Australian Passport Office Guidance on foreign vaccination certificates
As Australia’s border progressively reopens from 1 November 2021, more favourable entry rules may apply to certain arriving travellers who can prove they are fully vaccinated. To benefit from these arrangements, travellers vaccinated in Australia will need to present an Australian International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate. Travellers vaccinated in other countries will be able to present certificates in formats that meet the following criteria:
- Issued by a national or state/provincial-level authority or an accredited vaccination provider
- Written in English or accompanied by a certified translation
- Containing at a minimum:
- name as it appears in the traveller’s passport
- either date of birth or passport number
- the vaccine brand name, and
- the date of each dose or the date on which a full course of immunisation was completed.
Paper and digital certificates are equally acceptable.
For travellers to qualify as fully vaccinated, their certificates must show vaccines approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Current approved and recognised vaccines and dosages are:
- Two doses at least 14 days apart of:
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
- AstraZeneca COVISHIELD
- Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
- Moderna Spikevax
- Sinovac Coronavac
- Bharat (Covaxin)
- Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV) (for ages 18-60 only)
- Or one dose of:
- Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.
Seven days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA. Doses of Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV) only count towards being fully vaccinated if administered when the traveller was aged from 18 to 60 years.
Travellers who have not been vaccinated with the above doses or schedule do not meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated.
All children aged under 12 years count as fully vaccinated for travel purposes. Special arrangements(link is external) apply for certain returning Australian children aged 12-17 years who are not fully vaccinated.
Travellers who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 because of a medical condition need to provide evidence. They should also check any requirements, particularly quarantine requirements, in the state or territory to which they are travelling.
The TGA is continuing to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines that may be recognised for the purposes of inbound travel to Australia in future. Information on the latest approved and recognised vaccines is available on the TGA website.
Shortened brand names
Some certificates shorten the name of a vaccine brand compared to how it appears in the list above. For instance, some certificates refer only to ‘Biontech’, ‘Comirnaty’, ‘AstraZeneca’ or ‘Johnson & Johnson’. This is acceptable.
A certificate is not acceptable if it includes the name or part name of a vaccine not currently approved or recognised by the TGA.
Special rules apply for Sinopharm brand names (see below).
Sinopharm brand names
There are two kinds of Sinopharm vaccine. One is from Beijing and one from Wuhan, although both may also be produced at other locations.
Only the Beijing vaccine is recognised by the TGA. A certificate shows the Beijing vaccine if the brand name contains the expressions ‘BBIBP’, ‘BIBP’ or ‘Covilo’.
Sinopharm brand names can also include other expressions such as ‘Cor‑V’ and ‘Vero Cells’. These are not relevant to whether the vaccine is recognised by the TGA.
Examples of acceptable brand names on a vaccination certificate include:
- Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV
- Sinopharm BBIBP
- Sinopharm BIBP-CorV
- Sinopharm Covid Vaccine BIBP
- Sinopharm Beijing
- BBIBP (Vero Cells)
- Sinopharm Covilo
Examples of unacceptable brand names on a vaccination certificate include:
- Sinopharm WIBP
- Sinopharm Wuhan
‘Sinopharm’ by itself is not acceptable on a certificate because there is no way of telling whether it refers to the Beijing or Wuhan vaccine.
If you are considering starting a new life adventure in Australia, now is a great time to commence the process to take advantage of early opportunities.
Contact us now for a confidential discussion and refer family, friends and colleagues and be rewarded.