How To Get EU Digital COVID Certificate As A Foreigner

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How To Get EU Digital COVID Certificate As A Foreigner

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.

  1. Visit the official site and read the info if you have questions.
  2. Assuming you’re not a student in the EU, start your application here. Each person must submit a separate application.
  3. 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.
  4. Done!

How To Get EU Digital COVID Certificate As A Foreigner
Example of EU Digital COVID Certificate

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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  1. Great tips, though you might make it more clear that the French solution isn’t working online anymore.
    In France, the Netherlands, and Germany you can get a US vaccination uploaded and certificate issued at most pharmacies for somewhere between free and $35. In other countries like Belgium you’ll need to make a doctor’s appointment, but that’s also only about $35. Some places in Germany are now requiring that your CDC card have a sticker from the vaccine vial (which is a pretty genius little upgrade from someone’s handwriting).

  2. Things are always changing, however, I just came back from 5 weeks in Europe. Visited Galicia, Portugal, Italy and Greece. In Spain, I never was asked for vaccine proof anywhere. In Portugal, only at hotel check in was I asked for proof of vaccine. In Italy, flying domestically I had to show proof of vaccine, and at 10% of restaurants I visited. Greece was the most strict, requiring vaccine proof at 95% of everything, flights, restaurants, stores, museums, hotels. I never had the EU digital and never was turned away for showing my U.S. vaccine card. It took an extra minute sometimes for them to understand the vaccine card vs. digital. Also, at least in Greece, businesses preferred seeing the vaccine card vs. an image of the card. Also, important, about 50% of the time I had to show my passport in addition to my vaccine card. So one potential downside is by carrying these important documents around you increase chances of losing them. I never tried to pursue the digital card and really wasn’t a big deal. All of these countires mask use indoors anywhere was required.

  3. hmm…it doesn’t look like they’re taking applicants anymore…”This procedure has been closed, it is no longer possible to submit a file.”

  4. I’m flying to Marseilles in March ’22. Submitted my application last night and got my QR code in 10 hours. Thx for tip!

  5. I also got mine from France and was absolutely amazed at how easy and quick it was (And free). I used it last week in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and France and it was so easy. I highly recommend this if you are going to europe as many places require a QR code to get in.

    Note: You will not be approved for the France pass if you don’t have confirmed travel to France. That is one of the requirements (could be plane or train)

  6. Thanks for posting this. Interestingly at the bottom of the site you can click on the link: “Statistiques : voir les statistiques de la démarche” which shows a dashboard with the average processing time. Currently it says 27 days. Not sure how often this is updated but it looks like there was a surge of applications in September. No data is shown for October, so perhaps there is no more backlog.

  7. Yeah, same is happening to me. Applied in Sept… and still waiting. May be simply as my travel is still multiple weeks out. Have messaged them. Will resubmit if if continues

  8. I found I had to submit several times. The ones I submitted 10 days ago still haven’t been looked at. 2 days ago I submitted again and they came back in 5 minutes. Not sure how these are prioritized.


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