Can I get Austria’s Covid green pass without an e-card?

Regardless of what type of insurance you have, you’re likely to have an e-card. But what if you don't - and you want to get the green pass in Austria?

Can I get Austria's Covid green pass without an e-card?
Have you got Austria's coronavirus immunity passport yet? Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

As with most medical procedures in Austria, the most important document is the e-card. 

The Austrian e-card is an electronic chip card linked to the electronic administration system of Austria’s social insurance system, which includes health, accident, pension and unemployment insurance.

Usually, anyone who wants to get vaccinated in Austria will need to present their e-card – and the same goes for people who want to have their vaccination status loaded into Austria’s green card. Foreigners who are resident in Austria will generally have an e-card, as will most cross-border workers. 

What is Austria’s e-card? Everything you need to know

This means that foreigners who live abroad and who do not have Austrian citizenship are unable to access the vaccine in Austria. 

However if you don’t have an e-card, there is still a way to get a valid green pass. Here’s what you need to know. 

Can I get the vaccine without an e-card? 

While presenting an e-card is unlikely to cause problems for the vast majority of Austrians and Austrian residents who have e-cards, some people such as foreign students and temporary workers do not have an e-card.

According to the Vienna Bar Association (RAK), they will not be prevented from getting the vaccine, provided they have an Austrian social security/insurance number.

Workers at international organisations are also able to show their diplomatic residency cards when getting the jab. 

More information is available at the following link:

Reader question: Do I need my e-card to get vaccinated in Austria?

If you do not have a social security number, this should not be an obstacle to getting the vaccine. However, it might make it more complicated to access the green pass, because you will need to link your vaccine proof to a social security number later on.

How do I get an e-card or a social security number in order to get the green pass? 

If you do not already have an e-card or social security number, fortunately these are not difficult to get. 

You can apply for an e-card for the purpose of vaccination or to get the Covid-19 green pass at the ELGA website here, provided you have a current photo. 

You can also apply in person at the service points of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse), which can be found here

More information is available here. The key thing is to explain that you are applying for this specific purpose, which means you don’t need to actually sign up for an Austrian insurance.

What if I can’t get an e-card or don’t want to get one?

For people who are unable or unwilling to get an e-card, it’s still possible to get the green pass. According to the Austrian government, you need to take your evidence of coronavirus vaccination in paper format to your doctor or pharmacy. 

They will be able to add in your proof of vaccination to the Austrian e-vaccination system, sometimes for a small fee of around €25. 

EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s Covid-19 immunity card and how do I get it?

Once this is done, your official vaccination certificate will be accessible via the Austrian health website, from which you can go through the process to enter it into the green pass yourself. 

More information is available here. 

Note: As with all of our coronavirus reports, please remember that they are guides only and do not constitute legal advice. Please contact your vaccination centre before your appointment to check if you have sufficient documentation to be vaccinated. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Austria formally scraps mandatory Covid vaccination law

Just months after announcing mandatory nationwide Covid vaccinations under threats of financial penalties, Austria has unanimously decided to scrap the law.

Austria formally scraps mandatory Covid vaccination law

Austria’s National Council unanimously decided to repeal the vaccination obligation law and associated regulations, the Parliament said on Thursday. 

In making the announcement, the ÖVP and Greens coalition stated that the lifting is in no way intended to reduce the relevance of the vaccination’s contribution to managing the pandemic, particularly concerning lowering the impact of severe courses of the disease. 

They continue to incentivise people to get the vaccines, but now there is no legal obligation.

End of the road for controversial mandate

The controversial measure was announced late in 2021 and had been put into effect in February, with penalties for non-compliance to be introduced in March. 

The laws included a set of regulations allowing police to check people’s vaccinated status. Those that could not prove they were either vaccinated, or recently recovered from the disease, would have to pay a fine.

Before these penalties were introduced however, the law was suspended until August. 

At the time, the government said the suspension was due to the combined impact of the lower virulence of the Omicron variant and the impact of widespread vaccination coverage across the country. 

“The omicron variant changed the situation”, health minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) said at the time. 

He added that the law was introduced in a different context and was supported by “a clear majority” at the time when hospitals were full and “intensive care units were on the limit”.

The minister said that the new variant has reduced the effectiveness of vaccination against infections and has caused less severe courses of the disease.

“Even people who are willing to vaccinate in principle are now more difficult to convince of the need for a third dose”.

Rauch said the obligation to vaccinate did not increase the take up of the Covid jab. Instead, it “opened deep trenches in Austrian society”, according to the minister.