How To Get EU Digital COVID Certificate As A Foreigner
For anyone wondering how to get the EU digital COVID certificate as a foreigner, the process isn’t that bad. I recently got mine, and I know I can’t be the only one wondering about it. Since people from North America are traveling to Europe now, you may need an EU Digital COVID Certificate to visit tourist spots during your trip. Here’s how to get one.
Updated November 20, 2021
What Is The EU Digital COVID Certificate?
The EU Digital Covid Certificate is verifiable proof that you’ve had a negative Covid test result, been vaccinated, or recovered from Covid. Given that many countries now require proof of vaccination for Americans to enter, it becomes handy to have this certificate. Additionally, visiting tourist spots or even dining at restaurants may require this certificate, depending on your destination.
How To Get The EU Digital COVID Certificate As A Foreigner
Since we were vaccinated outside the EU, it could be tough to get this, right? Nope. It was super simple and much faster than I expected.
Who Can Apply?
If you are over age 12 (required after October 1, 2021) and were vaccinated outside these countries: European Union Member States, Albania, Andorra, Faroe Islands, the Holy See, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Morocco, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Which Vaccines Are Accepted?
You can apply after the following times:
- 4 weeks if you received a single-dose injection (Johnson&Johnson);
- 7 days after the second injection for two-dose vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
- 7 days after the injection if you have recovered from COVID-19 (in this case, only one vaccine dose is necessary);
- 7 days after a booster ARNm dose (Moderna or Pfizer) after two shots of a vaccine on the WHO’s health emergencies list (Sinovac/Coronavac or Sinopharm/BBIB-PVeroCells)
How To Apply
From everything I’ve read, applying via France is simplest. That worked well for me, since I had a stop for 24 hours en route from the Middle East back to North America and wanted to be able to eat at restaurants and go to some tourist spots.
You will need to provide proof of travel to France. This can be a refundable booking.
- Visit the official site and read the info if you have questions.
- Assuming you’re not a student in the EU, start your application here. Each person must submit a separate application.
- Fill out your name, where you live, and date of birth. Then, you will upload proof of visit to France, a copy of your passport, and proof of vaccination.
How Long Does It Take?
I submitted my request online on a Sunday at 8:30pm France time. I received my certificate at 9am France time Monday morning. That’s not a typo. It took just over 12 hours.
Maybe that’s a bit “outside the norm”, but we can at least determine that it’s quick. My travel to France was within a week of submission, so maybe they rushed it. Other people I’ve talked to and reports online say they received their certificates in less than 3 days.
Where Did I Use It?
On arrival at the airport in Paris, I simply showed this on my phone. They scanned it, matched it to my passport, and I didn’t have to show any other documents. It was ultra-fast.
To eat at restaurants, I had to show it just to go inside. When checking in at my hotel, they asked for it. Walking past gyms and other “indoor” types of places, I saw that nearly all of them had “pass required” signs on the door.
Now That France Isn’t Accepting Online Applications
France is no longer accepting online applications for certificates for foreigners. The best online option at this point is applying via Switzerland. The results should be ready within one week, which is the positive side. The negative side is that theirs isn’t free. It costs roughly $32 US. You can apply here.
Other countries within the EU either do not have similar programs or are removing them. Many require proof of living/working in the country to gain the digital vaccination certificate there, but Switzerland does not.
In-Person Option in France
There is an in-person option in France now. You can go to an approved pharmacy and pay a fee (up to 36 euros) to have them create the certificate for you. Instructions and the list of approved pharmacies can be found here.
Numerous places in Europe are requiring vaccination proof just to enter the country. However, if you want to go to museums and restaurants, you may need more than that. The EU Digital COVID Certificate gives you that proof in a QR code that you can show on your phone or print out to carry with you. Obtaining one as a foreigner was much simpler and faster than I’d expected. Now you know how to get one.
And if you need to know how to get the Green Pass in United Arab Emirates (UAE), you can read my guide on that one here.