How can a matched applicant be released from their contract?

As per the terms and conditions of the CaRMS Applicant and AFMC service contracts, all matches are legally binding.

This binding commitment requires the applicant to accept an appointment to a Residency Program if a match results.  The Residency Program must correspondingly offer an appointment if a match results and the applicant meets the licensing requirements of the applicable provincial/territorial medical regulatory authority.

However, Residency Programs may release an applicant from their binding commitment should they meet both conditions listed below:

1. An exceptional applicant circumstance, such as:

  • Demonstrated applicant hardship
  • Failure to complete the pre-assessment period prior to the residency training start date (IMGs only)
  • Unable to obtain an educational license/certificate/permit/registration from the applicable provincial MRA by the residency training start date
  • Unable to obtain an MD by the residency training start date

2. The release is submitted to CaRMS within 45 days of the residency training start date.

  • After 45 days of the residency training start date, a release form will not be accepted by CaRMS.
  • If an applicant nevertheless withdraws from a Residency Program after 45 days of the residency training start date, the applicant will be considered to have postgraduate training and will not be permitted to participate in any current or future first iterations of the R-1 Main Residency Match.

A release form is completed solely at the discretion of the PGME office/Residency Program and CaRMS will not intervene regarding the request or completion of the form.

Release forms must be submitted to using the Applicant Release Form.

Please note:

  • Matched applicants who do not meet the conditions outlined above and who have not met their match obligation should be reported to For further match violation and procedural information please see the Violation Review section on the Policies page of
  • Applicants cannot apply for, discuss, interview for, or accept a position in another program until a release has been confirmed by CaRMS.
  • Programs cannot discuss, interview for, or offer the matched position to an applicant until a release has been confirmed by CaRMS.
  • The responsibility rests with the applicant to demonstrate to their matched PGME office/Residency Program the extent of their unanticipated extreme hardship.
  • If a release form is submitted to and confirmed by CaRMS, an applicant may participate in a current or future first iteration of the R-1 Main Residency Match, should they meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • CaRMS is permitted to inform PGME offices/Residency Programs of applicant releases, should a question arise as to why an applicant with postgraduate training is participating in the first iteration of the R-1 match.


If you have any questions about these policies, please contact



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