Health Workforce Planning Branch

International Medical Graduates (IMG)

Eligibility to Practise

IMGs are a valuable part of Ontario’s health care system and play an important role in providing care to Ontarians. The province offers 200 entry level post-graduate training positions annually for IMGs.

Please be advised that all IMGs in an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funded resident training position must execute a five- year Return of Service (ROS) Agreement.

Where to Get Information

An IMG's eligibility for practice in Ontario - and the processes he or she must follow - depends on education and practice experience.

IMGs living in Ontario are encouraged to contact the HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency’s Access Centre. The Access Centre provides intensive case management service to health care professionals, including IMGs, in order to provide support through the licensure and registration process. Advisors help IMGs find the most effective path into practice in the province and explain the steps they need to take.

Obtaining Postgraduate Training

The 200 entry level training positions offered to IMGs annually are a combination of family medicine residencies (two years) and specialty residencies (four or more years). IMGs apply directly for residency positions through the Canadian Resident Matching Services (CaRMS).

IMGs who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and meet the CaRMS application criteria can apply.

The ministry is not involved in placing or selecting candidates for these positions. The medical schools are responsible for selecting successful candidates for the program.

IMGs who are successful in securing a post-graduate training position must attend a mandatory Pre-Residency Program (PRP) conducted by Touchstone Institute. The PRP is a 2- 3 week orientation program held in Toronto. Family Medicine residents also complete an additional week of PRP, called PRP-FM.

Touchstone Institute also provides additional resources and assessment supports for IMGs, including The Canadian Medicine Primer (CMP) for visa trainees and administers the Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination (IGOEE) and National Assessment Collaboration (NAC). For more information, please visit the Touchstone Institute.

IMGs can also apply directly to the medical schools for subspecialty position programs offered outside of the CaRMS. IMGs can also enter into an Ontario funded training position through a transfer from another province.

All ministry-funded IMG training programs in Ontario, including subspecialty positions and out of province transfers, have ROS requirements.

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Return of Service Agreements

IMGs who accept a residency position must provide five years of full-time service in an eligible community (anywhere in Ontario except Ottawa, Toronto, Pickering, Markham, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga). Physicians confirm their commitment by signing an ROS Agreement with the ministry. ROS Agreements help ensure that IMG participants fill the need for physicians in Ontario communities.

For more information about fulfilling the ROS Obligation please see:

Applying Directly to the College of Physicians and Surgeons

Some IMGs do not need to go through a ministry-funded training or assessment program. These IMGs can apply for practice registration directly through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. For example, IMGs who have been certified in another Canadian jurisdiction, U.S. trained physicians who have met all U.S. certification requirements, and physicians who have accredited postgraduate training in the U.S. may be able to apply directly.

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For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at :
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto, 416-314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm


Health Workforce Planning Branch
56 Wellesley Street West,
12th Floor
Toronto ON M5S 2S3

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