If you have academic or other qualifications, but no documents to prove it, an experimental program may be able to help you.
The Greek Ministry of Education is running a pilot program to test a new document called the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees.
Find out more about the document, and how to get one, below.
About the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees
<span class=image caption">Photo: Council of Europe
What can the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees do for me?
This document, which is valid for 5 years, can help you show that:
- you have studied
- you have attended vocational training
- you know a foreign language
- you have work experience
You can use the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees as a kind of verified CV, and it may help you apply for professional and educational opportunities in European countries.
What can't it do?
The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees does not replace official documents.
Greek public universities, and other European institutions that require official documents, will not accept it as a substitute.
Can I use this European Qualifications Passport for Refugees in other countries?
Throughout Europe, this document should be accepted as a “reliable statement” about your academic qualifications — especially in Greece, Norway and the U.K.
Norway and the U.K. already have similar programs.
When you get your European Qualifications Passport for Refugees, a National Academic Recognition Information Centre in Italy will store it electronically for all National Academic Recognition Information Centres in Europe to access.
If you move to another European country, you should contact the National Academic Recognition Information Centre there, the European Council advises.
Show them your European Qualifications Passport for Refugees and ask how it can help you in your new country.
The pilot program
How is the Greek Ministry of Education testing the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees?
The Greek Ministry of Education is running a pilot program developed by the Council of Europe.
Through the pilot program, evaluators from Greece, Italy, Norway and the U.K. review refugees' qualifications.
If the evaluators decide you provided enough information to prove your qualifications, they will issue you the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees. Your new document will list your qualifications.
The pilot program accepted applicants for evaluation in March and June, and it will accept applicants one more time, in September.
Of the 43 refugees who applied for the European Qualifications Passport in March and June, 38 were successful.
Can I apply to be in the pilot program in September?
You can apply if you:
- are over 18
- live in Athens
- completed at minimum one year of education after high school (for example, a year at a university or college or in a vocational program)
When should I apply?
Now! The sooner, the better.
How do I apply?
You should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org that includes:
- your name
- your country of origin
- bullet points with major academic qualifications (even if you don’t have the documents to prove them)
- a statement that you want to apply for the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees
- your phone number and email address
View a sample email in English we created to help you prepare your own.
What happens after the Greek Ministry of Education gets my email?
They will reply asking you to fill out a questionnaire.
You must fill out the questionnaire in English within two weeks. But don't fill it out until the Ministry of Education replies to your email!
To fill out the questionnaire:
- Print it out
- Fully answer every question, in English
- Add a passport-type photo
- Scan all the pages of your completed questionnaire in a single file
- Attach your questionnaire to an email and send it to email@example.com.
If you have any documentation (for example, a degree certificate, transcript, graduation diploma, student ID, thesis, research work or CV), attach it to the email, too.
Don't worry if you don't have any documents — you don't need any to apply.
See a **sample of the questionnaire**.
When will they call me for an interview?
Interviews will be in September. You will get a phone call or email notifying you of your interview time about a week ahead.
You may be able to do the interview on Skype in certain cases, but your interview will probably take place at the Greek Ministry of Education at Andrea Papandreou 37, Marousi.
<span class "image caption">Photo: Council of Europe
Who are the interviewers?
You will be interviewed by two qualified and experienced evaluators.
- One will be an expert from the Greek Ministry of Education.
- The other will be an education expert who speaks either Arabic or Dari/Farsi, depending on your language, and who understands the education system in your home country.
What will the interview be like?
The Council of Europe says the interview will be like a friendly conversation. It will be 45 to 60 minutes long.
How will I know if my interview was a success?
You will immediately know whether you will receive a European Qualifications Passport for Refugees. If your interview is successful, your document will be issued 5 to 10 days later.
Good luck, and message us on Facebook if you need any help.