International medical graduates
International medical graduates (IMGs) can apply for licensure in the provisional class, clinical observer class, assessment class or associate physician class.
These licensure classes are for physicians or surgeons who obtained their medical degree outside of Canada that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools. A Canadian sponsor note is required.
The assessment class of licensure permits qualified and selected internationally trained family physicians to participate in the Practice Ready Assessment – British Columbia (PRA-BC) program prior to being considered eligible for provisional registration.
This class is for international medical graduates whose postgraduate training was not obtained in a jurisdiction acceptable to the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
To be eligible for registration and licensure in the assessment – family class, an applicant must:
- have a medical degree, from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools which includes a Canadian sponsor note
- have, to the satisfaction of the Registration Committee, successfully completed a minimum of two years of postgraduate training in a foreign jurisdiction that includes training in the following:
- emergency medicine, and
- family practice, leading to registration or recognition as a family physician in that jurisdiction
- meet the College’s English language proficiency requirements
- have Canadian citizenship, be a permanent resident, or be legally able to live and work in BC.
Meeting the criteria to participate in the PRA-BC program does not guarantee selection.
Request to grant assessment registration
If an applicant is selected to participate in the PRA-BC program, the health authority or UBC Faculty of Medicine must make a request to grant assessment registration before the applicant is registered and licensed.
The request must
- identify the applicant’s sponsor or its designate,
- describe how the applicant will engage in the practice of medicine, and
- be satisfactory to the registration committee.
An applicant for assessment registration must:
- have successfully completed a preliminary assessment of their eligibility for assessment registration from the College
- have obtained an eligibility ruling for registration and licensure from the Registration Committee
- have fulfilled the subjects listed in the eligibility ruling of the Registration Committee
- be a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
- have been selected by PRA-BC to participate in the PRA-BC Program
An applicant granted assessment registration must limit their practice of medicine to the provision of services in connection with undergoing the practice ready assessment specified by the Registration Committee.
How to apply
PRA-BC will forward the application documentation of potentially eligible applicants to the College. The applicants will be directed to apply via physiciansapply.ca. Applicants should only complete an online application if instructed by PRA-BC.
The College will require both an online application and a package from Health Match BC to begin the preliminary assessment review.
Applicant files are reviewed by the executive director to determine initial eligibility for registration and licensure in the assessment – family class.
Applicants will receive a letter six to eight weeks after receipt of application documentation from PRA-BC and the online application.
Applicant files are brought before the Registration Committee every six weeks for approval.
Applicants will receive a letter from the Registration Committee detailing their decision and outcome. Applicants must fulfill pre-registration requirements outlined in the letter prior to receipt of the secondary application package.
PRA-BC selects candidates to participate in the annual spring and fall assessment intakes. Only applicants who are selected by PRA-BC may participate in the assessment.
PRA-BC forwards the candidates to the College, and the candidates will be assigned a file manager. The file manager will email the secondary application package to the candidate.
Candidates submit to the College a completed secondary application along with required documentation.
The file manager will review the completed application to ensure that no additional follow-up is required.
If no additional follow-up is required, the file manager will submit the candidate file for a final review and approval. The review process can take up to one week.
An interview for licensure is scheduled no more than two weeks prior to the start of the assessment.
Once the interview is complete, a licence will be issued.
Maintaining the licence
Cancellation of assessment registration
Assessment registration is cancelled if
- the assessment period specified for the registrant by the registration committee has ended,
- the health authority or UBC Faculty of Medicine withdraws the request to grant assessment registration, or
- the registrant’s assessment is terminated because of competency concerns.
Transfer to provisional registration
Upon successful completion of the assessment of competency, registrants in the assessment – family class may be transferred to the provisional – family class of licensure.
Registrants will fulfill a three-year return of service within a BC community.
For more information about the requirements for registration and licensure, refer to: