Vaccinated, but no BSN? The Dutch government is exploring solutions

Internationally vaccinated individuals from outside the EU have been struggling to obtain a valid coronavirus admission ticket in the Netherlands, but the Dutch government is promising some solutions.

It’s currently mandatory to show a coronavirus ticket for entry to many indoor venues in the Netherlands, but people vaccinated outside the EU are struggling to obtain a valid QR code since as this requires being registered at a Dutch municipality, with a citizen service number (BSN), and a trip to a GGD location in Utrecht to register your certificate. Lots of jumping through hoops, basically. ⭕

All these complications have led to a parliamentary discussion regarding quarantine requirements and foreign vaccination certificates, especially for international students. The Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has acknowledged this matter as a pressing issue to many groups in the Netherlands, but promises quick solutions in the short term according to the Tweedekamer.

Possible solutions

One solution that’s currently being explored is whether international students and expats who were vaccinated outside the EU but now reside in the Netherlands and are unable to get a BSN can demonstrate their living status in the country without having a BSN.

Since the GGD currently only has one location for international vaccine registration in Utrecht, the GGD’s location in Groningen is now also preparing to convert foreign vaccination certificates starting in the second half of October as De Jonge reports. A possibility of an additional third location is present on the table.

READ MORE | How to get your vaccination from abroad registered in the Netherlands

About 24,000 international vaccination certificates have already been converted with a QR code at the location in Utrecht. 🤳

The Intercity Student Consultation (ISO) hopes for a solution that can support international students soon. “It is very important that they can go out and meet people,” says ISO chair Lisanne de Roos.

Were you vaccinated abroad? Tell us about your vaccination registration experience in the comments below!

Feature Image: nunochka/Depositphotos

Farah Al Mazouni 🇸🇾 🇺🇸
Farah Al Mazouni 🇸🇾 🇺🇸
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or “welcome” to her latest adventure in this wonderland.


  1. It is a weird situation that looks a pre-digital era. Even with a BSN and a DigId, a non-Dutch vacccinated outside EU has to go personnaly to another city to register it. That should be an automatic process – done 100% digitally.

  2. I hold dual citizenship with the Netherlands and the US where I was vaccinated. I moved to Maastricht last month for work. I called ahead of my move and made my appointment in Utrecht over the phone where multiple people including the individual on the call confirmed that I could get the QR code despite not having a BSN and it would be okay to just show my Dutch passport. I spent 50 euro and 2 hours on the train and after walking 20 minutes and waiting in line another 20 minutes I was turned away with an apology no QR code. The BSN process now takes weeks and weeks and you must have each thing before you can have the other when it comes to a BSN, work, housing.

  3. My wife was vaccinated in The Netherlands, she has an Irish passport, but lives outside of the EU, she does not have a BSN number. She can’t get a qr code from Ireland as they say it has to come from the EU country she was vaccinated in, but could get a QR code from Ireland if she was vaccinated outside of the EU, Crazy! But to get a QR code from the Netherlands she has to have a BSN number.

  4. Any progress on this issue a month later? Because I barely made progress myself in getting a residence visa through my partner (Erasmus faculty HR=FAIL). Other countries such as France and Italy just have visitors go to a pharmacy or do what they’re doing in Utrecht without needing a registration number. They better figure it out quick if they want to implement 2G, because then those without a BSN won’t even be able to test. B.S.


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