Google Fi Activation Outside the United States

I crossed over to Canada with my phone still activated with my $25 plan with Visible (Verizon) and realized immediately that it wasn’t going to work in any part of it.

I went to switch over to my Google Fi eSIM to activate the service and kept getting a non-descript error message every time I tried. It really didn’t seem to work with any Android VPN apps on my Pixel 3 XL because of the Google VPN (comes with Google Fi) wanting to start up, which would immediately close out the VPN connection.

Here is the list of steps I took to overcome this issue:

  1. Use this VPN to get a US IP address (there is a 2GB Starter Plan, which is free!)
  2. Make sure your account address is listed somewhere in the United States like a co-working space or other address inside the country.
  3. Use Borderlinx to get an address for the shipping of the Google card + phone for activation. Alternatively, you’ll just need to use the built-in eSIM in your Pixel 2/3 phone.
  4. Sign up for Google Fi while connected to your USA VPN and download the Google Fi app from the App Store.
  5. Now we use Connectify on your WiFi enabled computer so that you can share your VPN connection to your phone.
  6. I found I was still receiving non-descriptive errors while my phone was connected to a VPN and so I went to Settings => Network & Internet => Mobile Network => Tap on ‘Google Fi ‘ and tap on ‘Advanced’ at the bottom of the screen. Last, tap on ‘Erase SIM’ and I found this got my eSIM to activate on Google Fi while in Canada! 🙂 Enjoy!

How did it go? Please leave a comment below if I missed anything or if everything worked for you. I would love to hear from you! 🙂

I found Speedify + Connectify to be one of the easiest ways to get things working straight away without too much hassle. You can use other VPNs but you still need a way to get your phone onto the VPN network somehow and they have these two tools setup to do that.

I used Google Fi from Comber, Ontario to Quebec and had service almost all the time, besides Mont-Tremblant National Park where there is little cell reception. If you can, try to make phone calls over WiFi apps otherwise it’s 20 cents per minute when calling back home to the United States.

2 thoughts on “Google Fi Activation Outside the United States”

  1. Hi,

    I was not clear on the information you passed about activating the Google Fi simcard. I have purchased it and it is in the US now. But I am unable to fly to the US because of the Covid-19 and I have my own phone that is a Samsung. Could you tell me how I could activate it?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Mahsa, 

      Are you saying that you’re not in the United States and the Google Fi sim card is with you? Have you tried using a VPN? If you use it in conjunction with Connectify, you can have your phone appear to be connecting from the United States while you’re overseas. Connectify has an option within it to use Speedify, which should work just fine via the trial and you won’t need to purchase anything. Uninstall once you’re all good if you don’t have a use for the VPN. 🙂

      With gratitude,
      Graydon

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