European Professional Card
The European Professional Card is an electronic certificate facilitating recognition of professional qualifications from countries in the EU for people who want to live and work in Germany. It can be accessed in the Internal Market Information System (IMI) by both the responsible German authorities and the authorities in the country of origin.
Please refer to the EU website for more information on the European Professional Card: Your Europe - European Professional Card.
The European Professional Card is initially intended for the following professions only ((EU) regulation 2015/983 of the European Commission from 24/06/2015):
- Health professionals and nurses
- Physical therapists
- Real-estate agents
- Mountain guides
Other professions, in particular doctors, will soon be included.
The European Professional Card does not replace the general recognition procedure. When you file an application you can choose between the new electronic procedure for recognition of your professional qualifications (professional card) and the standard recognition procedure.
An application for the EPC is only possible electronically via the online instrument provided by the EU Commission (see Art. 4b of the Directive 2005/36 / EC, amended by Directive 2013/55 / EU (20.11.2013)). Your application is securely transmitted electronically to the Internal Market Information System (IMI) in order to be processed by the competent authorities of the EU country of origin and the EU country in which you want to work (see Art. 6 of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/983 of the EU-Commission (24.06.2015)).
To apply for an EPC, you will first need to sign in withEU Login, the European Commission authentication service. You will need to create an account, if you don't have one already.
It will then take a few minutes to complete your EPC profile with your personal information and contact details. Please use the Access to the EPC Procedure.
Once your profile information is complete, you can create an application, upload electronically scanned copies of the relevant documents and submit them to your home country authority.
Each supporting document should be scanned and then uploaded as a separate file.
In your profile you can update your contact details (e-mail address, telephone number) anytime. Once the first application is submitted, you can no longer update your personal data (ID or passport number, your last name or nationality - which will appear on the certificate) yourself, but will have to request an update to the authority handling your file.
For each application, both home country and host country authorities could charge you fees to examine your file. If they do, you will receive a separate invoice from each authority.
Authorities may also ask you to provide certified copies of your documents, if they can't verify the validity of your documents.
Source: European Union (www.europa.eu)
You can file your application for recognition of your professional qualifications from another country even before entering Germany. German citizenship or a residence permit are not required to file the application.
However, if you are issued a professional card this does not give you the right to stay in Germany. The job migration quick check will help you with questions regarding residency and working rights in Germany.
Your application can only be processed if you have filed a complete application including all documents with the responsible office. A complete application includes:
- Completed application form of the responsible office
- Proof of identity (identity card of passport)
- Evidence of completed vocational training
- CV in German
- Evidence of professional experience, if applicable
- Evidence of other skills, if applicable
- Evidence of language skills, if applicable
Electronically scanned copies of the relevant documents can be uploaded via the online instrument provided by the EU Commission.
Just like the general recognition procedure, the European Professional Card is subject to fees. The fees are set by the responsible office and are based on the requirements of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. Based on previous experience fees range between €100 and €600.
You will generally receive notice regarding you application for recognition from the responsible office within a period of 2 months after submission of the complete documents.
The advantages of the professional card compared to the general recognition procedure are, for example, higher transparency, shorter processing times (2 months) and deemed approval in the event of inactivity of the relevant office in accordance with Article 4 (5) of the professional qualification guidelines:
- Your home country authorities will assist you with your application and check that it is correct and complete. They will also certify the authenticity and validity of your documents.
- If in the future, whether you want to make a request to settle long-term or provide services temporarily in another country, your file will already exist in the system and you will not need to upload all the documents again. This will save you time on subsequent applications.
- If the host country authorities in charge of your application do not take a final decision within the appropriate deadline, recognition will be granted automatically and you will be able to generate an EPC certificate.