You can use the EPC procedure if you wish to pursue your profession temporarily (temporary mobility) or permanently in another EU or EEA country (establishment).
The EPC procedure can currently only be used for the following professions:
- Nurse for general care
- Mountain and ski guide
- Real estate agent
Skilled workers with a different profession must still use the standard procedure for the recognition of their professional qualification. However, the EPC procedure may be extended to other professions in the future.
If you have obtained your qualification outside the EU, you can apply for a European Professional Card under the following conditions:
- Your qualification has already been recognized in an EU country
- You have practiced your profession in this country for at least three years following recognition of your qualification
You must first register with the European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS) and choose a user name and password.
Then you create your profile with your personal details (ID card or passport number, surname, nationality) and your contact details (address, e-mail address, telephone number, etc.). Your personal details will appear on your European Professional Card.
Once you have created your profile, you can apply for the European Professional Card. To do this, go to the start page. When you submit your application, you will find out which documents the host country requires to recognize your professional qualification. You can upload the documents directly. Please upload each document as a separate file.
Then send the application together with the documents to the competent authority in your country of origin.
The competent authority will process your application and, if necessary, forward it to the authorities in the host country for further processing.
Once you have sent your application, you can no longer change your personal details. Only the authority processing your file can update it. However, you can update your contact details at any time. You can track your application online and reuse previously uploaded documents for new applications for other countries.
Once your application has been approved, you can create an EPC certificate in PDF format. The EPC certificate contains a reference number. Your future employer can use this reference number to check the validity of your European Professional Card online. For more information, please refer to the EBA user manual.
Please note that, as a rule, the European Professional Card does not automatically confer the right to practise the profession (exception: occasional and temporary services with no impact on public health or safety). If you are planning to set up a business, you may need to register with a professional organization in the host country or provide certain proof (e.g. regarding reliability or health) before you start practicing your profession. Ask a single point of contact or the authorities in the host country whether this is necessary in your case.
The competent authority in your country of origin will confirm receipt of your application and inform you of any missing documents and fees within one week.
- The authorities of the host country will also review your file if your profession could have an impact on public health and safety and is therefore not automatically recognized.
- If no review by the host country is required, the authority in your country of origin will review your application and make a final decision within a maximum of 3 weeks.
- If checks by the host country are required, the authority in your country of origin must check your application within a maximum period of 1 month and forward it to the host country. The host country will make a final decision within a maximum of 3 months (2 months + two extensions of 2 weeks each).
- If the authorities of the host country are of the opinion that your education, training and professional experience do not meet the required standards of that country, they may require an aptitude test or an adaptation period.
- The authority in your country of origin must examine your application within a maximum period of 1 month and forward it to the host country.
- If you are a pharmacist or nurse and your profession is automatically recognized, the host country will make a decision within a maximum of 2 months (1 month + two extensions of 2 weeks each).
- If your profession is not automatically recognized, the host country will make a final decision within a maximum of 3 months (2 months + two extensions of 2 weeks each). If the authorities of the host country are of the opinion that your education, training and professional experience do not meet the required standards of that country, they may require an aptitude test or an adaptation period.
If the host country authorities do not make a decision within the legal deadlines, your qualifications will be tacitly recognized and you can create an EPC certificate via your online account.