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.
You should also bring your Letter of Enrollment from the SSC (under ‘Grades and records’) if registered, your unofficial transcript from the SSC, and proof of finances (such as a bank statement showing funds available).
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
If your study permit will expire during your gap, contact an International Student Advisor well in advance (3-4 months) before the expiry date. You may need to provide additional documents to explain how you plan to resume your studies.
Eligibility to work
If you take a gap in studies, you are not eligible to work on or off campus using your study permit during the gap.
You also cannot use a co-op work permit, if you have one.
Note: students on a scheduled break are eligible to work if meeting eligibility requirements.
To work legally during a gap in studies, you would need a work permit, for which students are normally not eligible. International Student Advisors cannot provide case-specific advice on work permits unrelated to studies.
Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
Taking a gap may impact your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after studies, particularly for gaps 150 days or longer.
Taking a gap which is considered to be actively pursuing studies might not impact your eligibility for the PGWP.
Reporting to IRCC
UBC is required to report to IRCC on your enrolment status twice a year based on UBC’s definitions for immigration purposes.
UBC definitions for immigration purposes
Students who are on a gap in studies will be reported as being ‘no longer registered/enrolled’ or on ‘authorized leave’ (for graduate programs with leaves of absences policies only).
Medical Services Plan (MSP)
It is very important to maintain valid health insurance at all times. 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 relies on your basic health insurance, such as MSP.
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.
If you have children, they may continue to study 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. For more information, see: documentation for your family.
If you are currently receiving funding, such as a fellowship, scholarship or award, check with your funding agency if taking a gap will impact your eligibility.
Eligibility for on-campus housing
Confirm your eligibility to remain in on-campus housing with Student Housing and Hospitality Services.
Last updated October 8.