Application to the US (ERAS)

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 for 2017 matches:
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 (note: registration for 2017 matches has closed).

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).

Documents that will be used for both ERAS and CaRMS will require a coversheet from each system. If you are applying to both US and Canadian programs, we recommend that you send two copies of all of your documents and clearly identify your documents by writing “CaRMS/ERAS Documents” on your envelope. CaRMS must receive your documents at least on week prior to the ERAS deadlines. You are responsible for notifying CaRMS that your documents have been delivered to CaRMS in a timely manner.

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 fully in both the US and Canadian matches, CaRMS honours the contract for the US NRMP Match.

You may register for both matches and apply to Canadian and US programs, with the understanding that the CaRMS match is run before the NRMP match. You can submit a rank order list to both the NRMP and CaRMS.

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.

If, for any reason, you are released from either the Canadian match contract or the US match contract, you are NOT eligible for the second iteration of the CaRMS match in the same year because you are deemed to be a matched applicant.

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: http://canada.usembassy.gov/visas/visas/student-and-exchange-visas.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