gap acceptable in Canada?

Ans: Yes, it is. Plenty of universities in Canada accept student applications with educational gaps. Students can justify the gap with valid explanations and proof. Universities accept that it is common for Indian students to have study gaps for numerous reasons. Students can also take a gap year to prepare for entrance or language proficiency exams. 

Q2. How much gap is accepted for study in Canada?

Ans: There is a 2-year study gap for students applying to pursue undergraduate degrees and 5 years for a postgraduate degree. Getting a Canadian student visa might be difficult if your study gap exceeds the average acceptable duration. But you can justify your study gap with valid reasons and documentation. 

Q3. How much gap is acceptable for study in Canada after the 12th?

Ans: You can choose to pursue your higher education in Canada after completing your 12th grade. Students can afford a gap of up to two years after completing their 12th grade. It can be harder to get into a programme if the gap is any higher. 

Q4. Can I clear my Canada student visa gap?

Ans: There is no way to get rid of the gaps in education. Instead, you can submit documents to prove your claims to justify the study gap. Most universities are considerate of genuine reasons and will consider your application even if you have a gap. Documents like experience letters, offer letters, salary slips, medical certificates, etc., are accepted by universities and colleges in Canada. 

Q5. Can my application be rejected if I have a study gap?

Ans:  This is a tricky question. You can always justify the gap with acceptable reasons. But if you cannot provide proper evidence or if your reason is unacceptable from the university’s point of view, there is a high chance that they will reject your application. If you’re planning on taking a year off and going to Canada after that, make sure you spend the year productively, engaging in activities that Canadian universities might accept. 

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