Apply now: Program to prove your credentials

If you have academic or other qualifications but no documents to prove it, a pilot program run by the Council of Europe and the Greek Ministry of Education may be able to help you.

Through the program, you can apply for a document called the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees that can certify your higher education qualifications, work experience and language proficiency.

In March, the Council of Europe announced the next phase of the pilot program. It will run for three years, and you can apply now, no matter where you live in Greece.

European-Qualifications-Passport-for-Refugees-issued---Anwar 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.

These countries, along with Armenia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, 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

third_evaluation_session_held_in_greece_-european_qualifications_passport_for_refugees-_photo_8 Photo: Council of Europe

How is the Greek Ministry of Education testing the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees?

The Greek Ministry of Education is receiving applications and organizing evaluation meetings, where 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.

During the first phase of the pilot program, 73 out of 92 applicants interviewed got the European Qualifications Passport. Some gained admission to study in Europe.

Can I apply to be in the pilot program now?

You can apply if you:

  • Are over 18
  • Currently live in Greece
  • 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.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. This year, the first evaluation session will be held in Athens from June 11 to 15. A second one has been scheduled for October in Thessaloniki.

Third-evaluation-session-held-in-Greece---European-Qualifications-Passport-for-Refugees---Photo-14-2 Photo: Council of Europe

How do I apply?

You should send an email to des-c2@minedu.gov.gr 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 refugees.qualifications@coe.int.

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 in English.
See a sample of the questionnaire in Arabic.

When will they call me for an interview?

You will get a phone call or email notifying you of your interview time about a week ahead.

Where will the interview be?

If you are in Athens, your interview will take place at the Greek Ministry of Education at Andrea Papandreou 37, Marousi. You may be able to do the interview on Skype if you are not able to come to Athens, but in this case you will need to get in contact with a UNHCR protection team or an NGO in your area that can verify your ID information.

We don't yet know where the Thessaloniki interviews will be held in October.

Third-evaluation-session-held-in-Greece---European-Qualifications-Passport-for-Refugees---Photo-4 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, Dari/Farsi, or Russian 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.