New vaccine passport for international travel

New, internationally accepted proof of vaccination ID to be launched Canada-wide

Oct. 21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canadians will need proof of  COVID-19 vaccination, or vaccine passport, that will be accepted internationally and allow easier travel internationally.

The proof of vaccination will be a .pdf document where you can print it. The first page of the document will include your name, date of birth, and most importantly your COVID-19 vaccine history. However, the federal government states that every province and territory is responsible for issuing a standardized vaccine passport that can help Canadians while travelling internationally.

According to the federal government, passports will have security features that will prevent tampering and forgeries. Foreign border officials can either manually read the information on the passport, or scan the QR code with whichever digital validation technology they are using.

This proof of vaccination is already available to Canadians whose provinces and territories have issued vaccine credentials such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. The remaining provinces are set to issue their standardized passports within the next month, and the documentation is able to be downloaded digitally or printed on paper.

“We are very confident that this proof of vaccination certificate that will be federally approved, issued by the provinces with the health information for Canadians, is going to be accepted at destinations worldwide as proof of vaccination,” Trudeau said in the announcement.

If your proof of vaccination form says “COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination” at the top of the document, includes logos for your province or territory as well as a government of Canada flag logo, your name and date of birth, and your COVID-19 vaccine dose information, it might be the federal form.

The COVID-19 proof can also be used with ArriveCan when submitting information when returning from abroad to be able to qualify for an exemption from quarantine.

Alexander Cohen, press secretary for Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says, “some provinces, like Quebec, will have a separate link on their websites to download the federal form for international travel. This form will be different from the one you might use within a province or upload to a provincial app.”

If you’re planning to travel internationally, it is recommended you have both a paper and an electronic copy of your vaccination proof. You still need to show a piece of personal identification such as a passport, alongside your vaccination passport, when travelling by plane, train or cruise ship within Canada as of Oct. 30.

There will be a grace period until Nov. 30, in which you can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding your plane, train or ship instead of proof of vaccination. This is to give time for people to get vaccinated, according to the government website.

Before travelling make sure you have all the required documents as the rules keep changing every day. Visit the travel section on the government of Canada’s website to get the latest updates, and the documents needed for the destination you are going to.