Business Mobility Group

Key Initiatives



APEC Business Travel Card

Benefits for cardholders

The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) cuts though the red tape of business travel, and gives frequent business travellers pre-cleared entry to participating APEC economies. Card holders enjoy:

  • Fast-track entry and exit through special APEC lanes at major airports, and multiple short term entry to these economies for a minimum of 59 days stay each visit (click here for details).

  • No need to individually apply for visas or entry permits each time you travel to any of the participating APEC economies as the card is your visa.

  • Cards are valid for three years from first issue.

Why the card was developed

The APEC Business Travel Card was developed in response to the need for business people to gain streamlined entry to the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. This enables business people to explore new business opportunities, attend meetings and conduct trade and investment activities.

The card was originally trialled in 1997 with three APEC members (Australia, Korea, and the Philippines) and was expanded in April 1998 to include Chile and Hong Kong (China). After a successful evaluation, the scheme commenced permanent operations from 1 March 1999, when New Zealand and Malaysia announced their participation. Brunei Darussalam, Peru and Thailand joined the scheme in February 2001, China in February 2002, and Indonesia in August 2002. Since then, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Singapore, PNG, Vietnam and most recently Mexico have signed on to the Scheme.

Read more about possible future expansion of the ABTC Scheme here.

Participating Economies

There are 21 economies currently participating in the ABTC Scheme: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, PNG, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam. Canada, the Russian Federation and the United States are currently Transitional Members of the scheme, which allow cardholders from all participating economies to use 'fast-track' immigration lanes (currently designated for air-crew) at major international airports.

Please note: Cardholders will still need to present valid passports and visas if required by existing United States and/or Canadian law. Expedited visa interview scheduling will be provided to APEC Cardholders at United States embassies and consulates in APEC economies in cases where a visa is required for the Cardholder to travel to the United States.

Who is eligible

If you want to apply for the card you need to be a business person who:

  • Is a passport holder of a participating economy i.e. citizen (or a Hong Kong permanent resident with any valid travel document); 

  • Travels frequently to conduct trade and investment activities in the APEC region; and

  • Has not been convicted of a criminal offence.

Some economies require additional information and may impose additional eligibility criteria. Refer to your home economy for information and the application form.

Contact details & How to apply

If you are a business person who meets these criteria and you want to apply for a card, all you need to do is get in contact with the government agency responsible for the ABTC Scheme in your home economy. Click here to see contact details.