You would like to pursue your profession temporarily or permanently in another European country?
The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic proof that your professional qualification is recognised by another EU country. The EPC is issued to you upon application in an electronic procedure (EPC procedure). The EPC procedure is simpler, faster and more transparent than the traditional procedures for the recognition of professional qualifications.
The European Professional Card offers you the following advantages:
- The authorities in your country of origin will help you with your application and check that it is correctly filled in and complete. They also check the authenticity and validity of your documents.
- If, in future, you wish to apply for establishment or temporary provision of services in another EU country, your dossier is already in the system and you do not need to upload your documents a second time. This will save you time for future applications.
- If the authorities responsible for your application do not take a decision within the deadline, recognition will be automatic.
The professional card is valid:
- First you must log in to the European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS) and choose a username and password.
- Then create your profile with your personal details (identity card or passport number, surname, nationality) and your contact details (address, e-mail address, telephone number, etc.). Your personal details will be in your EPC.
- Once you have created your profile, you can submit the application for the EPC. To do this, go to the home page. When submitting your application, you will find out what documents the host country requires for the recognition of 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, send 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 make an update. However, you can update your contact details at any time. You can track your application online and reuse previously uploaded documents in new applications for other countries.
- Once your application is approved, you can create an EPC certificate in PDF format. The EPC certificate includes a reference number. With this reference number, your future employer can check the validity of your EPC online.
- unlimited at branch office
- 18 months in most cases where you provide services on a temporary and occasional basis, or 12 months for professions with an impact on public health or safety where they are not subject to automatic recognition (e.g. physiotherapist)
Temporary or permanent professional practice in the EU/EEA
You can use the EPC procedure if you wish to pursue your profession temporarily or permanently in another EU or EEA country.
The EPC procedure can currently only be used for the following professions:
- General care nurse (m/f)
- Pharmacist (m/f/d)
- Physiotherapist (m/f)
- Mountain guide (m/f/d)
- Real estate agent (m/f)
Professionals with another profession still have to apply standard procedures Recognising foreign professional qualifications - professional recognition
for the recognition of their foreign professional qualification (see more information). However, the EPC procedure may be extended to other professions in the future.
The authority of your country of origin and the authority of the host country may charge fees for the examination of your file. You will receive a separate invoice from each authority.
The amount of the fees varies according to the country of origin and the host Member State. In some countries, the application is processed free of charge.
You can find a quick guide to the fees on the website of the European Commission (see more information).
Average time to process request
The competent authority in your country of origin will acknowledge receipt of your application and inform you of any missing documents and any fees within one week.
- The authorities of the host country will also examine your file if your profession could have an impact on public health and safety and therefore no automatic recognition will take place.
- If no review by the host country is required, the authority in your country of origin will examine your application and take a final decision within a maximum of 3 weeks.
- If checks by the host country are necessary, the authority in your country of origin must examine your application and forward it to the host country within a maximum period of 1 month. The host country will take a final decision within a maximum of 3 months (2 months + two extensions of 2 weeks each).
- If the authorities of the host country consider that your education, training and professional experience do not meet the required standards of that country, they may require you to take an aptitude test or an adaptation period.
- The authority in your country of origin must examine your application and forward it to the host country within a maximum period of 1 month.
- If you are a pharmacist or nurse and your profession is automatically recognised, the host country will take a decision within a maximum of 2 months (1 month + two extensions of 2 weeks each).
- If your profession is not automatically recognised, the host country will take a final decision within a maximum of 3 months (2 months + two extensions of 2 weeks each). If the authorities of the host country consider that your education, training and professional experience do not meet the standards required by that country, they may require you to undergo an aptitude test or adaptation period.
If the host country authorities do not take a decision within the legal deadlines, your qualifications will be tacitly recognised and you can use your online account to issue an EBA certificate.
For the profession of mountain guide (m/f/d):For the profession of a real estate agent (m/f/d):
For the health care professions (nurse for general care, physiotherapist/physical therapist/pharmacist) (m/f/d):