If you are interested in applying to a residency position in the United States (US), then this page is for you.

The application process for residency positions in the US is administered by CaRMS’ American counterpart, the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The main residency match itself is managed by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

Review the information below for more details on how you apply to a residency position in the US.

Notes regarding documents:

The only documents CaRMS can upload for applicants are MSPRs and transcripts. Photographs must be uploaded directly by applicants through MyERAS. All letters of reference must be provided by referees via the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP). Referees requiring assistance may contact the ERAS help desk.

Step 1: Apply to the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

If you are a Canadian medical graduate and wish to participate in the US match, you must register with ERAS. Please note that the ERAS system is a completely separate system from CaRMS Online.

CaRMS acts as the Dean’s Office for Canadian medical students and graduates (i.e. students studying in Canada and graduates of Canadian medical schools) applying to positions through ERAS in the United States. This means that to participate in the US match, you must first register for ERAS through CaRMS.

Registration for the ERAS 2023 season opens June 8, 2022.

CaRMS’ ERAS registration services are currently closed for routine system maintenance. They will reopen on June 16, 2021 at 13:00 ET.

Once you have completed the registration process, you will be sent a token via email.

Please note that if you would like to apply for specialized graduate training in fellowship programs in the US you must contact the ERAS Fellowship Documents Office (EFDO).

If you are applying to both US and Canadian programs, it is your responsibility to ensure that your transcript and MSPR are uploaded to your MyERAS account. Please make your request to eras@carms.ca. CaRMS must receive your documents at least one week prior to the ERAS deadlines.

Please read individual ERAS program descriptions carefully, as application deadlines and document requirements vary among programs.

For more information regarding ERAS, please visit the Association of American Medical Colleges website: https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/eras/.

The complete list of programs participating in ERAS can be found at: https://services.aamc.org/eras/erasstats/par/.

To contact an ERAS representative at CaRMS, please email eras@carms.ca.

Step 2: Apply to CaRMS and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

In order to facilitate the process for applicants who wish to participate in both the US and Canadian matches, CaRMS and the NRMP operate a mapping program to manage matches that may occur in both countries.

You may register for both matches and apply to Canadian and US programs, with the understanding that whichever match is run first takes precedence. In most years, you will be able to submit a rank order list to both the NRMP and CaRMS. However, in some exceptional years (e.g., if match schedules do not align) this may not apply.

If you are matched to an R-1 position through CaRMS’ first iteration, you will automatically and without any notification be withdrawn from the NRMP—and vice-versa, should the NRMP match occur first in a given year.

If, for any reason, you are released from either the Canadian match contract or the US match contract, you are not necessarily eligible for the second iteration of the CaRMS match in the same year, applicant release policies apply.

Please visit the NRMP website for more information on the NRMP match.

Second iteration match and NRMP match

The NRMP’s Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) can be viewed as equivalent to CaRMS’ second iteration, in which unfilled positions of the first iteration are available in a second round. SOAP is also known as the “scramble”. If you are accepted to a position in the US through the SOAP, you will be automatically withdrawn from the second iteration of the CaRMS R-1 match.

Please visit the NRMP website for more information on the NRMP match.

Step 3: Apply for the J-1 visa

The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States Department of State through US embassies and consulates. Canadian medical graduates planning to attend medical residency programs in the United States must apply to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) for J-1 visa eligibility once a residency training contract has been obtained. For more information, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange.html.

The J-1 visa application to ECFMG must include a ‘ministry of health letter’ or ‘Statement of Need’ from Health Canada. The Statement of Need / J-1 Visa program is administered by Health Canada with direction from the provinces and territories. To apply please contact Health Canada or go to the Health Canada website.

Health Canada contact: j1visa@hc-sc.gc.ca

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