APEC Business Travel Card Increases to Five Years

What has changed

Effective September 1, 2015, Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) business travel cards will be issued with a five (5) year validity. This is an increase from the current APEC business travel cards which are valid for a maximum of three (3) years.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Citizens of APEC member countries

Beginning September 1, 2015, citizens of APEC member countries will be eligible to obtain a APEC business traveler card (ABTC) that is valid for five (5) years. The ABTC grants business travelers multiple short-term entry into participating APEC countries without the need to apply for a visa or entry permit. APEC cards also offer the convenience of faster immigration processing upon arrival by utilizing APEC lanes at major airports in participating member countries. Full participating member countries include:

Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The United States and Canada are both transitional members and do not offer the same ABTC entry benefits as full participating members. They do provide a fast track immigration lane for ABTC cardholders.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • APEC business travel cards do not guarantee entry. Cardholders must meet all relevant country requirements.
  • All travelers are still required to hold a valid passport.
  • Although this change goes into effect September 1, 2015, some countries may not immediately switch to issuing the five (5) year cards.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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