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  • Below is a checklist for EPAP applicants to confirm their eligibility and prepare for the upcoming EPAP vacancy announcement on

  • This checklist may also serve as a reference for EPAP positions directly advertised at post. The final list of documents will be included in post’s announcement.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for EPAP positions, individuals must meet the definition of an Appointment Eligible Family Member (AEFM) as described in 3 FAM 7120. Individuals who meet all of the following are considered to be AEFMs for employment purposes:

  1. Is a U.S. citizen;
  2. Is the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of a sponsoring employee (i.e., a Direct Hire Foreign Service (FS), Civil Service (CS), or uniformed service member who is or will be assigned (not TDY) to a U.S. mission abroad under Chief of Mission (COM) authority, or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), or
  3. Is listed on one of the following:
    1. Travel orders of a sponsoring employee who is assigned (not TDY) to a U.S. mission abroad under COM authority, or at an office of the AIT, or
    2. An approved Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report (or other agency equivalent), of a sponsoring employee who is assigned (not TDY) to a U.S. mission abroad under COM authority, or at an office of the AIT, and is residing at the sponsoring employee’s post of assignment abroad;
  4. Does not receive a U.S. Government retirement annuity or pension from a career in the U.S. Foreign Service or Civil Service;
  5. Is not a Foreign Service Generalist or Specialist in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status;
  6. Is not a Civil Service employee with re-employment rights to their agency or bureau.
Additional Eligibility Requirements
  1.  If selected, AEFMs are expected to complete required training within the first year of their appointment.
  2. AEFMs must be able to obtain and maintain the appropriate level of security clearance for their position.
  3. AEFMs may only submit applications for positions that are listed as available at their sponsor’s post of assignment.
  4. As with all vacancies, availability may be a factor.
  5. Additional items that may be considered when determining successful candidacy include nepotism, conflicts of interest, budget, advancing the work of the mission, etc.
Note to Applicants Who Previously Qualified for EPAP Positions

The  February 10, 2020 revised Qualification Standards apply to applicants who will submit their application under the 2022, Spring/Summer centralized vacancy announcement  and  announcements directly advertised at post in Fall. These revised standards are not retroactive and do not apply to applicants who were selected under standards prior to 2020 and who have not started yet in their position. All applicants must submit an application package that includes all of the documents listed below, including a federal resume (via USAJOBS resume builder) that clearly demonstrates how they meet or exceed the qualification standards requirements which are a combination of education and experience (professional or specialized) per position.

As stated in the Qualification Standards, applicants who have been successfully employed in an EPAP position for 12 months or longer and who can document a fully satisfactory performance will be considered qualified for the same EPAP position at the same grade or at a higher grade depending on the length of service. Applicants must submit two SF-50s to document 12 or more months of experience in an EPAP position and fully satisfactory performance appraisal(s) with a JF-57 covering 12 or more months of service. Please note the following exceptions: positions in OBO and MED. Past or current EPAP employees should be mindful that regardless of their current or past EPAP status, they need to document their eligibility and qualification (education transcript and resume showing experience) in addition to the two SF-50 and the JF-57. Doing so will ensure eligibility and qualification review.


This checklist is intended to help applicants prepare for the 2022 centralized EPAP vacancy announcement on USAJOBS that will include hundreds of positions advertised for the spring/summer cycle. Please note this checklist also applies for applications submitted to post vacancy announcements when individual EPAP positions will be directly advertised at post in fall.

Step 1: Review your regional bureau list below to determine if there are EPAP positions opening at your post of assignment for which you intend to apply  

  • Bureau of African Affairs
  • Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Bureau of International Organization Affairs
  • Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
  • Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
  • Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

 Step 2: Become Familiar with EPAP Qualification Standards 

 Step 3: Access USAJOBS 

  •  Create an account on
    • Applicants may only access account by registering at This required step enables users to access
    • Learn how to create an account with by reading the FAQs found at
    • Please refer to our additional Step-by-Step Guides to complete a USAJOBS application for additional helpful information.

Step 4: Stay Informed 

 Step 5: Create a Resume for EPAP 

  • Create or update a resume with the resume builder ensuring that it clearly demonstrates how you meet or exceed all of the Qualification Standards for the EPAP position(s) for which you are applying.
    • Prepare your EPAP resume with the resume builder. You will only be able to attach one resume to your application regardless of how many positions you apply for.
    • Current or past encumbering of any EPAP position may not automatically make you eligible/qualified. Please be mindful to submit the requested eligibility documents.
    • Clearly demonstrate in that your resume that you meet or exceed the qualification requirements (either with the combination of education and experience or with prior EPAP employment as the case may apply) of the position(s) for which you apply.
    • Include relevant examples of the general and/or specialized experience in your work history. Errors or omission may impact your eligibility/qualification or may result in you not being considered.
    • Make sure that in the Add Education Section window (“Relevant Coursework, Licensures and Certifications”), you list your degree courses (undergraduate and/or graduate), briefly explain the nature of your degree and why you consider that your degree is related to the position(s) for which you are applying. Repeat this step if you apply for several positions.
    • Only the information included with the application package in accordance with the instructions and received by the vacancy announcement deadline will be considered.

Important Guidance Regarding All Attachments

Under your USAJOBS profile, you will upload and attach whichever documents that are appropriate to your application. You will need to save them under their particular “document types” and name them appropriately (e.g., “John Doe Transcript,” “John Doe SF50s,” “John Doe Assignment Notification”). Your EPAP application may include the following document types/categories:

  • * U.S. Transcripts (required)/Foreign Education Evaluation (if relevant)
  • * SF-50s (if relevant)
  • * DD-214 (if relevant)
  • * Other (you may create and save up to three of them under the following categories):
  • — Assignment Notification/Cable/OF-126 (required)
  • — U.S. Medical Certification (if relevant)
  • — JF-57 (if relevant)

For each category of document, you must scan/merge multiple documents into one single document. For instance, for initial and final SF-50s documenting your prior employment in an EPAP position or positions, you will combine those SF-50s into one scanned SF-50 document. Similarly, if you have more than one transcript, those documents should be combined into one transcript document, adding, when relevant, the HS Diploma/GED Certificate (in the absence of post-secondary degree) or adding the foreign degree credential evaluation (if relevant).
Note that if you later upload an additional document in a given category it will overwrite (replace) the existing document in that category so make sure your scanned/merged document(s) include(s) a complete record of the transcript and is not missing any pages.

After you prepare your documents as set out above, you will be able to transfer/attach them to the State Application Site (see Step 9: Upload Documents below) under the following document types/categories:

  • * U.S. Transcripts/Foreign Education Evaluation
  • * SF-50
  • * DD-214
  • * Assignment Notification/Cable/OF-126
  • * U.S. Medical Certification
  • * JF-57

Please note that we have done our best to reflect the most up-to-date information as it relates to saving/uploading/attaching your documents under USAJOBS and the State Application Site. This process will vary depending on the number and types of documents you submit.

Step 6: Prepare Attachment(s) to Document Post of Assignment  

  • Upload and attach to your application package:
    • Your sponsoring employee’s assignment notification (TM-ONE), or
    • Travel Orders (TM-FOUR), or
    • Approved Form OF-0126 Foreign Service Residence Dependency Report (an approved form is one that is signed by an authorizing official)
    • Each document needs to list you by name as a dependent, your sponsor’s name and agency, and the post of assignment. This post must be listed on the document, and it should the same location to which you are applying for a position(s).
    • In the event that one document does not provide all the requested information, a combination of the listed documents is acceptable. 
    • Be sure to review “Important Guidance” box above.
  • If your sponsoring employee is assigned to a Priority Staffing Post (PSP), you must include the assignment cable/notification. Since you cannot be included in this document, unless/until you are hired by post, the regional bureau understands that you may not be listed on the assignment cable/notification.
  • If your sponsoring employee’s agency does not provide all of the required assignment and dependent information in a single document as indicated above, or you if have any questions about this requirement, email

Step 7: Prepare Attachment to Document Education

  • If you wish to qualify for a position and grade that requires a high school diploma or a General Education Diploma, please provide a copy of the certificate/diploma or transcript or a final report card.
    • Note: You must provide, at minimum, a HS Diploma or a GED Certificate if you do not have an undergraduate degree (at minimum an Associate or Bachelor’s per the Qualification Standards).
  • If you wish to qualify for a position and grade requires a college/university degree, please provide the college/university degree transcript and degree awarded: Transcripts must include education you believe is relevant to your application and/or demonstrates that you meet or exceed the EPAP qualification standards.
    • Note: If you have two or more degrees, you must include the transcript for each degree, keeping in mind that each degree may have a different field of study and may qualify you at a different grade (combined with the years of experience).
  • A – For education acquired inside the U.S., Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Trust Territory of Pacific Islands, or any territory or possession of the U.S.:
    • Transcripts must:
      • Be legible, in English, include your name, the name of the institution, and indicate the degree(s) (if any) awarded and course work completed.
      • Note: unofficial copies of school records are acceptable, as long as they meet the above requirements.
      • If your transcripts do not include the degree(s) awarded, include a copy of your diploma with your transcripts.
        • Note: the regional bureau or post reserve the right to ask for an original copy of the diploma/degree/certification for further verification.
      • If your transcripts are from a U.S. institution, but they are not in English, you must submit the original transcript and a certified English translation.
      • Be sure to review “Important Guidance” box on this page.
  • B – For education acquired outside the U.S., Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Trust Territory of Pacific Islands, or any territory or possession of the U.S.:
    • Foreign transcripts or diplomas must be accompanied by an evaluation from a foreign education credentialing service.
    • Foreign transcripts or diplomas submitted without a credentialing service evaluation will not be considered.
      • Note: English transcript/translations are not sufficient by themselves to establish the foreign degree equivalency to a U.S. degree
    • Applicants should select a member organization of one of the following two national associations of credential evaluation services.
      • National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES),
      • Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE),
    • When submitting your foreign transcripts or degrees for credential evaluation, request a detailed report that includes your course work (a course-by-course evaluation) and an evaluation of how your foreign degree compares or equates to a U.S. degree. If you have more than one degree in different fields of study and/or from different institutions, include each degree’s transcript, unless combined on one institution’s transcript.
      • Note: Credential evaluations are not free, and applicants are responsible for paying the cost of the selected service, which will vary from case to case.
    • Prior to submitting any documents to a credential evaluation service, you may also need to obtain English translations of any non-English documents.
    • Inquire with your selected member organization which may offer translation services or may provide guidance on how to proceed.
      • Note: Foreign transcripts or degrees that are not accompanied by a credential evaluation will not be considered.
    • Be sure to review “Important Guidance” box on this page.
  • C – Education acquired both inside and outside the U.S., Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Trust Territory of Pacific Islands, or any territory or possession of the U.S.:
    • If undergraduate and graduate degrees/fields of study are the same and the course work you completed outside the U.S. was accepted by a U.S institution and counted toward your U.S. degree, submit only the highest U.S. degree achieved (undergraduate or graduate) and transcripts.
    • If undergraduate and graduate degrees/fields of study are different, or if the course work you completed outside the U.S. was not accepted by a U.S. institution or did not count toward your U.S. degree, the foreign course work must be evaluated by a credential evaluation service, as described above, and a credential evaluation report must be submitted with the application package.
    • If you are applying for a medical position, include the requested certification as listed in the EPAP Qualification Standards for each position (i.e., U.S. National MLS and MT certification; national certification and licensure in a U.S state; U.S. RN license or equivalent; residency and board certification and valid U.S. medical license or equivalent; current board certification by ABPN and current valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine.

Note: the regional bureau or post reserve the right to ask an applicant for an original copy of the diploma/degree/certification for further verification.

Note for related vs. non-related degree: If you have earned a degree that is not listed in the qualification standards under Education, and you believe that the degree should be considered under the umbrella of “related field,” proceed as follows: under the USAJOBS resume builder window “Add Education,” section “Relevant Coursework, Licensures and Certifications”  explain the nature of your degree and list the courses you consider to be related to the position you are applying for. To be recognized as a related degree, at least 60 percent of the courses listed in the transcript/resume must be closely related to the EPAP position. Repeat as needed if you apply for different EPAP positions.

Step 8: Prepare Other Documentation, as Appropriate 

  • If you are a former or current EPAP employee seeking qualification based on your EPAP experience in a particular career field, you must submit your initial and final SF-50s to show that you have served in that type of EPAP position for 12 or more months. You must also attach your employee performance report (EPR(s) or JF-57(s)) documenting fully satisfactory or above performance for 12 or more months.
  • If you are a former U.S. Department of State Information Management Specialist applying for an Information Management EPAP position, you must include the appropriate SF-50(s) verifying prior employment.
  • U.S. Veteran’s preference will be applied in the selection process, consistent with the application of U.S. Veteran’s preference in all overseas employment. If you claim status as a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran, you must submit the most recent Member Copy Four (4) of the DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and, if applicable, a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or other supporting documentation. If claiming conditional eligibility for U.S. Veterans’ preference, you must submit proof of conditional eligibility. If written documentation confirming eligibility is not received by the closing date of the vacancy announcement, the preference will not be considered in the application process. Claiming U.S. veteran’s preference does not automatically convey eligibility and qualification. See other listed documents.

Step 9: Upload Documents (Review “Important Guidance” box, above.)

  •  Upload all required documents as needed to your account.
    • Only resumes built with the USAJOBS resume builder will be accepted.
    • When the EPAP vacancy announcement goes live on USAJOBS, you will be able to complete your application by clicking on “Apply.”
    • At a certain point in the application, you will be transferred from USAJOBS to the Monster tool “Gateway to State” or State Application site, where you will answer questions that relate to your eligibility, qualifications, and position selection. You will also be asked to transfer your USAJOBS resume and attach any documentation (as listed in the “Important Guidance” box) saved under your USAJOBS profile.
    • Note: Uploading documents to your account does not automatically upload them to the State Application Site where your EPAP application will be recorded. Do not forget to attach your documentation in “Gateway to State” or State Application site at the time you complete your application.
    • Be sure to review “Important Guidance” box, above.

Keep in mind: To be considered for positions, application packages must be complete and must be submitted by the deadline published in USAJOBS (Spring/Summer cycle) or in the vacancy announcement advertised by post (Fall cycle only). By preparing in advance, you will be ready to quickly submit your EPAP application when the EPAP vacancy announcement opens on and/or when it is directly advertised at post. Please do not submit additional documents, i.e., those that are not requested in the above list (Step 5 through Step 9).

Additional Information

U.S. Department of State

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