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Eligibility for and Overview of the Request to Extend a USMLE® Step 1/Step 2 CK Eligibility Period (EPEx)
             
  ELIGIBILITY

If you are unable to take USMLE Step 1/Step 2 CK during the eligibility period assigned to you, you may request a one-time extension. You may extend your eligibility period only through the next, contiguous eligibility period (the next eligibility period that does not overlap with your assigned eligibility period).

Example: An applicant's eligibility period is April-May-June. The eligibility period may be extended only through July-August-September.

To request an extension, you must complete a "Request to Extend a USMLE® Step 1/Step 2 CK Eligibility Period" as described below in the Overview. Payment of the appropriate fee must accompany the request.

You may request an extension of your eligibility period only once for each exam registration. You may request an extension of your eligibility period only after your original eligibility period has begun. The processing of your request must be completed by the published deadline (refer to the table below), or your request will be rejected. The time needed to complete the processing of your request may be contingent upon your medical school's response to ECFMG's request for verification of your status as a student or graduate.

If you are requesting an extension of the eligibility periods for both Step 1 and Step 2 CK at the same time and the eligibility periods are different, the processing of your request must be completed by the deadline for the earlier eligibility period. For specific information on the timing of your request, refer to the table below.

Example: Your Step 1 eligibility period is March 1, 2014 - May 31, 2014 and your Step 2 CK eligibility period is April 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014. If you are submitting a request for an extension of both eligibility periods at the same time, the processing of your request must be completed by June 25, 2014, the deadline for the earlier eligibility period, March 1, 2014 - May 31, 2014.
 
 
Original Eligibility Period Extended Eligibility Period Deadline
Jan 01 2014 - Mar 31 2014 Apr 01 2014 - Jun 30 2014 Friday, Apr 25 2014
Feb 01 2014 - Apr 30 2014 May 01 2014 - Jul 31 2014 Monday, May 26 2014
Mar 01 2014 - May 31 2014 Jun 01 2014 - Aug 31 2014 Wednesday, Jun 25 2014
Apr 01 2014 - Jun 30 2014 Jul 01 2014 - Sep 30 2014 Friday, Jul 25 2014
May 01 2014 - Jul 31 2014 Aug 01 2014 - Oct 31 2014 Monday, Aug 25 2014
Jun 01 2014 - Aug 31 2014 Sep 01 2014 - Nov 30 2014 Thursday, Sep 25 2014
Jul 01 2014 - Sep 30 2014 Oct 01 2014 - Dec 31 2014 Monday, Oct 27 2014
Aug 01 2014 - Oct 31 2014 Nov 01 2014 - Jan 31 2015 Tuesday, Nov 25 2014
Sep 01 2014 - Nov 30 2014 Dec 01 2014 - Feb 28 2015 Friday, Dec 26 2014
Oct 01 2014 - Dec 31 2014 Jan 01 2015 - Mar 31 2015 Monday, Jan 26 2015

  Additionally, you must continue to be eligible to take the exam during the extended eligibility period (you must still be officially enrolled in a medical school located outside of the United States and Canada that is listed in the International Medical Education Directory [IMED] of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research [FAIMER®], and the "Graduation Years" for your medical school must be listed as "Current," or you must be a graduate of such a medical school and your graduation year must be included in the school's IMED listing). Refer to Eligibility for Examination in the ECFMG Information Booklet.

If you have a scheduled testing appointment during your original eligibility period and need to cancel and reschedule the appointment for your extended eligibility period, you must contact Prometric to cancel or reschedule that appointment. Requesting an extension of your eligibility period does not cancel a scheduled appointment. See Rescheduling in the ECFMG Information Booklet. A fee may be charged if you change your appointment, depending upon how much notice you provide when making the change. A fee schedule is posted on the USMLE website.

Important Note: If you change (reschedule, cancel, change test center location) your appointment 30 or fewer days before your scheduled test date or do not appear on your scheduled test date, you must call Prometric as directed on your scheduling permit and pay a fee to Prometric to reinstate your eligibility record before you submit your request for an eligibility period extension.

OVERVIEW

There are two parts to the IWA Request to Extend a USMLE® Eligibility Period:
  1. The on-line part of the request, and
  2. Either the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E).
ECFMG must receive both the on-line part and, if required, the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E) in order to process your request.

1. On-line Part

You must begin with the on-line part. Instructions for each item in the request are available throughout the process. You can also print the instructions for all items at any time.

When you begin an on-line request, your request will be assigned a Request Identification Code. You should write this number down and keep it in a safe place. As you move from screen to screen, the information you provide will be saved. If you are unable to finish the on-line part of your request in one session or you are disconnected, you can return to your request later by clicking the link to your saved request after logging into IWA. You may also use the Request Identification Code to reprint a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E), if necessary, after the on-line part of your request has been submitted to ECFMG.

You will be given the option to request an extension of a USMLE eligibility period only for those exams for which you are currently registered. Also, you will not be able to apply for an extension before the start date or after the published deadline for the original eligibility period (see above). If you meet these requirements for both USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK, you will be able to apply for extensions of both eligibility periods in the same request.

The last part of your on-line request for extension is the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E). If you are a medical school graduate or a student enrolled in a medical school that participates in the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP), you must complete the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), if you do not already have a valid Form 186 on file with ECFMG. If you are a student enrolled in a medical school that does not participate in EMSWP, you must complete the Certification Statement (Form 183-E). If you are a student, you will be able to determine whether your medical school participates in EMSWP when you complete the on-line part of the request. At that time, IWA will produce the appropriate form, which you will be able to print.

Once accepted by ECFMG, Form 186 remains valid for five years. During this five-year period, you can submit IWA exam applications and requests to extend Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods without completing another Form 186. If you have a valid Form 186 on file with ECFMG, you will not be required to complete another Form 186 with your eligibility period extension request. However, you must read the Certification by Applicant statement (Item 4) and click the check box to indicate that you have read, understood, and agree to the statement. If you do not click the check box, you will not be able to proceed with your request.

2. Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E)

If you are required to complete a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E), you must print it at the end of the on-line part of the request for extension.

Medical School Students: If required, a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E) must be completed by you and an authorized official of your medical school. The medical school official must sign and date the form and provide his/her name, official title, and the institution name. The official must affix the institutionís seal in the designated section of the form. Each medical school has been requested to provide ECFMG with a list of the officials authorized by the school to certify these forms. Your form must be certified by an official on this list. Contact your medical school to determine the officials authorized by your medical school for this purpose; ECFMG will not provide this information to applicants. If your form is not signed by an authorized official, it will not be accepted. The signature of the official must be current; the official must have signed the form within 45 days of the date that it is received at ECFMG. The form must be sent to ECFMG directly from the office of this official. If the form is not sent to ECFMG from the office of the medical school official, it will not be accepted.

ECFMG must receive both the on-line part and the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E) in order to process your request. The processing of your request must be completed by the published deadline, or it will be rejected.

If your medical school participates in EMSWP, ECFMG cannot complete the processing of your request until your medical school verifies your status through EMSWP. As a result, the time needed to complete the processing of your request will be contingent upon your medical school's response to the EMSWP verification request.

Medical School Graduates: If required, the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) must be completed by you and an authorized official of your medical school and/or a Consular Official, First Class Magistrate, Notary Public, or Commissioner of Oaths.

There are three Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) options for medical school graduates:

  • "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Medical School Official," for all medical school graduates
  • "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public," for graduates of medical schools that participate in the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP) and for graduates whose medical education credentials have been primary-source verified by ECFMG
  • "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public and Medical School Official," for graduates of medical schools that do not participate in EMSWP and whose medical education credentials have not been primary-source verified by ECFMG

When you have completed the on-line part of the request, you will be able to view the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) options available to you.

If you complete a "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Medical School Official" or a "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public and Medical School Official," your Form 186 must be sent to ECFMG directly from the office of the medical school official who signed the form. If the form is not sent to ECFMG from the office of the medical school official, it will not be accepted.

If you complete a "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public," the form can be sent to ECFMG by you.

In either case, the signature(s) of the official(s) must be current; the official(s) must have signed the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) within 45 days of the date that it is received at ECFMG.

ECFMG must receive both the on-line part and the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) in order to process your request. If the processing of your request is not completed by the published deadline, it will be rejected.

If you are a graduate of a medical school that participates in EMSWP and your medical education credentials have not been primary-source verified by ECFMG, ECFMG cannot complete the processing of your request until your medical school verifies your status through EMSWP. As a result, the time needed to complete the processing of your request will be contingent upon your medical school's response to the EMSWP verification request.

Students and Graduates: The completed Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183-E) must be received by ECFMG as soon as possible. You will be given a deadline, based on your original eligibility period(s), by which the processing of your request must be completed. If you are requesting an extension of the eligibility periods for both Step 1 and Step 2 CK and the eligibility periods are different, the processing of your request must be completed by the deadline for the earlier eligibility period. The deadlines are shown in the table above.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE CERTIFICATION OF IDENTIFICATION FORM (FORM 186)

ECFMG uses the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) to verify the identity of individuals who apply for examination or request extension of their eligibility period. Once accepted by ECFMG, the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) remains valid for five years for both applications and eligibility period extension requests. During this five-year period, individuals can apply for examination or request eligibility period extensions by completing only the on-line part of the exam application/extension request.

Generally, for a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) to be accepted by ECFMG, the official(s) must have signed the form within four months of its receipt at ECFMG. However, if you are required to complete a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) with your request to extend an eligibility period, the official(s) must have signed the form within 45 days of the date the form is received at ECFMG. If the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) required for your eligibility period extension request does not meet the 45-day requirement but does meet the general four-month requirement, your request will be rejected but the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) may be accepted. If your Form 186 is accepted, it will remain valid for five years for exam applications and requests to extend an eligibility period.

Students from medical schools that do not participate in EMSWP cannot use the Certification of Identification Form. To apply for examination or request an eligibility period extension, these individuals must complete a Certification Statement for each application/request.

If you are a student, you will be able to determine whether your medical school participates in EMSWP when you complete the on-line part of the exam application/request for extension. At that time, IWA will produce the appropriate form, which you will be able to print.