Traveling on a gap
Ensure your study permit and entry document (Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization) are valid to return to Canada, if necessary. See our Travelling to Canada guide to learn about what documents to prepare before you travel.
If you have not registered for courses before returning to Canada, request a letter from your academic advisor or graduate staff before re-entering Canada. This letter should state that you are eligible to return to your program of studies at the end of your gap. Upon return to Canada, if you are asked by an officer, present this letter along with any documentation of your break (e.g., leave approval from G+PS if applicable, copies of plane tickets proving when you left Canada, etc.).
Study permit extension during a gap
After your gap, you can resume studies on your current study permit if it is still valid. A gap in studies does not cause your study permit or Temporary Resident Visa to become invalid.
If your study permit will expire during your gap, contact International Student Advising before the expiry date to discuss your options to apply for a study permit from inside or outside Canada. You may need to provide additional documents to explain how you plan to resume your studies.
Medical Services Plan (MSP)
It is very important to maintain valid health insurance at all times to avoid overwhelming medical bills and help you access the health support you need when you need it. Your MSP coverage is usually valid for the same length as your study permit.
If you will leave Canada for an extended time or your study permit will expire during your gap, see our MSP page for information on next steps.
AMS/GSS/UBCSUO Health and Dental
Check if you maintain eligibility for the Alma Mater Society (AMS), Graduate Student Society (GSS), or UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) Health and Dental Plan. Coverage ends on August 31 each year and you must have basic health insurance, such as MSP, to be able to make a claim.
Social Insurance Number
Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) remains valid until the expiry date, however you can only work in Canada if you are enrolled full-time for immigration purposes, or are eligible to work on a scheduled break. Having a valid SIN is not sufficient to work in Canada.
If your common-law partner or spouse has a work permit as a result of your study permit, it remains valid until the expiry date indicated on the work permit unless there is a condition which says otherwise.
If you have children, they may continue to study with or without a study permit while your study permit is valid, even if you have applied for visitor status.
However, if you are on visitor status due to taking a gap of 150 days or more and your study permit and your spouse’s open study or work permit has expired, your children must obtain their own study permit.
See documentation for your family for more information and contact International Student Advising for support.
Scholarships/awards or other funding
If you are currently receiving funding, such as a fellowship, scholarship or award, check with your funding agency to see if taking a gap will impact your eligibility.
If you are an undergraduate student and have financial assistance or awards, check with an Enrolment Services Advisor to see if taking a gap will affect your funding.
If you are a graduate student and receive funding, check with your graduate program staff to see if taking a gap will affect your funding.
Eligibility for on-campus housing
Ask about your eligibility to remain in on-campus housing with Student Housing and Community Services.