ECFMG Foreign Medical Graduates

The Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor visas in the J-1 Alien Physician category.  International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who wish to participate in U.S. graduate medical training are required to hold this J-1 category.  The ISSO serves as the Training Program Liaison (TPL) between UCSF departments and ECFMG.

If your department has selected a prospective physician to participate in a graduate medical training program, then please follow the steps below. If you have questions about the process, please contact Jing Yang at [email protected].edu or Brian Groves at [email protected]

In order to apply, it's essential that you know the fundamental requirements of your training program (i.e. Program ID, primary sites of instruction, duration) under the programs accreditation. If you don't know this information, you should contact UCSF Graduate Medical Education or review your program accreditation information on the ACGME website


Applications must be submitted at least six months prior to the prospective ECFMG start date.

Application Instructions for Host Departments

  1. Review the information on the UCSF GME website. *Please note that Canadian graduates of Canadian or U.S. medical schools are exempt from the ECFMG certification requirement. These participants will need to acquire an ECFMG account number by emailing  [email protected] with the following information: full name of applicant physician, date of birth (mm/dd/yr), e-mail address, name and country of medical school. gender. This must be done before the host Department can complete the UCSF ECFMG application.
  2. .The host department compiles the required documents from the ECFMG checklist and completes the ISSO Fee Form. Please find the ECFMG Application checklists below
  3. The host department completes the UCSF ECFMG electronic application and uploads the ISSO Fee Form and required documents as a single PDF file.
  4. ISSO will review and submit the ECFMG application on behalf of UCSF.
  5. Once the application is approved by ECFMG, the physician will receive an e-mail requiring completion of their application through the ECFMG application system (OASIS).
  6. After the physician completes their portion of the application, ECFMG will review and approve the application and issue the J-1 DS-2019 form for the physician to apply for their visa.
  7. ECFMG will send the DS-2019 to ISSO, unless otherwise requested.  

ECFMG Application Checklist

You can download the appropriate checklist on the ECFMG website.