Internationally Sponsored (Visa) Trainees

Sponsored residency training at Dalhousie

Guidelines state that Dalhousie is unable to award a residency training position to a citizen of another country unless there are no qualified Canadian citizens or landed immigrants of Canada for the job. An exception may sometimes occur when a trainee's own government or similar agency funds his/her training at Dalhousie. Trainees accepted under such an arrangement are referred to as internationally-sponsored or visa trainees.

Acceptable sponsorship

Sponsorship must be from a government or a healthcare institution. Private, family or business funding is not acceptable. The PGME office requires the government/healthcare institution (sponsor) to guarantee a trainee’s financial support for the entire length of their training. It also requires that on completion of training, the trainee return to their home country.

The sponsoring government or healthcare institution must indicate to the PGME office that they are willing to sponsor the trainee with a Return of Service (ROS) contract. The PGME office requires a signed copy of this contract, as well as the sponsor’s contractual agreement to pay an appropriate salary and benefits, administrative fees and additional annual costs for the trainee. This agreement must be approved by the sponsoring healthcare institution/government and Dalhousie University legal office before any training can occur.

Sponsors interested in entering into such an agreement with Dalhousie are advised to contact the visa trainee manager, Charles Hsuen at, through the PGME office.

Note: Successful visa trainee candidates should anticipate a lengthy immigration process which includes obtaining a work permit (and its required approvals), and a Temporary Resident Entry Visa. This process can take up to 6 months to complete.

Details regarding requirements can be requested from

Visa trainee requirements

For all candidates applying through the visa sponsored track, a pass in the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE) or Proof of Performance of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exams (MCCQE) (part 1). For further information regarding Medical Council of Canada examinations you may contact:

Medical Council of Canada
2283 boul St. Laurent
Ottawa, ON
K1G 5A2
Phone: 613-521-6012

To be eligible to take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (part 1), your medical school must be listed in the World Health Organization directory of medical schools. [PDF - 1.16 MB]

Visa trainees who are residents must pass the Medical Council of Canada
Qualifying Examination Part I

Non-Royal College Accedited Fellowships are exempted from the MCCEE and MCCQE1. (this does not apply to subspecialty training) 

Language Requirement

Dalhousie University requires all applicants to be eligible to register for a license to enable them to train within the Maritimes. Both the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island have specific regulations regarding English language proficiency for physicians from outside of Canada.

Below are links to the policies for each of the colleges. As of July 1, 2016 candidates applying for postgraduate training must meet these requirements-

CPSNS Language Requirement  

CPSPEI Language Requirement [PDF - 282kB]