Use eSIM while traveling internationally with your iPhone

Learn about the options and benefits for using eSIM while traveling abroad.

Learn about the benefits of traveling with eSIM

  • eSIM is more secure than a physical SIM because it can't be removed if your iPhone is lost or stolen.

  • With eSIM, you don't need to obtain, carry, and swap physical SIM cards (which can also be lost), or wait for them to arrive by mail.

  • You can have two eSIMs active on supported iPhone models at the same time. This could, for example, include one eSIM for your home and another eSIM for the place you're visiting.

  • You can swap which of your stored eSIMs are active simply by changing your selections in Settings. This might be helpful if you travel regularly to the same places.

What you need

Learn more about eSIM on iPhone

eSIM on iPhone isn’t offered in China mainland. In Hong Kong and Macao, some iPhone models feature eSIM. Learn about using Dual SIM with two nano-SIM cards in China mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao. For travelers visiting China mainland who wish to use an eSIM for prepaid data plans, these are offered by many worldwide service providers.

Roam internationally with your existing carrier

  • Carriers might include international roaming on select data plans without additional fees.

  • Alternatively, your carrier might offer affordable travel passes or plans that you can purchase ahead of time to use at your destination.

  • International roaming with an eSIM works the same as roaming with a physical SIM.

  • Your carrier might offer the ability to digitally manage your eSIM plan and add more data as needed.

  • To learn more, contact your carrier.

Learn more about cellular data roaming options for traveling internationally

Purchase an eSIM from a local carrier in the country or region you're visiting

  • Find carriers around the world that support eSIM on iPhone.

  • If your iPhone is locked to a carrier, it can be used only by that carrier. You can add multiple eSIMs and plans through that carrier. To check if your iPhone is unlocked, go to Settings > General > About. If your iPhone is unlocked, "No SIM restrictions" appears next to Carrier Lock. Learn how to unlock iPhone for use with a different carrier.

  • Many carriers offer prepaid plan options that you can purchase from the carriers' websites or apps before you arrive, or in person after arrival, through a carrier kiosk at the airport, carrier store, or other location. Carriers will provide steps to activate your eSIM digitally, like with a QR code or carrier app. Depending on local regulations, you might be asked to show identification (like your passport) to purchase. These prepaid carrier options might offer more affordable local plans for data, voice, and text. Check with individual carriers for details.

  • In addition to purchasing a prepaid eSIM plan, you might wish to get a postpaid account if you plan to be in another place for an extended time.Carriers around the world that support eSIM offer postpaid plans. Depending on the country or region, you might need proof of local residency, an established local bank account, or credit card.

  • On your iPhone, you can store eight or more eSIMs, which can be used as needed. On supported iPhone models, you can use two eSIMs at the same time. Carrier fees might apply. Contact your carrier for information.

Purchase a prepaid data eSIM from a worldwide service provider

  • Many worldwide service providers offer prepaid data plans. These plans allow you to stay connected in over 190 countries and regions when you travel. Carriers offer plans that differ by the amount of data and duration. You can also purchase a plan before you travel.

  • Apps that offer data only eSIM plans are available on the App Store on your iPhone.

  • While you're abroad, you can use a data-only eSIM as your secondary line and have two active eSIM plans on supported iPhone models.

  • The capabilities on your primary line will continue to work when you add a data-only eSIM for cellular data. For example, you might keep your primary line for your home and set up a data-only eSIM plan as your secondary line while traveling.

  • To choose your data line, go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data. You can continue to use FaceTime, iMessage, and other apps to make VoIP calls or send messages while you're traveling.

  • You can also turn data roaming on and off on your home line in Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data. Carrier fees might apply.

If you purchased an iPhone 14 model or later in the United States but will use it while living in a different country or region

* iPhone 14 models and later that are eSIM-only can activate without a Wi-Fi network.

Published Date: