EPAP: How to Apply

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Appointment Eligible Family Members (AEFMs) who would like to be considered for one or more positions must submit an application via the centralized USAJOBS vacancy announcement or directly at post when/if an EPAP position is advertised separately. AEFMs may only submit applications for positions that are listed as available at their sponsor’s post of assignment.

Advertising cycles

2019 USAJobs Spring/Summer/early Fall Positions

Each of the regional bureaus, IRM and OBO have created a list of EPAP positions that are available now and/or that are expected to become available through September/October 2019. These positions will be advertised via a vacancy announcement on USAJOBS.gov on April 15-28, 2019. Positions that are not filled through this announcement or that become available in fall/winter 2019 will be advertised at a later date by individual posts.

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

Each bureau can only fill up to the number of vacant positions allocated. However, more positions than the number actually available will be advertised to give maximum flexibility to both applicants and bureaus in seeking good matches for the positions.

2019 Post-Advertised Positions

Positions that are not filled through the spring/summer/early fall USAJobs announcement or positions that become unfilled after the USAJobs vacancy closes, will be returned to the regional or functional bureau (IRM and OBO) for reassignment. Bureaus may advertise unfilled positions directly at post.

Applying on USAJOBS.gov

Step 1: Review Documents

Step 2: Get Informed About USAJOBS and Get Started

Step 3: When ready to apply via the USAJobs.gov Vacancy Announcement (April 15 (12:01 a.m. E.T.) through April 28 (11:59 p.m. E.T.)


  • AEFMs may only apply for EPAP positions that will be available at the sponsoring employee’s post of assignment.
  • EPAP positions are full-time positions unless otherwise specified. As with all EFM appointments, availability may be a factor.
  • Specific positions can be viewed in the USAJOBS vacancy announcement after the applicant has confirmed the bureau to which the sponsor has been assigned. While the vacancy only list one grade (FP-07), the applicant’s grade will be determined by HR specialists based on the offered grade for each selected position(s) and based on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate s/he qualifies.
  • Applicant must verify that the required documents have been successfully attached to the USAJOBS application prior to the deadline. Please allow at least three to four hours to complete the application package. To avoid being affected by occasional USAJOBS system outages, applicants are encouraged not to wait until the deadline to submit
  • No submissions will be accepted after the vacancy has closed.

Applying Directly at Post

Follow the vacancy announcement instructions and send your application package to the regional bureau as instructed in the vacancy announcement. See review process below, which remains the same regardless of how the EPAP vacancy is advertised.

Review Process

Whether EPAP positions are advertised via USAJobs.gov or at post, the required eligibility and qualification standards remain the same.

Step 1: After the vacancy announcement has closed, each EPAP application package will be reviewed by the appropriate regional bureau. The application package should include documents that prove eligibility and documents that establish qualification (see Checklist to determine which documents are required and which documents are optional). Each bureau will determine if the applicant meets the AEFM eligibility requirement and if the applicant has successfully documented his/her application to enable further qualification review.

Step1A: Applicants who fail to submit documents proving their AEFM eligibility or who submit an incomplete package will receive an automated response from USAJobs or a notification from the bureau.

Step 1B: Applicants whose application package provides the documents needed for their qualification review will be forwarded to:

  • Posts, or,
  • The appropriate functional bureau (for IRM/MED/OBO positions).

Step 2: After receiving the application package, post HR or IRM/OBO/MED HR will review the application and determine whether the applicant meets or exceeds the qualification standards.

Step 3: HR will conduct any required testing for all qualified applicants. Candidates who pass the required testing will be invited for an interview. Hiring preference is applied in the following order:

  1. AEFMs who are also preference-eligible U.S. Veterans; and
  2. AEFMs.

To ensure the hiring preference is applied correctly, a member of the Post Employment Committee (PEC) will attend all interviews. Generally, this is the CLO, unless he/she is a candidate for the position. The hiring supervisor will make the hiring decision. The PEC will review the decision, and if the decision is upheld, it will be sent for concurrence by the Front Office or designee.

Step 4: Post HR will then inform the bureau of the selection.

Step 5: The regional bureaus, in coordination with IRM/MED/OBO, where appropriate, make all final hiring and salary decisions and extend a conditional offer to the selected AEFM.

Candidates who were interviewed but not selected will receive from the post HR (or OBO HR, where appropriate) a non-selection letter.

Step 6: The EPAP candidate must respond to the conditional offer within the next three business days. Once an EPAP candidate accepts a conditional offer, post will initiate the required security clearance process and conduct an anti-nepotism review if relevant. See FSFRC section for applicants who are FSFRC members. Upon receipt of instructions, selected candidates must promptly complete and submit any required documents needed for their security clearance. When/if an interim clearance has been granted, the regional bureau will send an Authority to Hire cable to post and the selected candidate may begin work. Go to the After Selection page for more information.

Hiring Mechanism

Candidates are hired on a Family Member Appointment (FMA). For more information, see 3 FAM 8200.

Go to EPAP: After Selection

Return to EPAP homepage

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