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Study Gap for UK Student Visa from Nigeria

You may want to take a break from your studies before applying to study in the UK; but do study gaps impact your UK Study visa and do UK universities offer courses for international students?

Immigration Advice Service (IAS) can help you apply for a Study visa in the UK and provide advice on your study gap. Call us on +44 (0) 331630092 and +23413438882, or message us online.

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Overview of Study Gaps

Many people may need to take a break from their studies, perhaps because they need to work for a while or for another reason, and many applicants worry that it may impact their Student visa application.

Study gaps are accepted in the UK and you will still be able to receive a Student visa and apply to many university courses in the UK. However, it is important to note that you may need to provide evidence as a study gap over a certain length may be considered a ‘red flag’ to the Home Office.

What Is a Study Gap?

A study gap is usually a significant break, typically around one year, between your previous qualification and beginning your degree course, although many international students have breaks longer than this.

You may choose to have a study gap for many different reasons. You may want to work for a while, get work experience, study for prerequisite course qualifications, or perhaps you have experienced a family or medical emergency that has prevented you from continuing your education.

Can I Get a Study Visa if I Have a Study Gap?

Yes, people can still successfully apply for a Study visa if they have had a break from their studies. While a study gap is acceptable, a significant gap without a good reason may affect the credibility of your application to the Home Office.

If you have a good student record, work experience or a valid reason for your gap, then evidence of these reasons will support your visa application in the UK and should not affect the decision on your visa.

Although a gap may not affect your visa application, it can affect your chances of getting acceptance into a University (without acceptance into a school, you can’t get a student visa). Usually, if you are an undergraduate and want to graduate in the UK, up to a 2-year gap is accepted. This increases to 5 years if you are applying for a postgraduate programme, although some universities offer courses for international students who have had up to an 8-year gap.

Get in touch with our experts for guidance on UK visa applications from Nigeria.

Study Gap Requirements for UK Student Visas

When applying for your visa, you have to share the reason and provide evidence for your study gap with UK immigration. You can submit different evidence to your visa application depending on the reason for your study gap, for example:

  • Work experience: If you have taken a break to earn money or gain work experience, you could submit a letter of experience from your employer or a payslip
  • Exams/Courses: You may need some time to take or prepare for a short course or an exam, for example, your IELTS exam. For this, you can attach the certificate for your course for your visa application
  • Family difficulties: Many people need to take a break from their studies due to their family situation; when applying you can provide the Home Office with details of your family situation to explain the gap
  • Health issues: Some people may face challenges with their health that interfere with their education; in this case, you will need to provide a medical certificate, report or details of any treatment received during your study gap

This list does not contain the only accepted reasons for a study gap, and you may have taken a break for other reasons. Whatever reason you have for delaying your studies, include it in your visa application with evidence to help the Home Office with making a decision.

In some cases, for example, gaining work experience or taking extra exams, the reason for your study gap may support your visa and university application as these reasons show that you are dedicated and hard-working.

If you have any questions about the reason for your study gap and if it will impact your visa application, call IAS today on +44 (0) 3316300929 and +23413438882 for specialist advice and help gathering the documents to support your application.

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How Much Gap Is Accepted for Study in the UK?

Typically, the maximum acceptable study gap for applying for university is 2 years for an undergraduate degree and 5 years for a postgraduate degree.

However, many universities in the UK accept international students with a study gap of up to 10 years; although for these longer gaps, you will have to show valid reasons to the university and may have to explain how you mean to catch up.

Most importantly, you must be honest and transparent about your reasons, both to the university and the Home Office and if possible, focus on the positives. When explaining why you took a break, try to highlight your personal growth and learning, or how the study gap will support your continued studies in the UK.

What Universities in the UK Accept a Study Gap?

Many universities offer places for international students who have had a study gap, even if you have a backlog in your studies. Some universities include:

  • Bangor University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Brunel University
  • Coventry University
  • Cranfield University
  • The University of Bradford
  • Kingston University London
  • Swansea University
  • Lead Beckett University
  • Bath Spa University

For information on UK visa application processes, speak with us today.

How Can IAS Help?

If you have concerns about how your study gap may impact your Student visa, what evidence you need to provide, or how to explain your circumstances in a positive light, IAS can help. We are immigration experts who have helped many Nigerians with their visas and immigration needs and can provide advice unique to your circumstances.

Call us today on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929, or contact us online, to speak to a friendly advisor.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

To apply as an international student, you must be above 16 years old, have an offer on a course by a licensed student sponsor, have enough money to pay to support yourself and your course, and be able to speak, read, write and understand English. There is no upper age limit.

Some UK universities accept international students who have had a 10- to 12-year study gap, as long as the reason for their break is valid.

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