How can a matched applicant be released from their matched program?

As per the terms and conditions of the CaRMS Applicant and the AFMC service contract with all faculties of medicine in Canada, 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.

Residency Programs may release an applicant from their binding commitment under exceptional circumstances, as outlined in the Applicant Release Policy.

It is the applicant’s responsibility prior to requesting a release from their binding commitment to review the Applicant Release Policy and the Eligibility Criteria of the provinces where they are requesting a release from and the provinces where they intend to apply to (if released) as eligibility restrictions may apply in future matches resulting from a release. 

The 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.

Applicant Release forms must be submitted to

Please note:

  • Matched applicants who do not meet the conditions outlined in the Applicant Release Policy and Form 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 granted.
  • Programs cannot discuss, interview for, or offer the matched position to an applicant until a release has been granted.
  • 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


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