Canadians Who Are Denied Statement of Need

The Canadian Ministry of Health is going to cap out how many Canadian citizens are allowed to get residency positions in the US.  I don’t understand the reason behind it because Canada needs doctors, but it’s important to know all the facts if you are Canadian citizen.  For those who plan to get a J-1 visa, you have you re-new your work visa every year but you need Statement of Need one time for ECFMG.

Get US Citizenship If You Can
If you are in basic sciences or in clinical rotations, do your self a favor and find a way to get US green card or citizenship. A strong factor for applicants to get residency is their visa status. Residency programs do have the ability to sponsor you but they will choose not to if they can avoid it because the fees and paperwork is overwhelming; also they don’t have the staff to do all that.

What if you are denied Statement of Need (SON)?
In a last post, I wrote that Statement of Need from Canada will be limited for the upcoming year.  To recap, SONs are needed to get ECFMG sponsored J-1 visas to start residency.  Unfortunately Canada sees the SONs as a whole for the entire country and the numbers are not correct, according to my research.  One way to get around this and get a SON from the Health Ministry is to call hospitals from your residential province and ask them if they need doctors for the specialty you are seeking to get residency in.  If they say yes, which is most likely, then get an office letter from them or an email, and send that to the Health Ministry. I’m sharing this because Canadians who were denied SONs in the past use this method.  I strongly recommend you stay away from specializing and focus on Internal medicine or Family Medicine to increase your chances to get an SON.

Canadian Citizens, Don’t Go to International Medical Schools

If you are a Canadian citizen without US green card or US citizenship then I strongly advise you to NOT apply to any international medical school.  The Canadian government has put a cap on how many Statement of Need (SON) documents that will be issued.

In order for the ECFMG to sponsor your J-1 visa, you need a SON from the Canadian government to be sent to ECFMG.  The SON is needed because after you finish your residency training or fellowship, you are to return to Canada and stay there for 2 years before you are allowed to come back to the US for a job.

The only way to get around this is you are already in Caribbean medical school is to do your USMLE Step 3 and apply for H-1B visa with the programs that sponsors it.  Or find some way to get a US green card or US citizenship so you can increase your chances of getting a residency.

For those Canadians who will apply this year, if they match then they will have to apply for SON, and if they don’t get approved for an SON then they will loose their residency spot.

Please be informed before applying, and if your are a Canadian citizen already in an international medical school, then start preparing now.  Unless you know you will get a residency spot in Canada, then don’t worry about it.

I hope this helps and good luck.

UPDATE
Here is the link of the Canadian source of the number of SONs that will be given per specialty for the 2016 residency year.