ECFMG and Visas

The University of Iowa requires all international medical graduates (IMGs) to be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).


The ECFMG evaluates the qualifications of IMG physicians and then provides certification before they enter U.S. graduate medical education (GME).  To meet the examination requirements for ECFMG Certification, an IMG physician must:

1. Satisfy the medical science examination requirement: USMLE Exam Step 1 and Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge)

2. Satisfy the clinical skills requirement: USMLE Exam Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills)


The following visas are acceptable for training purposes:

H-1b  (All H1-b applicants must pass USMLE Exams Step 1, 2 and 3 and acquire a permanent Iowa medical license.)
J-1    (All J-1 applicants must pass USMLE Exams Steps 1 and 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) and USMLE Exam Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills).)
J-2    (with Employment Authorization Document (EAD))
E-3    (Australian citizens only)
F-1    (with Optional Practical Training (OPT) status)


Some training programs restrict certain visas; check with the specific training program to verify what visas it accepts.