If you've ever filled out a passport application or visa application or needed to visit a travel clinic for a vaccination, then you know that there can be red tape involved to travel. As a result of COVID-19, many countries are requiring travelers to fill out forms to enter. These often request identification information, vaccination status and COVID-19 test results. Some countries, such as France, are requesting travelers to fill out a form to allow easy access to certain venues like restaurants.
We understand that locating and completing these forms can be challenging, so here are answers to questions you may have about the process. We recommend that about a month before you are scheduled to depart, you dedicate time to sit down at your desk and familiarize yourself with country entry requirements and what you need to do. If you do not feel comfortable with the internet, you may want to ask a tech-savvy friend or relative to help you. It’s important you know the deadlines for the required paperwork so you are not scrambling at the last minute to get it done, but rest assured these are tasks you can manage if you spend a little time. In the end, it will be well worth it!
How do I know whether I need to fill out a form and where do I find it?
You will receive information from Road Scholar in you pre-program materials that let you know whether you need to fill out a form and/or do a COVID test prior to departure. We recommend that you also always visit the webpage of the embassy of the country that you're going to and review the entry requirements that they list. You can find the list of embassies here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html
Please carefully read the Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements section for details about forms travelers are required to complete before arrival, as well as other destination-specific information. Please note that Road Scholar requires all participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19, therefore only the rules for vaccinated travelers apply.
Why can’t Road Scholar fill out the form for me?
These forms are required by the government of your program destination and must be filled out by the individual traveling. Road Scholar does not have access to or the ability to fill out the form on behalf of our participants. Just like a visa or passport, it is the responsibility of the traveler to fill out the appropriate information for your travel destination.
I found the form but it's in another language, what do I do?
We recommend you use a Google Chrome browser when visiting these websites. When you visit a page that is in another language on a Chrome web browser, you should see a pop-up in the top corner that asks if you would like to translate the page. Click "Yes." The page will automatically translate into English.
I filled out my form and did not get a confirmation that it was received. What do I do?
Check your spam or junk email folder and see if your confirmation email is there. Be patient, confirmation emails may not be immediate. Many countries provide contact information, such as an email address for you to contact to inquire about the status of your form. Unfortunately, Road Scholar is unable to confirm that your form is received.
I am enrolled in a program in France and tried to submit the form to get my COVID certificate that I will need to enter restaurants and other venues and got an error message or message that my form could not be processed. What do I do?
The form that France is requiring is to help ease of movement to certain venues and not a requirement to enter the country. We understand the government's form can by glitchy and occasionally they cannot process forms due to high volume. When you arrive in France, your group leader will help you with the next steps so that you can access all of the program venues, including restaurants.
The country I'm visiting is requiring that I upload a copy of a document, such as a copy of my passport picture page or vaccine card, but I have it on paper. How do I do that?
You will need to make an electronic copy of the document or a "scan" if you do not have one. Your printer may have a scanner, your smartphone may have the capability of creating a scan or your local office supply store may provide this service. A tech-savvy friend or family member may be a good resource to help you create an electronic version of your paper form.
The form is requiring my airline ticket number or airline record locator or seat number, where do I find that information?
Your record locator can be found on the flight itinerary in your Road Scholar online account, labelled "Airline Booking Reference." If you have a seat assignment that can also be found on your flight itinerary. If you need your ticket number please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1-800-241-1404.
The country I'm visiting is requiring a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure. When should I get tested?
If a country is requiring a test within 72 hours of departure you should count the 72 hour window backwards from before your flight departure time. For example, if your flight leaves at 2.15 p.m. on Friday your test appointment time should be after 2.15 p.m. on Tuesday. Please review the specific instructions for you destination country, as requirements for testing timing and the type of test may vary.
Do I need to adhere to country entry requirements if I am changing planes in a different country from my final destination?
At this time we are not aware of any countries that require travelers to complete forms to enter the country if they are only changing planes and not leaving the airport to transit to their final destination. However, we recommend that you read all communications you receive from your airline in case requirements change. Since many countries require proof of a negative COVID-19 test, Road Scholar highly recommends all participants get tested within 72 hours of departing the U.S. and be prepared to present proof of a negative test if necessary.
Is there anything I should do to make sure my international travel as smooth as possible?
We recommend that you read all the communications you receive from Road Scholar and your airline as requirements may change. We recommend you print a copy of any pre-departure forms when possible, bring a printed copy of your COVID-19 test result, your original vaccination card and ensure you have a passport that is valid for travel. Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to departure to allow yourself plenty of time to navigate the check-in process, airlines are checking all required paperwork so waits may be longer than usual.