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Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP)

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Next Open Season to Apply for Qualification

Due to discussions in Washington on creating a mechanism to simplify family member employment in our overseas missions and more quickly mobilize family members to fill available positions, the next open season to apply for qualification to the Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP) has been postponed until early in calendar year 2016. Dates will be announced as soon as possible. This delay will not affect the EPAP process as posts are being asked now to identify positions and the bureaus will decide which to advertise during the next recruitment cycle. Anyone applying for qualification during the next open season will be able to apply for the positions that will be advertised. We encourage all family members interested in participating in the program to prepare their applications for qualification now by reviewing the information below and on the Open Season page.

General Information

EPAP is the newest Family Liaison Office (FLO) program (it was established in 2008 and moved to FLO oversight and management in 2012). EPAP provides U.S. citizen Eligible Family Members serving overseas with 200 professional level Foreign Service, full-time positions in Economics, Management, Political, Public Diplomacy, Financial Management, General Services, Human Resources, Office Management and Medical areas. Most positions are funded centrally, primarily by the Department of State. Each Regional Bureau is authorized a number of these positions as determined by the Under Secretary for Management. It also provides up to 50 positions in the Information Management area, also centrally funded. Individual posts may now also create post funded ICASS positions. The pay grades run from FP-07 to FP-04. For general questions regarding the program, please email
Eligibility Information
In order to participate in EPAP, an applicant must be an Eligible Family Member (EFM) who:
  • is at least 21 years old;
  • is a U.S. citizen spouse or U.S. citizen same-sex domestic partner, listed by name, on the assignment notification/cable or approved Form OF-126 (Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report) of a direct-hire (not contract) Foreign Service or Civil Service employee of any federal agency, or uniformed services member who is currently serving (or will be serving) in a full-time position overseas at a U.S. mission or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan under Chief of Mission authority; and
  • resides at the sponsoring employee's post of assignment abroad at a U.S. mission, or, as appropriate, at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan.
Same-Sex Domestic Partners must comply with the provisions of 3 FAM 1612, including the filing of the Affidavit of Eligibility for Benefits and Obligations (DS 7669).
Program Process
Step 1: Eligible Family Members submit an application for qualification to the program via during one of the open seasons held each year. The vacancy announcement will be open for two weeks. Family members are encouraged to prepare their application materials in advance. Visit the Open Season page for more information. 

Step 2: FLO reviews applications to confirm eligibility and convenes the Qualification Evaluation Panels (QEPs) of subject matter experts to review applications submitted by eligible candidates. The QEPs evaluate each candidate as either qualified or not qualified for the area(s) to which they applied. This process can take up to two and half months to complete depending on how many applications are received. Visit the Open Season page for more information. 

Step 3: FLO notifies EFMs of the QEP determinations and shares the results with the Regional Bureaus.

Step 4: Posts identify which EPAP positions they would like filled and request positions through their respective Regional Bureau and/or the Bureau of Information Resource Management. The Bureaus create a list of available positions, which FLO advertises. This recruitment will take place at least once a year, but depending on available positions, may take place twice a year. If posts have available unfilled positions between open seasons/recruitment cycles, they might be able to advertise those at the post level.

Step 5: Positions are advertised for two weeks and family members send their required documents directly to the Regional Bureau EPAP Representative. In order to apply for advertised positions, candidates must already be qualified in the advertised area (that is, been determined qualified by a Qualification Evaluation Panel during a previous EPAP open season). Visit the Recruitment Cycle page for more information.

Step 6: The Regional Bureau EPAP Representative confirms whether candidates are EPAP qualified and determines which advertised positions can be filled. The Bureau forwards the list of candidates to the respective posts to conduct any required language testing and to schedule interviews.

Step 7: Posts interview qualified applicants and recommend the selected candidate to the Bureau.

Step 8: The Regional Bureau makes all final hiring and salary decisions and offers the position to the selected family member. Visit the Selection Process page for more information. 

Step 9: Once an EFM has accepted an offer, post will initiate the required security clearance process (if any). When at least an interim clearance has been granted, the Bureau will send the Authorization to Hire cable to post and the selected family member may begin work. Selected candidates must be able to serve one full year in a position and their sponsoring employee must have at least one year remaining on their overseas posting. Visit the After Selection page for more information. 

FLO coordinates and provides oversight to the program, administers the open season to apply for qualification, convenes the Qualification Evaluation Panels (QEPs), advises candidates of the results of the QEP, and provides the Regional Bureaus with a list of qualified candidates. For questions regarding the program, please email


Information provided by the Family Liaison Office 
Contact the Family Liaison Office

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