Setting up ELECTIVES

-ASG Guide

-to Canadian students
-Presentations for download
-TB Form
-Where to get Titers


To all Canadian Students:

The procedure for setting up electives is the same as outlined in the previous page except for few extra formalities that you will have to take care of.

Due to the 9/11, new rules have been implemented when crossing the US border. Prior to 9/11 the US Customs agents at your point of entry into the USA were allowed to issue you an F-1 VISA, which is the VISA required to be legally in the USA to do elective work as a student. Now, however, you have to apply for the F-1 Visa through the institution that you will be completing your elective work at in order to be allowed to the US and do electives. You can still enter US without this visa, but if you are going to be holding more that a carry-on bag, the border patrol might be suspicious as to your full intentions. 

So, here is the procedure for getting the F-1 Visa. First you have to apply for an elective and be accepted. Next, you want to talk with the schools registrar office or elective coordinator and ask them to provide you with SEVIS form (FORM I-20AB). SEVIS is a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System which the institutions have access to and are the only ones who may issue this form. There is paper work to fill out, which includes your demographics and also a financial proof that you will be able to support yourself for the duration of your stay. After you submit your paperwork it takes approximately 4-6 weeks for your SEVIS form to arrive. When you enter the USA on a SEVIS form and receive your F-1 VISA, you'll be registered into the SEVIS system and at any time the US Department of Immigration can track your movements.

Once you get your SEVIS form from the school, you can go to the US-Canadian border and cross without any problems. You will have to present them your SEVIS form (only one at this time, the other(s) you will present at a later time), pay your $6 (each time), and they will give you an F-1 Visa. Now, the F-1 Visa is good for duration of the elective and 60 days thereafter. Remember to get a SEVIS form from every institution that you will be performing your electives at. We do not recommend doing electives on the 60 day grace period of your F-1 Visa because if things were to go wrong for you at the hospital and legal issues were brought in, this may result is a lot of complications. Also, remember to have your SEVIS and F1 with you whenever you travel for example for
interviews or when you go back to Canada to take your MCCEE (preliminary exam with intent to practice in Canada and the examination required to obtain the Statement of Need). 

We hope that this site will aide you in being successful in obtaining your electives in the US. You can also download the PowerPoint Presentation about this topic on the Presentations for download site.


All the best to you,

Wojtek Karolak

Class of 2004



Please email any comments to