International vaccine certificates for Australians: How to get your vaccine passport for overseas travel

If you've been desperately waiting for international borders to reopen so you can travel overseas, you won't have to wait too much longer, with restrictions set to ease from November.

But you won't get far without proof you've been vaccinated against COVID-19. Many countries have made this a requirement of entry and several airlines, including Qantas, have also made proof of vaccination compulsory for international passengers.

You can now access a new, internationally recognised COVID-19 vaccination certificate from the Australian government.

While there's been much written about the introduction of the certificates, there has been little information about how you actually access them.

Here's what to do.

What you need:

Your MyGov login details

Your passport

First, you need your vaccination status linked to your MyGov account through Medicare. If your Medicare account is already connected to your MyGov account, your original vaccination certificate should have become available shortly after you received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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You can view this certificate by clicking on the "Proof of COVID-19 vaccination" on MyGov homepage.

Vaccination certificate screengrab

This will take you to the Medicare website, where you'll find your vaccination certificate under "Immunisation history".

That certificate has your name, date of birth, an identification number, the date you received your second vaccine dose and the type of vaccine you received.

However, the certificates issued to date are not internationally recognised, which is why you need to apply for the new one you will need for overseas travel.

In order to access that, you need to go to the section below, titled "International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate" and hit "Request a Certificate".

Vaccination certificate screengrab

If your Medicare account is shared with family members, you'll be asked to select which person you are applying for the certificate for.

Next, you'll be shown your vaccine history and asked if the details are correct.

The next step is adding your passport details. This can be an Australian passport or a foreign passport with a relevant visa.

Vaccination certificate screengrab

There are a couple of things to watch out for here. The form is case sensitive so make sure those first two letters in your passport number are capitalised. Also, your name is auto-filled from your Medicare account. This means your middle name will only be listed as a middle initial - if your middle name is on your passport you'll need to type it out in full or the application will be rejected.

Once your passport details are entered, you'll be asked for confirm all your details are correct before the certificate request is sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Travel (DFAT).

If everything has been filled out correctly, the international certificate should be available to download or print immediately in a PDF format.

It looks quite different to your other certificate in that it contains a QR code.

Supplied PR image for Traveller. Check for re-use. Sample of international vaccine certificate from the Australian government for overseas travel

According to the federal government, the new certificate uses "Visible Digital Seal" technology making it as secure as an Australian passport.

The international certificate meets the new global standard specified by the International Civil Aviation Organization and conforms with World Health Organization guidance.

Now you have the certificate, what do you do with it?

According to the government, the certificate will work with digital travel apps including the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass. However, at this stage the IATA Travel Pass is available by invitation only (and the invitation has to come from a participating airline after you have booked your flight). Qantas has plans to integrate the certificate with its own app. For the moment, you'll just need to have the certificate stored on your phone or printed out in order to use it.

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