ECFMG Certification Requirements

Any incoming resident or fellow who is an International Medical Graduate (IMG) must be ECFMG Certified prior to beginning in their training program, per the Institution Policy on Eligibility and Selection of Residents/Fellows.

To obtain Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certification, the IMG must:

  1. Apply for ECFMG Certification
    • You cannot register for the exams without first applying for certification
  2. Meet the Examination Requirements
    • USMLE Step 1
    • USMLE Step 2 CS
    • USMLE Step 2 CK
  3. Meet the Education Credential Requirements
    • Additionally, ECFMG must obtain primary-source verification of the IMG’s medical school diploma and transcript(s).

View requirement details on the ECFMG website

ECFMG Certification processing

ECFMG requires primary-source verification of medical school diploma and transcript(s) before issuing the ECFMG Certificate.  For medical students with late (May/June) graduations who are planning to go directly to residency, this presents a very tight timeline.  The timeline for primary source verification is outside the control of the GME office and ECFMG.

IMGs MUST have their ECFMG Certificate before beginning work in a residency or fellowship program.  Medical students who are concerned about timing should work with their medical schools to request timely verification.  Some medical students have requested and been granted early diplomas by their medical schools, which helps expedite the process.

"Valid Indefinitely" sticker

Residents/Fellows whose ECFMG certificate was issued prior to June 14, 2004 will have a "valid through" date on their ECFMG Certificate.  Any trainee who has an ECFMG certificate issued prior to June 14, 2004 will need to request a "Valid Indefinitely" sticker from ECFMG as soon as possible, which must then be affixed to the ECFMG certificate to demonstrate permanent validation.  This must be done prior to the trainee's start date in the program. Trainees can request this sticker directly through their OASIS account.  For more information, consult the Special Request for Permanent Validation Sticker webpage on the ECFMG website.

Related content

Canadian & Puerto Rican Graduates

Graduates of medical schools in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada are not considered IMGs and therefore are not required to obtain ECFMG Certification.  An ECFMG Identification Number is issued to graduates of Canadian medical schools only for purposes of Exchange Visitor Sponsorship (J-1 visa).


420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 293
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-5621