How to apply for USMLE if you are a graduate from China? [Examine Guide]

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This is a dynamic guide, meaning it will be updated if any changes are made by ECFMG for applying to United States Medical Licensing Examination.

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is the entry point for all International Medical Graduates (IMG) to get into Graduate Medical Education aka residency in United States. It consists of 3 steps dividing as Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS & Step 3. Starting 2014, Step 3 would also be divided into two parts.

This guide illustrates the method which can be used for Chinese medical graduates to apply for USMLE for the first time.

Apply for ECFMG Account & Certification

  1. Go to ECFMG official website, and click “Online Services”, here you will find a link called “On-line Applicant Status and Information System”, click it.
  2. At the bottom of the page, you will see a link named “If you are a first-time user of ECFMG On-line Services, click here to establish an account.”, click it.
  3. Now you will have to make a request for a new account by filling in the information. Every detail you enter should be counter checked twice here, before submitting the form.
  4. It normally take 1-5 working days, to get your account information from ECFMG via email.
  5. Once you have that information, you can now go to the same procedure as mentioned in step 1, but this time you will have to sign in with the credentials you were emailed by ECFMG.
  6. Apply for ECFMG Certification from your account, it will cost you $60.
  7. After you have applied for ECFMG certification, you are now able to apply for USMLE Steps.
USMLE Application contains two parts: Online Application, and offline application.

Online Application:

  1. Go to ECFMG official website, and click “Online Services”, here you will find a link called “IWA- Interactive Web Applications”, click it. Signin to your account.
  2. You will see the link named “Begin a New Application”, Click it. Now you will have to fill in the form according to your own credentials and data provided by your particular medical school.
  3. Pay the fees as demanded by the ECFMG website at the end of application. (Make sure you have a valid credit/debit card which can pay for international transactions)
  4. You will be provided with some forms to be downloaded and filled in. Download the forms and fill them in your own handwriting.

Offline Application:

  1. Form 186, 187, 344 and 345, two photocopies of your medical diploma, one translated copy of your Chinese diploma and one recent picture. All these should be sent to your medical school and will be signed by the medical school’s vice-president aka secretory of the party committee.
  2. Incase you are a graduate and not currently present in China, notarize your Form of Identification from US Embassy/Consulate in your home country otherwise it can be rejected.
  3. All the forms should then be sent to ECFMG, 3624 Market Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685, USA by your school.
  4. In about 3-6 weeks you should receive an email that your Form 186 has been accepted and will stay valid for 5 years.
  5. You can track your USMLE application process in OASIS.
  6. Once your application has been approved a scheduling permit will be issued, and an email would be sent with instruction on how to print your scheduling permit.

If you have any questions coin them in the comments sections, and we will try to answer them.

  • Cameron

    I leave China as soon as I graduate, can I do the online and offline part of the usmle application but not actually sit for the exam until a year later?

    • Yes Cameron, you can get the eligibility period as late as one year and sit for the exam after 12 months.

  • From Batch 2006

    “Form 186, 187, 344 and 345, two photocopies of your medical diploma, one translated copy of your Chinese diploma and one recent picture. All these should be sent to your medical school and will be signed by the medical school’s vice-president aka secretory of the party committee.”
    will i need these copies if i apply online???
    does hyrati help us in getting them attested??? and how you managed to get them attested or how you completed your documents????
    Plz guide me in XMU case coz u knw it well

    • Yes send all of these to Dr. Hyriti and he will attest it.

      • mooi

        how am i supposed to send these documents to dr.hyriti? do i have to call him before sending my documents to him?

  • Dr.Mirza

    i applied for Step 1 my form 186 got accepted but they rejected my step 1 application,i am really confused as i am thinking it is because of the translation copy i sent,rest all documents where fine,can i get the scheduling permit?please help.

    • Send the translation done by a registered translator, you can locate a translation service by consulting the website of the American Translators Association.
      No the scheduling permit is not sent until 1-3 weeks of the approval of online application.

  • vino

    i’m doing my final year M.D in Russia,can i now apply for the USMLE? and what is the procedure for that?pls help……

  • gyan

    hey hi there …i a made an ecfmg account a year ago …i am not sure if i have applied for ecfmg certificate when i followed your instructions it shows me a ecfmg certificate but i havnt payed for it nor have they asked me …so how should i be sure i have a valid certificate

    • In 2011, there was no requirement for a fees for applying to ECFMG for certification. Most probably you have already applied for ECFMG certification and it is valid, you don’t need to pay any further fees.

      • gyan

        thanx a lot

  • gyan

    hey its me again …..i am unable to pay for my application it keeps on saying denied ….have i got to pay with a credit card under my name or someone else s will do

    • Pay with a credit card having international transactions allowed by your bank. Preferrably pay with a US bank issued credit card.

  • gyan

    hey hi ….this post is for any one who falls in a similar situation i spoke to the ecfmg phill n they said that to do half payment at a time so i did that now it is denying the other half so i asked for a refund ..
    hey is it true that the chinese medical degree is regarded as a diploma and not all medical pg courses are available for foriegn graduates ?

  • Dr.ali

    Hey bro, I am also a chinese medical graduate but now in my home country Pakistan. i wanna apply for the step 1 but confused what documents should i send to ECFMG and what to my University, or should i send all of my documents to the university and then they will send it for me, and also i think i am the first one from my university and don’t know who will sign my docs in my university, coz the chinese don’t know anything about USMLE

    • Burhan Ahmed

      Hi Rahmat Ali,
      You need to connect to your university first to ask if they are registered with ECFMG or not and who will sign the documents.

      • Dr.ali

        Man, my university members don’t even know what is ECFMG, i talked to them via phone, but our dean, director etc can’t even speak english, and they also asked me you tell us the way, then we do it for you 🙂
        so i am asking, which documents should i send them and who will sign them and then who will send it for me in this case ?

  • Dexter

    Hey, I’m still an undergraduate (2nd year in med school in china. ) But still I can apply for USMLE right?

  • sohaib irshad

    my previous translation of chinese diploma from china is not valid for ecfmg as it is not word to word translation.unfortunately i am not in china..how can i get translation of chinese diploma?can us embassy/consulate can do translation??

  • hey guys anyone please guide me i have less than 60% in fsc and i dont know which exam i should go for pmdc is not going to give me noc and plab they want good standing certificate can anyone tell me what should i do….?

    • zeshan

      facing same problem.. contact to me .. at 03156714025

  • zeshan

    sir ..!!
    if a student secure less than 60% mean 58.98% .
    defintly .. he will not eligilble for PMDC exam??
    if he do specialization from abroad???
    thn any chances for that students??
    if nOt.. than would it be possible …
    that if he does his house job from abroad from any country????
    Or pass USML exams..
    will PMDC accept that candidate???
    Or if he does his MBBS from kyrgysztan alsO done A level??
    thn PMDC allow him to sit exam in NEB ????
    plz reply my all questions.. ! thanks !!

  • sarmad abbasi

    yes u can take USMLE

  • sarmad abbasi

    if anyone has less than 60% marks in fsc he will not be allowed to do practice in pakistan

  • guru

    I applied for usmle

  • guru

    I applied for usmle step 1 . My form 186 got accepted but my application got rejected.
    The deficiency letter says to send final medical diploma…
    I sent them my final degree with translation and degree with attestation by indian embassy In china.
    What is wong please help…

  • guru

    I applied for usmle step 1 . My form 186 got accepted but my application got rejected.
    The deficiency letter says to send final medical diploma…
    I sent them my final degree with translation and degree with attestation by indian embassy In china.
    What is wong please help…

  • Riri

    I am only at the first year but I am quite lost already,I will be having 6 years of school here, when do u recommend me to take the usmle ? And when do I need to start registering and preparing for it? It was recommended to take the usmle in year 4 but I have two more years to go, the housemenship and stuff.. Please help me..I tried to talk to the school but none of them even know wat I was talking about.,,

  • Yamah

    Hello, I am a 4th year medical student in China and want to take the USMLE step 1 this year 2016. What is the process and what am I to do? Thanks

  • Hassan

    If i m doing notrification frm consulate thn y it is necessary that my document is send by my school….

  • bader ahmed sahi

    Hi dear brother can you tell me how to get translated chinese diploma

  • bader ahmed sahi

    And which documents should be notarized from local government and then from foreign office and then from usa embassy please give me a detailed nswer

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  • khadija mansoor awad

    I am a student of 5th year ,studying in china
    I want to apply for usmle
    can I apply for the exam without graduating ?