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Implications of Taking a Gap for International Students

Imagine this: you've just received a call from home - there's a family emergency that requires your immediate attention. Or perhaps you've been feeling under the weather lately and decided to take some time off to recover. These scenarios often lead to a gap in your studies, a decision that carries significant implications for your immigration status in Canada.


Understanding the Implications of Taking a Gap as an International Student


A gap in studies can occur due to various reasons such as health issues, family emergencies, or being in-between programs. For international students, implications of Taking a Gap as an International Student could be:


  • Your current student status in Canada

  • Your eligibility to work on and off campus

  • Your future eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

The type and length of the gap can affect whether you are considered to be actively pursuing studies during this period. Gaps of 150 days or less are generally seen as actively pursuing studies, provided they fall under certain categories like deferring your program start date or switching programs at your institution.


According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there are a few cases where you may be able to take a leave of up to a maximum of 150 days from your program of studies and still be considered to be actively pursuing your studies. These cases include:

  • Deferring your program start date after arrival in Canada

  • Switching programs

  • Changing institutions (whether you completed a program or not)

  • Authorized leave of absence

  • Undergraduate students on a scheduled break in the summer session

  • Strike or school closure

However, if you take a gap that is longer than 150 days or that is not authorized by your school or IRCC, you may not be considered to be actively pursuing your studies and may lose your student status and your eligibility for a PGWP. You may also have to leave Canada when your study permit expires or apply for a visitor visa to stay in Canada legally.


Real Stories, Real People

John, a bright student from India, found himself amidst a family crisis that demanded his presence back home. With our guidance, he navigated through the immigration pathways, ensuring his student status remained intact. Today, he's back, pursuing his dreams at a prestigious Canadian university.

Picture of a girl thinking about taking a gap as an international student. This section will be answering common questions about taking a gap.

Q: What happens if my gap extends beyond 150 days?

A: If your gap extends beyond 150 days, you must take action before this period is over. You could apply for a Visitor Record, hold a work permit unrelated to studies (if eligible), leave Canada, or resume your studies.


Q: Can I work during my gap?

A: Once you're no longer enrolled in full-time studies, your eligibility to work in Canada ceases during the academic term and the scheduled breaks surrounding your gap.


Q: How does a gap affect my Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

A: Generally, a gap considered as actively pursuing studies for less than 150 days should not impact your PGWP eligibility. However, it's crucial to collect documents related to your gap for future immigration applications.


Engage with Us


We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions, or suggest topics for our future blogs. Your interaction enriches our community with diverse perspectives. Explore our other blogs covering essential topics like student visas, study permits, healthcare, work permits, and PNP applications.


Your Journey, Our Expertise


At Ansari Immigration, we understand the challenges and opportunities that international students face in Canada. That’s why we offer a range of immigration services to help you achieve your academic and career goals, such as:

Every student's journey is unique, filled with aspirations and uncertainties. Our role is to simplify the complex immigration landscape, ensuring your Canadian dream remains within reach. Reach out to Ansari Immigration, your reliable immigration consultant, and let's navigate the Canadian Immigration waters together.



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