Using your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate overseas

Will I be exempt from quarantine overseas if I’ve got an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?

Your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate is a secure and trusted means of proving your COVID-19 vaccination history. But whether that history meets local public health requirements is up to authorities in the countries you visit. Some destinations:

  • do not exempt vaccinated travellers from quarantine, or
  • have different policies to Australia about which vaccines they accept and the length of time between doses, or
  • require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test in addition to a vaccination certificate.

It is important to inform yourself about vaccination, testing and quarantine requirements in each destination and transit point. These requirements can change at short notice, so make sure that you keep up to date.

Can I use my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate as a domestic ‘vaccine passport’ in other countries?

Many countries have eased border entry rules for travellers who can prove they’re fully vaccinated.  For this critical purpose, international vaccination certificates issued by countries around the world, including the International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC), are widely accepted. All you need to do is make sure you meet your destination’s definition of fully vaccinated, as this may differ from Australia’s definition.

So your ICVC will allow you to enter your destination. But beyond the border is where things can get a little more complicated.

Some countries need proof of vaccination as a condition for using services such as public transport. They may also need it for entering restaurants, shops, theatres and other venues. This is often done through ‘vaccine passports’, which are issued by local authorities and linked to local smartphone apps, similar to Australia’s domestic COVID-19 Digital Certificate and state check-in systems.

These systems have generally been designed for local residents, not international travellers. If you’re just visiting a country for a short stay, you may not be able to get a local vaccine passport.  And the local smartphone app might not be able to read the vaccination certificate you brought from Australia.

What about in Europe?

European countries have in the past had relatively widespread vaccination checks. Most have now removed these checks but rules can change at short notice. Keep up with the latest at smartraveller.gov.au.

The local vaccine passport is the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate (DCC), also known as a ‘Green Pass’.

Some EU apps that scan and verify DCCs, for instance in Greece, have been configured to read other certificates, but apps in some other EU countries have not.

For countries that still ask for proof of vaccination for access to certain domestic services and venues, some will recognise a print-out of an Australian International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). Others will let you use your ICVC to apply for a local vaccine certificate, which may be recognised in other EU countries. Before travelling to any EU country, make sure to check if proof of vaccination is required for access to any domestic venues or services and if so what it will accept before you leave Australia.

If I have a COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, do I still need to do a PCR test?

That depends on the travel requirements of your destination country. Make sure to check this information before you go on your trip.

How do I use my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?

Once you’ve requested the international certificate you can print it, save it, or upload it to a digital wallet or travel app.

You may need to show the certificate to your airline or to border authorities when you enter another country as proof that you have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

As every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders, you’ll need to check your COVID-19 vaccination meets the requirement of the countries you’re visiting.

You should also check your international certificate meets the requirement of the country you’re entering. Some countries will only accept certificates that show your COVID-19 vaccination batch numbers.

If the country you’re visiting needs these details and your certificate is missing it, go to the Services Australia website. For more information on the entry requirements of the destinations you’re visiting see the Smartraveller website.

Do I need to print out my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?

The QR code includes all the information authorities need to assess your vaccination status. Some may accept the QR code on its own, but some may not. We recommend that you carry a printout of the PDF version in case you need it.

Does my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate go into my passport?

Your international certificate and passport are separate documents. To prove that you’re the rightful holder, you’ll generally need to show both of these documents together.

How do I care for my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?

Your international certificate displays sensitive personal information. You should protect it from loss, theft and compromise with the same care as your passport.

If you print out your international certificate, you should protect the QR code from marks or damage that may make it hard for authorities to read, such as heavy folds over the QR code.

What if I lose my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?

We recommend that you travel with a spare copy of your international certificate and leave a copy with a family member or trusted friend, in case it is lost or damaged on your journey.

If you lose your international certificate, and you don’t have a spare copy, you can get a new one for free through myGov or by contacting Services Australia.

Tip: Follow the instructions on the myGov website to ensure that you still have access to your myGov account while travelling overseas.

Do I need to show my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate at the Australian border?

Information about how to use your certificate when leaving or entering Australia is available from the Department of Home Affairs.

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