Updated 22 September 2021
The vaccination drive in Saudi Arabia is progressing well, with a slice of the population being fully vaccinated to date. The government has also made vaccination mandatory for availing public services, entry and travel, among other vital comforts. Understandably, those vaccinated are now eager to lay their hands on their vaccine certificates.
So what is the vaccine certificate? How to get them in the KSA, and what are its benefits? Keep reading to find out.
What is the COVID-19 vaccine certificate?
The Saudi vaccine certificate is a document issued by the government indicating that the beneficiary has been fully or partially vaccinated or have recovered from the virus for a period not exceeding six months and is now “immune”.
In Saudi Arabia, the vaccine certificate takes the form of the Tawakkalna app, from where you can avail your “Health Passport”, which works as the vaccine certificate across the country. The Tawakkalna app is available for both iOS and Android.
How to get the vaccine certificate?
In order to access your vaccine certificate and get the “immune” status, you will need to register yourself on the Tawakkalna app. Here are the registration steps for residents.
For residents with Absher account
- Download the app
- Register a new user and enter the required information
- You would receive a verification code on your mobile number registered in Absher
- Locate your exact location on the map and answer health questions
- Identify the sponsors and dependents in the same place of your residence (Family – Domestic workers)
Without Absher account
For those without an Absher account, you may obtain one here. Otherwise, a person can only register for the Tawakkalna app by being recommended by those with an Absher account.
Afterwards, you should:
- Select Services from the home page
- Choose “Health Passport” from Health Services
- Fill in necessary details and avail the certificate
Benefits for KSA vaccine certificate holders
With many social and public places opening up across the Kingdom with regulations and restrictions on unvaccinated citizens, getting vaccinated is bound to become irreplaceable for travel or entry.
Effective September 1, 2021, only fully vaccinated passengers with an approved COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to travel on domestic and international flights in Saudi Arabia. This rule does not apply to children under the age of 12 or individuals who are exempt from COVID-19 vaccination due to health reasons documented by the Ministry of Health.
Travellers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Saudi Arabia as announced by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). Still, they must have vaccination certificates that have been attested by authorities in their home country.
For Saudi citizens and residents, simply showing their ‘immune’ status on the app indicating that they have been fully or partially vaccinated or have recovered from the virus for a period not exceeding six months to the relevant authority will prove sufficient to skip quarantine.
Entry to public places
From August onwards, residents must show proof of vaccination to enter government offices, use public transportation, attend schools and other activities.
Similarly, employees will only be allowed to return to their workplace in person once vaccinated against Covid-19. According to the Ministry of Human Resources, vaccination will become a “mandatory condition” for the face-to-face return of public and private sector employees.
Saudi Arabia bars people from entering its shopping malls and most other public spaces unless they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, citing a decision by the Trade Ministry that will come into effect on Aug 1. Having received at least one vaccine shot will be a condition for entering commercial facilities.
The Kingdom resumed receiving vaccinated foreign Umrah pilgrims on August 9 following the Hajj season. All domestic Umrah pilgrims must also be vaccinated. A proof of this will be displayed on the Tawakalna app. They must have either received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or have completed 14 days after receiving their first dose or must have recently recovered from the infection.
As for Umrah pilgrims coming from abroad, they must obtain a vaccination certificate issued by competent authorities in their respective countries and this must be attached along with their application. Furthermore, they must be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Saudi Arabia.
Registering vaccine details in Saudi Arabia
All arrivals entering Saudi Arabia will be required to be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved in the country. Those who have got their vaccine administered from abroad can get their immunization record registered by sharing their details via the Tawakkalana app.
Citizens and residents can submit requests for registering COVID-19 vaccines, approved in the Kingdom but taken abroad, on the Tawakkalna App.
A national ID or resident ID is required to process the application. You must upload the vaccine certificate provided in the country of taking the vaccine. The entered documents must be in PDF format, not exceeding (1 MB) in size.
Make sure the certificate conforms to the following requirements:
- Personal data must be shown in the certificate.
- The certificate must be in Arabic, English, or French or a certified translation into Arabic.
- The certificate must clearly state the vaccine name, date, and batch number.
- The documents to be attached are a copy of passport and a copy of vaccination certificate.
- It is not allowed to submit a new application if you have an existing one.
It may take up to 5 business days for the application to be completed, and this service is available for free.
The Tawakkalana app (available in over 75 countries worldwide) and visitors can easily upload their vaccine details:
- Download the app
- Fill in your personal information, which includes passport number, phone number, date of birth and nationality
- You will receive a verification code via SMS. Input the verification code
- Create a password of 8 or more characters
Those who do not have a national identity or a resident identity (Saudi residency) and want to visit the Kingdom can register their vaccine online here.