Passport, Covid certificate and travel insurance to travel abroad

You can’t improvise a trip. The health crisis with the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced the formalities required. Which identity document should I use to travel? Which visa? Do I need a vaccination or health passport?

In all cases, travel insurance such as Travel Pass is essential. Travel insurance is sometimes required to obtain a visa. The unforeseen events that can spoil a trip, or even make it worse, don’t just happen to other people…

The Covid-19 pandemic is complicating travel, and some countries are setting up “health corridors” allowing people to travel freely as soon as they have been vaccinated. The European Union has voted to introduce a “green certificate” by June 2021.

Visa or Passport - Travel Insurance

Need a passport to travel?

1. Do you need a passport?

The identity document you need to take with you depends on your destination. Within the European Union, you can travel with a national identity card or a valid passport if you’re a European citizen. As soon as you leave the EU, you’ll need your passport, or even an entry visa. Please note that it can take several weeks to obtain one of these identity documents. So it’s important to plan ahead and ask for them well in advance of your departure.

Europeans can freely cross the borders of one or more other EU countries without having to show their identity papers. However, it is still advisable to carry a valid national identity card or passport to prove your identity in the event of a check. If you’re flying, you’ll need to show proof of identity. For non-Europeans, a passport is required.
A passport is an identity document issued by the government of a country to its citizens, enabling its owner to travel abroad by certifying his or her identity. So, for destinations outside the EU, you need a passport to prove your identity and nationality abroad.

Ai-je besoin d’un passeport sanitaire ou certificat Covid ?

With the Coronavirus crisis, the European Union voted to introduce a “green certificate” to guarantee the free movement of people and limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. All evidence of testing, vaccination and recovery is now available. The system is called the “European Union Digital Covid Certificate”. This health pass is compulsory for travel within the European Union and worldwide.

1. Que contient le Pass sanitaire ?

Equipped with a QR code, the European health certificate can be contained in a smartphone or on a paper document. This tool will include the following information:
– Name
– Date of birth
– Date of issue
– Relevant vaccine/test/institution information
– Unique certificate identifier

2. La reconnaissance du Pass sanitaire européen dans le monde

The EU digital Covid certificate is accepted in all EU member states. In fact, several non-EU countries have joined the European Union’s digital COVID certificate system.

3. L’utilisation du Pass sanitaire dans les pays d’Europe

In every European country, the Health Pass is mandatory for access to many “closed” areas.
– Denmark: One of the first European countries to launch the health pass. The country has relaxed its health pass, making it no longer compulsory for access to various locations.
– Hungary: The health pass is issued after the 1st dose of vaccine.
– Luxembourg: A pass is only required in shops.
– Italy: A “green pass” is required for access to enclosed areas. It is compulsory for workers.
– In Greece, Ireland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, a sanitary pass allows access inside catering facilities.
– France: Use of the sanitary pass is compulsory in shops, restaurants and cultural establishments.
– Austria: Customers must either have a negative PCR test or a vaccination certificate for all activities in contact with the public (restaurants, hotels, theaters, concerts, etc.).

Do I need a visa to travel?

1. What is a visa?

In addition to a passport, some countries require a visa authorizing the holder to enter their territory. In this case, check with the consulate or embassy of your destination country to find out what documents are required and how to obtain a visa.
A visa is a document certifying that you are authorized to travel to a foreign country for a specific period and for a specific purpose (work, tourism, study…). It takes the form of a stamp or sticker, which is affixed to your passport.

2. Visa-free stay

No visa is required within the European Union for stays of less than 90 days. The principle governing visas is reciprocity. If your country requires a visa for certain nationalities, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to hold one if you’re traveling to that country.

3. Autorisation d’entrée sur le territoire: ETIAS, ESTA ou AVE

For tourists, even if a visa is not required, some countries require prior identification to collect data on anyone entering their territory. The United States has introduced an authorization to travel calledESTA. Canada requires the AVE, electronic travel authorization. The European Union will also be launching a visa-free entry authorization program for some 60 countries from May 2023: the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). The ETIAS system will make it possible to automate passenger checks and save time in issuing authorizations. The authorization will remain valid for 3 years for several trips of less than 90 consecutive days within the Union.

4. Visa issued on arrival

Most countries do not require a visa on entry. For others, the visa will be issued once you arrive at your destination, and at the country’s border post, the immigration officer will provide you with a visa on your passport. Please note that in some countries, a fee of between €15 and €50 is required to obtain a visa.

5. Visa required for travel

When traveling to a foreign country, it is sometimes necessary to obtaina visa before arrival. To do this, you need to go to the embassy or consulate of the corresponding country with documents such as your passport, passport photo, travel itinerary and plane ticket. If these establishments are not present in your town, it is possible to take the necessary steps by mail, but sometimes it is necessary to travel. For more information on obtaining visas, country by country, visit the website of the embassy of the destination country. Private companies also specialize in visa preparation.
In many cases, international health insurance is a prerequisite for visa applications.

6. Visa renewal

Visa renewal conditions vary depending on the country you are in, due to different laws. To do this, you need to go to an immigration office with the required documents. Your renewal will be processed following a review of your file and an interview. In some cases, renewal may be subject to a fee.


When you travel, remember to make a photocopy of your passport and/or identity card beforehand, and send it to yourself by e-mail when you go abroad. This will enable you to prove your identity when going out or being checked, without having to carry the original documents. What’s more, in the event of theft or loss, you’ll have the means to prove your identity. Don’t forget to take your insurance certificate with you!

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