As more countries open up international borders and COVID-19 vaccines become more accessible, the idea of travelling outside the country no longer feels like an impossibility. Of course, there are a number of things to consider: international travel is now a lot more expensive, and there are a lot more requirements to prepare. One of these things is a vaccination certificate — specifically, a Bureau of Quarantine Yellow Card or International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV).
Also read: Who Can Get an International Vaccine Certificate for COVID-19?
Why do I need a vaccine certificate from the BOQ?
Proof of full vaccination is fast becoming a requirement for entry into other countries. But unfortunately, the vaccination cards we receive from our LGUs aren’t recognised internationally. The Bureau of Quarantine’s International Certificate of Vaccination, however, is recognised by the World Health Organization and its member countries.
The ICV is not mandatory, as not all countries require it. Another thing to take note of, though, is that while some countries won’t require you to present proof of vaccination upon arrival, a number of establishments like restaurants and museums do. This being said, you’ll want to research thoroughly about entry requirements for tourist attractions, as well as food and beverage establishments, when planning an international trip.
Also read: Passport Renewal Amid COVID-19 for Philippine Passport Holders
How can I apply for a Bureau of Quarantine Yellow Card?
At the time of writing, only OFWs and individuals planning to travel abroad may apply for an ICV. Only those fully vaccinated in the Philippines are eligible for a BOQ vaccination certificate.
Requirements for BOQ Yellow Card
All you’ll need are the following:
- Valid passport
- Valid ID
- Vaccination card
- Once you have all the requirements handy, head to the Bureau of Quarantine’s official online booking system.
- Choose your preferred BOQ office. They have a number of main and satellite offices nationwide.
- Click “Book Appointment,” then review and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Click “New Certificate.”
- Fill out all the necessary information.
- Under “BOQ Service Type,” choose “International Certificate of Vaccination for COVID-19,” then click “Next.”
- Choose your preferred date and time.
- Upload photos of your valid government issued ID, LGU-issued vaccination card, and valid passport.
- Proceed to payment. You can choose from over-the-counter payments via LBC and 7-Eleven, or online payments via GCash or Metrobank. A number of credit/debit card and online banking payments are available as well.
- Proceed to the BOQ office on your scheduled appointment and bring the necessary documents. Present a screenshot of your confirmed appointment and your receipt. Your ICV will be printed in just minutes.
Also read: US Visa Renewal for Filipino Tourists: How I Renewed Without Interview!
What if I can’t get an appointment at the BOQ?
If you check out their website, you’ll notice that slots are scarce and they get filled up in almost no time. One thing you can do is check their website regularly, as they often open up new appointment slots. But if your date of travel is fast approaching, you can get in touch directly with the Bureau of Quarantine and request for expedited processing.
How to expedite your BOQ appointment
This option is only available to international travellers departing within 7 to 10 days.
- Enroll in the BOQ online booking system.
- Send an email request for expedite to [email protected] with your reference number and confirmed flight date as the email subject. (e.g. PPBGOQ123456789 – MM/DD/YYYY)
- Include your confirmed flight details in your email.
- Wait for confirmation within 24 to 48 hours.
- Proceed to your assigned BOQ office and present your confirmed email appointment.
Also read: VaxCertPH: How to Get a Digital Vaccination Certificate
For more information on how to apply for a BOQ Yellow Card, read the Bureau of Quarantine’s FAQ here.
Featured image credit: dmfoss via Canva Pro