International Travel: What Is a ‘Yellow Card’ and Do You Need One if You’re Fully Vaccinated?

It's an official document recognized by the World Health Organization.
by | August 17, 2021

As more Pinoys get their two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, many have considered applying for a Yellow Card or an International Certificate of Vaccination. However, do you really need one?


What is a Yellow Card?

Also known as Yellow Card or Carte Jaune, the International Certificate of Vaccination is an official vaccination report that’s recognized by the World Health Organization. It contains a person’s vaccination and passport details. Pre-pandemic, the card was used to record vaccinations against various diseases such as cholera, polio, and yellow fever.

The ICV has been used since the 1930s and is honored in 190 countries. Even before the pandemic, the document has been a requirement for seafarers and Overseas Filipino Workers.


You’re fully vaccinated; do you need one?

From a virtual briefing on August 14, 2021, Bureau of Quarantine Director Roberto Salvador reiterated that fully vaccinated Filipinos without any travel plans do not need to apply for an International Vaccination Certificate. Outbound travelers, like OFWs, should be prioritized for the said document.

He shared that due to the influx of people wanting to secure the Yellow Card, those who actually need the document for outbound travel can lose their slots.

Though the Yellow Card is a legal document recognized globally, it’s still not the official vaccine passport or replacement of a vaccination card. “Hindi ito maituturing na immunity passport,” Salvador added.

The presentation of a yellow card will also depend on the requirements of the travel destination. It will be honored internationally until a digital vaccination card is implemented for Filipinos.


How do you get a Yellow Card?

The Bureau of Quarantine will only issue a yellow card for fully-vaccinated individuals inoculated with the following WHO-recognized vaccines:

  • Pfizer
  • AstraZeneca
  • J&J Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Individuals going for work or international travel can book an online appointment for the Pasay and Manila branches through BOQ’s website, with a booklet fee of P370. This is inclusive of the P300 processing fee and P70 convenience fee.

You can pay for the booklet through over-the-counter outlets like LBC and 7-Eleven or online via PayMaya or GCash. Online bank transfers and credit cards are also accepted.


What to bring for your appointment

Secured a slot? Make sure to bring the following on the day of y our appointment:

  • QR code from confirmed appointment
  • Receipt of payment

The booklet will be released after one to two hours.


Other than the two Metro Manila branches, the BOQ also has satellite offices in Batangas, Subic, La Union, Laoag, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao.


As of writing, 11.05% of the 110M Philippine population are fully vaccinated. 13.15% have been vaccinated with their first dose.



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When she’s not writing, Ina’s busy curating playlists that will save her when words don’t work, reading, annoying her cat, or thinking of her next meal.

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