Divisional applications are searched, published and examined in the same way as other European patent applications.
The search fee is refunded if the conditions of Art. 9(2) of the Rules relating to Fees are met (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 17 November 2017, OJ EPO 2017, A94, for divisional applications for which the search is completed on or after 1 December 2017).
The divisional application is published in accordance with Art. 93(1). The filing or priority date taken for calculation of the eighteen-month period for publication is the date of filing or the earliest priority date claimed (see A‑IV, 1.2.1). Since this period has usually already expired when the divisional application is filed, the technical preparations for publication are completed as soon as all formal requirements with respect to the divisional application have been fulfilled. The applicant is informed of the intended publication date (see also A‑VI, 1.1).
The time limit for filing the request for examination begins to run with the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the search report concerning the divisional application.