Internationally-Sponsored (Visa) Trainees

An internationally-sponsored medical trainee is a physician who is not a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident and whose tuition and salary are funded by a sponsoring agency in their home country. A postgraduate training agreement must be in place between UBC and the international sponsoring agency before PGME can process an application.  Currently, UBC has contractual postgraduate training agreements with the following agencies:

Embassy of the State of Kuwait
Oman Medical Specialty Board
Sultan Qaboos University
Hamad Medical Corporation
Sidra Medical and Research Centre
Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates - Cultural Division
Mohammed Bin Khalifa Cardiac Centre (MKCC) Bahrain
Istanbul Medical Centre (IMC) Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority
Bahrain Government Hospitals

Application Process

Application packages should be sent directly to PGME by the sponsoring agencies.   Please contact your home sponsoring agency to get the details of its local application process.

Application dossiers are forwarded to the appropriate programs for review and  consideration. Selected candidates may be invited for interview.  When a candidate is accepted,  PGME will be notified and it will then issue an offer letter to start the admission process. Click the link for list of PGME programs and their contact information.

List of PGME Programs & Contact Information

From program’s acceptance, it can take approximately 6 months to fully process an application  due to the length of time involved in IRCC’s immigration and CPSBC’s registration processes.


Admission Requirements

The following documents must form part of the application dossiers coming from sponsoring agencies:

  • A letter from the sponsoring agency which confirms full financial support for the duration of the training.
  • A brief Personal Statement from the applicant which explains their current practice and interest in the UBC program.
  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae.
  • A copy of the passport identity page.
  • A copy of Medical Degree Certificate (with English Translation, where applicable)
  • A copy of Specialty Certification (for Clinical Fellowship training)
  • A copy of MCCEE and/or MECCQE 1 exam results (for Residency training)
  • IELTS results (7 minimum score for each component and within 2-year validity)
  • Three letters of reference on letterhead, signed and dated.

Applications packages from the sponsoring agencies should be sent directly to

Successful Candidates

Successful candidates will be contacted by the PGME Office with an offer letter and registration information.

For successful Internationally-Sponsored Residents, please follow this link to read up on vital information and deadlines before your start of residency.

A similar page is being created for successful Internationally-Sponsored Fellows, and we will provide a link to the page as soon as possible.

CPSBC Registration and Licensing

All successful candidates must meet the licensing criteria for registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC). Delays in providing required documentation will result in a delay of issuance of your license, and a delay to your start of training.  Click the College’s website for information.

CPSBC website

Application for Registration

The College will contact the trainee directly regarding the Application for Registration process.

Credentials Verification

The College requires that medical trainees seeking registration in British Columbia who have completed medical education outside of Canada submit copies of certain documents to for source verification.   The is responsible for obtaining primary source verification of the authenticity of these documents from the institution that issued these documents to you.

To submit credentials for verification:
• Carefully review the information provided on the MCC Physician Credentials Repository
• Proceed to
• Create a account for login
• Submit the required documentation by following the directions at

There is a fee for every document verified and the applicant is responsible for paying the fee.

The verification process can take several months. The College recommends that applicants start this process as soon as possible. The College recommends that applicants start this process as soon as possible. Before being granted registration, the College needs to confirm with that they have begun the source verification process. Further information on this requirement may be found in the Services/Resources section of the College website.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

The College requires candidates applying for licensure in British Columbia to have the ability to speak, read, and write English to the satisfaction of the registration committee. Full details for this requirement can be found on the College website link below.

Work Permit Application

All foreign medical trainees admitted into a residency or fellowship program in Canada must obtain a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and satisfy all the requirements of the visa office,  including the medical examination,  for entry to Canada.  They must also maintain a valid work permit for the duration of their trainings.

PGME submits an offer of employment application to  IRCC and  pay the Employer’s Compliance Fee in favor of the trainee.  When  approved,  IRCC provides an offer of employment number for input into the physician’s work permit application.  The work permit application should  be submitted under the LMIA-exempt category.

Click the IRCC links for information on how to apply for a work permit.

Work permits are issued at the point of entry (in the airport or at the border) upon arrival in Vancouver.


Medical trainees from certain countries may also require a Temporary Resident Visa (also known as an Entry Visa) to enter Canada.

Click the IRCC links for information on Temporary Resident Visa and processing times.


Sponsored trainees attending residency and fellowship trainings are required to purchase their own personal medical malpractice liability insurance before they start their trainings through CMPA. UBC doesn’t refund CMPA membership fees of sponsored trainees.

Arrival in Vancouver

For incoming postgraduate trainees arriving from outside Canada, please see the eligibility and travel requirements to enter Canada on the Government of Canada website.

Note: If you have been directed by an official to quarantine upon arrival, please alert your training program and PGME immediately.

After arrival, a new trainee is expected to:

  • Contact their training programs to notify them of their arrival
  • Contact CPSBC to arrange an in-person appointment to get their license
  • Register with  CMPA  to arrange their medical malpractice insurance coverage
  • Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) at a Service Canada office (required for Saudi trainees)
  • Submit copies of work permit, CPSBC license, SIN and contact information to the PGME office at

Frequently-Asked Questions

If my postgrad training will be sponsored by my country or government, am I eligible to apply as  a visa trainee?
Your sponsoring agency must have a postgraduate training agreement with UBC and you have obtained your medical degree from schools listed in the  FAIMER World Directory of Medical Schools to be eligible.

How do I apply for a Residency training?

Your application package must be received from the sponsoring agency. To be eligible for a residency position,  you must be a citizen of your country sponsor which has contractual agreement with UBC, have obtained a medical degree and  have passed MCCEE and/or MCCQE1 exam.

How do I apply for a Clinical Fellowship training?

PGME must receive your application package from your sponsoring agency which has an existing postgrad training agreement with UBC. To be eligible for a fellowship position, you must have completed your residency training and received specialty certification before the fellowship start date.

What is the recommended timeline in submitting an application?
It is recommended that you submit your application through your sponsoring agency between 9 and 12 months prior to the start of your training.

How long does it take for an application to be completed after the program’s acceptance?
It can take up to 6 months to complete.

How will I know the application deadline of the program I am interested in?
PGME provides a list of programs’ deadlines to the sponsoring agencies. You can also contact the program directly.