Residency Application Timeline and Checklist

2021-2022 Residency Application Cycle: Complete IMG Timeline and Checklist

Below is a timeline of events with additional suggested actions per time period for the Main Residency Match® Season from start to finish for International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Bookmark this page to help you stay on track with the 2022 Residency Application Timeline and Checklist!

Residency Application Timeline and Checklist

June 2021: Start Your Program Research

June 24, 2021: ERAS® Tokens available to IMG applicants

  • Apply and pay for your ERAS token through ECFMG®
    • You can find this under ECFMG’s OASIS® ERAS Support
  • Use your token serial number to register for MyERAS
  • Start researching residency programs that are best suited to your professional criteria
    • Be aware that free databases and program websites aren’t always up-to-date—check for timestamps and verify the information!
    • Annually updated and personalized Customized Residency Program Lists are available at Match A Resident
  • Schedule and take your USMLE® Exams so you can have them ready when residency applications begin.
    • Remember, you will need your USMLE Step 1 and Step 2CK completed by the Rank Order List Deadline in March to qualify for the Main Residency Match

July – August 2021: Prepare Your Residency Application

  • Visit our partner, Residency Experts to learn the best strategies for obtaining strong Letters of Recommendation (LoRs)
    • Learn about the submission process through the ERAS LORP® before talking to your Letter Writers
    • Make sure you confirm with the writers and give them the Letter Request Form from MyERAS
    • Have a one-on-one meeting to discuss their feedback about your performance and your expectations about the letter
    • If you do not waive your LoR, you may upload them through ECFMG’s OASIS
    • If you’ve been asked to write LoRs on behalf of your author, check out Residency Experts’ helpful tips by reading Your Complete Residency Letter of Recommendation Guide.
  • Start writing your medical residency Personal Statements
    • You will need at least ONE Personal Statement PER medical specialty
    • If you need help editing or completing a statement from scratch, see Residency Statement
  • Start filling out your MyERAS Application
    • Preview the application with the ERAS Worksheet
    • Fill out your Contact Information (This is the only part of the application you can change after certifying)
    • You can work on the application and come back to it as many times as you need before certifying
    • Utilize professional assistance to edit, optimize, and craft your MyERAS Written Sections to perfection with the help of Residency Experts Application Editing and Review
    • DO NOT CERTIFY until the application is complete and error-free; after certifying your answers will become locked and unchangeable for the rest of the application season
  • Request your USMLE transcript
    • Make sure you authorize the release of this document when you begin applying
    • If you haven’t taken the Step 2CK, take it before September! (Scores usually take about 3-4 weeks to come back)
  • Take and upload a photo
    • Have a professional take your photograph
  • Request the Medical School Transcript and MSPE from your medical school
    • They will not do this automatically, you must ask
    • If you cannot get an MSPE, you will need to let ECFMG know so you can upload a placeholder document that explains you were unable to get this document

August 15th, 2021: Suggested OASIS documents submission date to have the documents ready before the application start (2 weeks prior)

  • Ensure all the documents you have uploaded are ready to use
    • Follow up with your LoR writers and make sure to thank them!
    • Check with OASIS, MyERAS, and your medical school for the status of your documents

September 2021: Apply to Residency Programs and Register for NRMP®

September 1st, 2021: Starting at 9 a.m. (EST), ERAS allows residency applicants to certify and submit their applications to residency programs. (Programs will not receive the applications until September 29th, 2021.)

September 15th, 2021: NRMP Registration opens

  • Certify your MyERAS application
    • Please Note: Do not Certify your ERAS Application until it is 100% completed. If you click “Certify” with incomplete or incorrect content, this document will be unchangeable and set in stone for the rest of the residency season.
  • Double-check your saved program choices to ensure you are only applying to programs you qualify for
    • Please Note: ERAS will not refund any money paid to incompatible programs. Choose which programs you apply to wisely based on the state requirements and individual program requirements.
  • Assign documents to residency programs
    • Be careful to assign the correct documents to the right programs. For example, Family Medicine programs should be receiving your Family Medicine Personal Statement and Letter(s) of Recommendation
  • Submit your applications between September 1st and September 28th
    • All applications submitted during this period will be time-stamped “September 29th,” so you do NOT need to rush all your applications on September 1st
    • You may continue to find programs and submit applications throughout the rest of the Residency Application Season

Applications Released and Interviews Start

September 29th, 2021At 9 a.m. (EST), Residency programs begin receiving applications previously submitted by residency candidates.

  • Double-check your program choices to ensure you are only applying to programs you qualify for
    • Please Note: ERAS will not refund any money paid to incompatible programs. Choose which programs you apply to wisely based on the state requirements and individual program requirements.
  • Submit your applications
    • You may continue to find programs and submit applications throughout the rest of the Residency Application Season
    • Apply to at least 100 programs per specialty (if applicable)
  • Register with NRMP
    • Remember, registration with ERAS does not mean you are registered with NRMP
    • Register with NRMP before January 31st, 2022 to avoid late fees.
  • Check on and follow up with the status of your applications
    • Be sure to check your messages on MyERAS

November – January: NRMP, Applying, and Interviews

February 2022: NRMP® and Rank Order Lists

February 1, 2022: Rank Order List ranking opens

  • Be sure to register with NRMP by the Rank Order List Deadline of March 2nd, 2022 (required for Post-Match SOAP® eligibility)
  • Create, change, and certify your Rank Order List
    • You may make changes to your Rank Order Lists after certifying until the deadline

March 2022: MATCH Week and the Post-Match SOAP®

March 2, 2022: NRMP Rank Order List Deadline (9 p.m. EST) and last day to register for NRMP

  • Register with NRMP (required for Post-Match SOAP® eligibility)
    • Please Note: Registration with NRMP is required to participate in the Main Residency Match and Post-Match SOAP
    • The Rank Order List Deadline is also the last day for your USMLE exam scores to be verified. IMGs must have their USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2CK verified by the Rank Order List Deadline in order to qualify for the Main Residency Match

March 14, 2022: Match Week® begins and Post-Match SOAP kicks off

  • Check your Match Status on Monday of Match Week at 11 a.m. (EST)
    • You will be either Matched, Partially Matched, or Unmatched
    • If you are Unmatched or Partially Matched and SOAP® Eligible, the Post-Match SOAP has begun.

Participating in the Post-Match SOAP: What’s Next For Me?

  • Step 1: Get your List of Unfilled Programs from the NRMP® R3® system.
  • Step 2: Obtain your Program Compatibility Search (PCS) Access from Electronic Residency to help you research and pick the best programs from your List of Unfilled Programs.
  • Step 3: At 12 p.m. (EST), log into ERAS® and start selecting your 45 programs, assigning documents, and applying once you are SURE you have chosen the right programs you qualify for.

March 17, 2022: Post-Match SOAP concludes at 11 a.m. (EST).

March 18, 2022: MATCH DAY! If you were Matched, your residency location will become available at 1 p.m. (EST)

May 2022: 2021-22 ERAS Application Season ends

May 31, 2022: 2020-21 ERAS Application Season Ends

  • Finally, think about if you have copies of EVERYTHING you may want in the future. It’s best to save backup copies of all your documents and written sections
  • After all that hard work, if you are Matched, you will begin training July 1st the year of The Match
  • Just to clarify, this is a timeline and checklist for the Main Residency Match Season. Further in-depth information about the Post-Match SOAP will be released beginning January 2022
  • **Please Note: Dates and times are subject to change. Always keep informed by visiting the websites

We hope this Residency Application Timeline and Checklist has been helpful! Check out the official resources below for additional information.

Official Websites Resources:

  1. ERAS:
  2. ECFMG:
  3. NRMP:
  4. USMLE:


The NATIONAL RESIDENT MATCHING PROGRAM®, The NRMP®, SUPPLEMENTAL OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE PROGRAM®, and SOAP® are registered trademarks of National Resident Matching Program. THE MATCH™ is a trademark of National Resident Matching Program. ResidencyPrep, LLC and this page are not sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with National Resident Matching Program.


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