Information for International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

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We know it can be overwhelming and confusing to find the information you need and there are a lot of different sites that have great information available to International Medical Graduates (IMGs). We have compiled some of this great information into one spot for you, and we encourage you to explore these great resources!

Resources from Organizations

CaRMS

To participate in the R-1 match, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • be a medical student or graduate who has obtained, or is in the process of obtaining, a medical degree by July 1 of the match year from an institution that meets one of the following criteria:
    • A school of osteopathic medicine; or
    • An international medical school listed with the World Directory of Medical Schools.

have written and passed:

  • the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination; and
  • the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part I

Some provinces may allow exceptions to either exam. Refer to the Summary of MCC Examination requirements.

First and Second Iteration

The R-1 match is run in two phases, called iterations.

The first iteration of the match is open to applicants who have had no previous RCPSC/CFPC/ACGME accredited postgraduate training. Preliminary training in the United States is considered accredited postgraduate training for the purposes of R-1 match first iteration eligibility.

The second iteration of the match is open to:

applicants that were eligible for the first iteration but did not apply or did not match; and

applicants who are only eligible for the second iteration based on the provincial criteria and previous postgraduate training.

Additional Requirements

You will be required to have obtained your Medical Identification Number for Canada (MINC) and enter it into your application.

In addition to basic eligibility requirements, there are also individual provincial requirements established at the provincial level. Refer to the provincial criteria of the province you are interested in training in, as well as the program descriptions for more information.

US Med Grads — R-1 Summary of intake criteria for USMGs*

Medical Council of Canada

Route to Licensure — Becoming a practising physician in Canada

Royal College

International medical graduates — Obtaining a licence to practise in Canada

Resources from Faculties

Definitions

Parallel: IMGs apply to a separate stream of positions than Canadian graduates in one or more disciplines.

Competitive: IMGs apply to the same positions as Canadian graduates in all disciplines.

Dalhousie University 

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Competitive

Sponsored residency training at Dalhousie

Guidelines state that Dalhousie is unable to award a residency training position to a citizen of another country unless there are no qualified Canadian citizens or landed immigrants of Canada for the job. An exception may sometimes occur when a trainee’s own government or similar agency funds his/her training at Dalhousie. Trainees accepted under such an arrangement are referred to as internationally-sponsored or visa trainees.

Acceptable sponsorship

Sponsorship must be from a government or a healthcare institution. Private, family or business funding is not acceptable. The PGME office requires the government/healthcare institution (sponsor) to guarantee a trainee’s financial support for the entire length of their training. It also requires that on completion of training, the trainee return to their home country.

The sponsoring government or healthcare institution must indicate to the PGME office that they are willing to sponsor the trainee with a Return of Service (ROS) contract. The PGME office requires a signed copy of this contract, as well as the sponsor’s contractual agreement to pay an appropriate salary and benefits, administrative fees and additional annual costs for the trainee. This agreement must be approved by the sponsoring healthcare institution/government and Dalhousie University legal office before any training can occur.

Sponsors interested in entering into such an agreement with Dalhousie are advised to contact the visa trainee manager, Charles Hsuen at charlesh@dal.ca, through the PGME office.

Note: Successful visa trainee candidates should anticipate a lengthy immigration process which includes obtaining a work permit (and its required approvals), and a Temporary Resident Entry Visa. This process can take up to 6 months to complete.

Details regarding requirements can be requested from visaimgdesk@dal.ca

Visa trainee requirements

For all candidates applying through the visa sponsored track, a pass in the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE) or Proof of Performance of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exams (MCCQE) (part 1). 

Internationally Sponsored (Visa) Trainees

McGill University

1st Iteration — Competitive

2nd Iteration — Competitive

The McGill Faculty of Medicine has postgraduate training agreements with a number of organizations. These agreements allow all eligible International Medical Graduates (sponsored by contracts) to complete their Residency and Fellowship training in any of McGill’s 70 Residency programs and 240 Fellowship programs.

Currently, the Faculty of Medicine’s Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office has postgraduate training agreements with the following organizations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, UAE

International Medical Graduates (sponsored by contracts) must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be medical doctors who graduated from medical schools listed in the FAIMER World Directory of Medical Schools.
  • Have secured funding from their government, embassy or other sponsoring agency.
  • All non-Canadian International Medical Graduates must sign a written statement committing to return to their country of origin at the end of their training, and attest that they will not apply for permanent residency status, nor write the licensure/certification examinations in Quebec.

Applicants to Fellowship programs must have satisfactorily completed Residency training as well as Board Certification.

International Medical Graduate Process

McMaster University

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

Pre-Entry Assessment Program (PEAP)

  • Minimum of 4-weeks
  • Maximum of 12-weeks
  • Can be extended up to an additional 4-weeks with the approval of the PGME Associate Dean and in accordance with PGME’s PEAP Principles, Guidelines and Process
  • Extension is not to be used for the purpose of remediation

PEAP assessments are to be completed in accordance with PGME’s PEAP Principles, Guidelines and Processes. 

PEAP assessments are to be completed at:

  • 4-weeks
  • 8-weeks
  • 12-weeks

IMG CaRMS Matched PGY1

Memorial University of Newfoundland

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Competitive

When funding and capacity permits, a second parallel stream, designated for IMGs (including US Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) graduates) without prior postgraduate training, is sometimes available in the first iteration.

All positions that remain unfilled after the first iteration of the CaRMS match are competitive and open to all eligible candidates (i.e. CMG, USMG, IMG, DO) in the second iteration. Individuals who match in a designated IMG stream are required to sign a return of service (ROS) contract with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador prior to starting their residency.

NOSM University

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

Assessment Verification Period (AVP)

  • All IMGs must complete as per College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) requirements for licensing 
  • Twelve (12) weeks at beginning of residency with temporary license 
  • Assess clinical skills, technical skills, knowledge and judgement, communication, and professionalism  
  • Evaluations at two (2), eight (8) and ten (10) weeks with Preceptor 
  • Three (3) half-day observation sessions with supervisor who is not AVP preceptor  
  • Final Assessment with Program Director  
  • Option to appeal if unsuccessful. If the appeal is successful, repeat AVP. 

IMG Peer Mentorship Program

NOSM University has a Peer Mentorship Program, where incoming IMG residents are matched with mentors based on a few criteria (when able to). It is believed that matching incoming residents with current residents or faculty members (former IMG residents), who share some level or commonality will help the incoming resident settle-in a lot quicker and feel comfortable /at home. The 2023-2024 IMG Peer Mentorship Program pairs have been assigned. If you have any questions about this program, please contact the PGME IMG Coordinator.

Queen’s University

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

IMGs Residing in Ontario

Ontario is pleased to welcome applications from International Medical Graduates to postgraduate residency programs in the province.  More than 200 spaces are available at the six medical schools in Ontario and there are two routes of entry.

Entry-Level Residency Positions

IMGs apply directly for entry-level post graduate training positions, dedicated for IMGs, through the matching service administered by the Canadian Residency Matching Services (CaRMS). All IMGs who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and meet the CaRMS application criteria can apply.

IMGs Residing outside of Ontario

Postgraduate training is available to international medical graduates who are citizens of countries outside of North America, who have satisfactorily met the licensing and Visa requirements for postgraduate training in Ontario, and who can provide official documentation that their postgraduate training will be completely funded through a government agency or charitable organization. Private or personal funds are not acceptable nor permissible. Applicants must provide and sign a “letter of intent” indicating that they will be returning to their home country following completion of training at Queen’s University.

To be eligible for consideration, candidates must have satisfactorily passed the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination and, if applicable, the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Candidates must also meet all the entry requirements of the Department to which they are applying.

Applications should be sent to our office through the agency providing the funding. The funding agency should be prepared to fund the Resident’s salary and benefits at the rate stated in the current PARO/CAHO Agreement. There will also be an annual tuition fee applied to the appointment.

Admission to Residency Programs

University of Alberta

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

Eligibility Criteria

The following is the list of eligibility and supporting document requirements for all applicants to the Alberta International Medical Graduate (AIMG) Program.

To complete the 2024 Cycle application, all of the following is required:

  • Submission of the online AIMG Program application,
  • Submission of the supporting documents via upload, and
  • Sharing of profile and documents through physiciansapply.ca
  • Supporting documentation is comprised of documents which substantiate the information provided by the applicant on the AIMG Program online application form.

Note: Meeting the AIMG Program eligibility requirements listed here, in addition to completing a 2024 Cycle MMI, will allow candidates to participate in the 2024 CaRMS match for IMG-designated residency positions in Alberta.  Residency programs may ask for additional criteria over and above the AIMG Program eligibility requirements.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure these have been met.

Applicants should confirm that they meet the intake criteria for Alberta IMG-designated positions through CaRMS before initiating an AIMG Program application.

Please be familiar with the Application Process and “The Fine Print” (Terms and Conditions, Rules of Conduct, Document Verification, and Application Fee) along with these Eligibility and Supporting Document Requirements before preparing an application.

Administrative Exceptions: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their supporting documentation substantiates the information provided on their AIMG Program online application form.  Any exceptions to the supporting document requirements described for each eligibility requirement as well as any inconsistencies within the applicant’s supporting documents must be identified and addressed through the online survey provided on the Administrative Exceptions webpage which is available from May 01 – 26, 2023.  There is no need to request an administrative exception prior to application for the 2024 Cycle. 

AIMG Eligibility and Supporting Documents Requirements

University of British Columbia

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Competitive

Postgraduate Medical Education International Medical Graduate Program

The Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) International Medical Graduate (IMG) Program is a patient-focused initiative. The program supports equitable access to government-funded health services for B.C. residents. It also provides IMG participants with an opportunity to train and qualify as a practising physician in B.C. IMGs are a diverse group of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have completed their medical education at medical schools outside of Canada or the U.S.

Since 2006, the Province of British Columbia has funded the residency positions of hundreds of participants. In exchange, participants complete a Return of Service (ROS) following completion of their residency.

International Medical Graduates – BC

University of Calgary

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

University of Manitoba

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel/Competitive

Program details

The International Medical Graduate (IMG) programs offer multiple streams to enable you to practice medicine in Manitoba. Two assessment programs and a training program are augmented by mandatory orientation and mentorship opportunities to help you better understand and adapt to the Canadian healthcare system.

The IMG programs are for:

  • IMGs who want to work in Manitoba
  • IMGs who have completed their postgraduate training with rotations that are acceptable to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM), the licensing body
  • IMGs who meet our eligibility requirements

U of M International Medical Graduate (IMG) Programs

University of Ottawa

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

If admitted, all IMG residents must undergo an Assessment Verification Period (AVP) of twelve (12) weeks prior to the commencement of their residency program.

Residents must also sign a Return of service (ROS) agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Health.

University of Saskatchewan

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Competitive

The program is designed to provide supports to International Medical Graduates (anyone who received their undergraduate medical training outside of a Canadian accredited school) who reside in Saskatchewan. They will have access to information, education, and opportunities to enhance their chance of matching to residency programs, or to find meaningful alternative healthcare careers in the province.

There are two streams of the program:

Stream 1 – Study, Information and Interview Supports

You will be provided with access to an online learning management system (Canvas) with continually updated information and resources to help navigate your way through medical examinations and interact with other international medical graduates.  You will have access to CaRMS application support, including interview preparation.

Stream 2 – Alternate Health Careers

Through career counselling, referrals and discussing educational options, you will be supported in the development of a career action plan. This is intended to assist you in entering a fulfilling and rewarding alternate health career.  Resources are also available on the online learning management system (Canvas) with continually updated information.  You will have access to assistance with Resume writing and interview preparation.

What is the IMG Support Program?

University of Toronto

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

Pre-Entry Assessment Program (PEAP)

Who enrols in the PEAP?

The PEAP is mandatory for international medical graduates (IMGs) entering residency training outside the CaRMS match process, for IMGs entering clinical fellowship training, or for IMGs entering elective residency training (but only if the IMG’s home residency program is outside Canada and the U.S.).

How long is the PEAP?

For residents and clinical fellows, the PEAP must be at least four weeks and no more than twelve weeks in duration. It can be extended to a total of 16 weeks in special circumstances, such as illness, a leave of absence or supervisor unavailability. The PEAP for out-of-country elective residents is two weeks in duration and is completed concurrently with the elective rotation.

How is the PEAP for residents different from the PEAP for fellows?

The PEAP for residents is an assessment of the IMG to determine if they can function at the level of an Ontario medical school graduate and enter a residency program. The PEAP for fellows is an assessment of the IMG to determine if they can function at the level of an Ontario resident who has completed their primary certification and enter a fellowship program. Residency training begins for the IMG only after they have successfully completed the PEAP. IMGs enrolled in the PEAP for fellows, on the other hand, are able to count their activity during the PEAP towards the fulfilment of the educational goals and objectives of the clinical fellowship. The two-week PEAP for elective residents from international residency programs takes place concurrently with the elective.

Is there special consideration for an IMG who needs help in order to pass the PEAP?

The PEAP is an assessment process to confirm whether or not the IMG has the general knowledge and competency appropriate for practice in the discipline, as well as the language proficiency sufficient for safe and effective medical practice. It is not a period of preparation for training . The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) will not approve an extension of the PEAP for remedial purposes.

What is the difference between failing and withdrawing from the PEAP?

Failure in the PEAP is final. If the candidate is unsuccessful in the PEAP the CPSO will not permit them to enter another PEAP in the same discipline in Ontario. The CPSO will communicate the result to all Ontario medical schools. Withdrawal from the PEAP for personal reasons allows the candidate to enter the PEAP again at a later date.

Can some international medical graduates be exempted from the PEAP?

Yes, a non-Canadian IMG entering residency training at the University of Toronto can be exempted from the PEAP if they have recently completed at least one year of residency training in Canada or the U.S. or if they are taking up residency training in the same discipline as a residency they have already completed in Canada or the U.S. An IMG can be exempted from the PEAP for fellows if they have completed one year or more of clinical fellowship in the same discipline in Canada or the U.S. The Program Director can always require an IMG to complete the PEAP regardless of their eligibility for PEAP exemption.

Université de Laval

1st Iteration — Competitive

2nd Iteration — Competitive

Université de Montréal

1st Iteration — Competitive

2nd Iteration — Competitive

The University of Montreal is a French-language university, and the medical program is taught in French. If you have not previously studied in French, you must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the French language to be eligible for admission to the medical program, i.e. a score of at least 850/990 on the TFI (see section 2, Knowledge of French). Knowledge of English is not mandatory, although it is an advantage, for example when consulting recommended volumes or publications.

2. I started my medical studies at a medical school outside Quebec, but I’d like to finish them at the University of Montreal. Is a transfer possible?

It is not possible to transfer from another medical school to ours. However, if you meet the general eligibility requirements, particularly with regard to the post-secondary diploma required, prior scientific training and knowledge of the French language (see Admission to the Doctor of Medicine program), you can apply for admission like any other candidate. However, we have no special category for candidates who have already completed or are currently completing medical studies outside Quebec. Your application will be classified as either a Quebec university applicant, a French-speaking applicant outside Quebec, or an international applicant, depending on your residency status on the application deadline date. Your application will be evaluated according to the same criteria (quality of application and interview performance) as other candidates in your category. If you are offered admission, the Admissions Committee will decide to which level of our program you will be admitted.

Please remember that the evaluation of your academic record takes into consideration all your university results, including those obtained during your pre-medical and medical studies, if applicable.

3. I’m a Canadian citizen (or landed immigrant) but not a resident of Quebec. Am I eligible for the University of Montreal medical program?

Yes, you are eligible in two categories.  If you meet the conditions of the agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, or if you qualify as a French-speaking applicant from a Canadian province where medical studies are not offered in French. Please note that the Faculty currently has three places in the first category and one place in the second category.

4. I’m not a Canadian citizen (or landed immigrant). What are my chances of being admitted to medical school?

First of all, make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements for the International Applicant category, particularly with regard to the post-secondary diploma and previous scientific training required. Please note that there is only one place available for candidates of foreign nationality, although we receive dozens of eligible applications every year. As with all other categories of applicants, the first stage of the selection process is based solely on the excellence of your academic record, established by equivalence of results according to international standards.

5. Can my application be considered taking into account external circumstances that have affected my academic results?

Academic results are evaluated solely on the basis of transcripts, without taking into account any extenuating personal circumstances, such as major health problems or the death of a loved one, marital or family difficulties, extracurricular activities that are too demanding, etc. The calculation of college grades is based solely on the student’s academic record. Calculations of college (CRC) and university (CRU) performance ratings follow precise, known rules with predetermined adjustments that apply to groups of candidates (see sections 3A and 3B of the Admissions Guide). R ratings are intended to provide the greatest possible equality of opportunity for all candidates in a given category. This is a matter of fairness and equity. These are unfortunate situations, but all academic records must therefore be evaluated in the same way, without special considerations for one, two or three individuals.

6. What documents do I need to submit with my application?

The Faculty of Medicine does not require any documents other than those requested by the University’s Admissions and Recruitment Department. For example, you don’t need to send a cover letter, letter of recommendation, autobiographical notes, curriculum vitae or proof of social or community involvement. You will find all the information you need on the documents to provide and the deadlines to respect on the following website: www.futursetudiants.umontreal.ca.

7. After reading all the information available on your website, I can’t find an answer to a question about my eligibility. Who can I contact?

You can write to us at admission-md@umontreal.ca or call us at 514 343-6111 #17308.

Join the Faculty of Medicine as an international student

Université de Sherbrooke

1st Iteration — Competitive

2nd Iteration — Competitive

International students

Western University

1st Iteration — Parallel

2nd Iteration — Parallel

An International Medical Graduate is a trainee who obtained their medical degree outside of Canada. They are either a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, and apply for residency training through CaRMS.

Services for IMGs

Touchstone Institute provides education programs for international medical graduates (IMGs) and visa trainees who have been matched or have accepted a medical training position in Ontario. Through our competency-based programs, we offer curriculum, orientation, support and services to prepare participants from various training backgrounds for a successful transition into residency training.

National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) examination becomes Mandatory.

International Medical Graduate (IMG)

Student Success

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Applicants
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We know it can be overwhelming and confusing to find the information you need and there are a lot of different sites that have great information available to International Medical Graduates (IMGs). We have compiled some of this great information into one spot for you, and we encourage you to

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If you did not match in this year’s CaRMS first round, you still have options. We have compiled some resources to help you through this process.

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