Home > APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC): Info, Benefits & More

APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC): Info, Benefits & More

iVisa | Updated on Nov 22, 2022

Frequent business travelers know that long-term business visas are a dream come true when having to the same regions over and over again. The APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) recognizes that and developed the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), a unified visa for entering any of the 21 countries under the cooperation.

The ABTC scheme makes the flow of business travelers in the Asia-Pacific region easier for both border officials and travelers, which helps boost economic integration and export market development.

Read more about eligibility criteria, travel requirements, benefits for APEC Business Travel Card-holders, and the program fees in this article.

Fill me in

What is APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation)?

The APEC is economic cooperation between 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim region, 19 from Asia, plus Canada and the United States. This intergovernmental organization intends to facilitate economic growth, free trade, and regional investments.

One of the measures to promote integration in the APEC economy is the Business Travel Card (ABTC). This special business visa simplifies business travel between member countries and makes entry into APEC economies easier and faster. It’s an incentive to boost business and international trade.

Member countries of the APEC agreement

The APEC Business Card is available for citizens from any member economy who meet the requirements. The card allows to fast-track immigration procedures in major international airports. The participating member countries are:

Australia Malaysia South Korea
Brunei Darussalam Mexico
Chile New Zealand Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)
China Papua New Guinea Thailand
Hong Kong Peru Vietnam
Indonesia The Philippines Canada
Japan Singapore United States

What is the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)?

The APEC Business Travel Cards intend to make travel easier for business people within the APEC region. Once citizens apply, information is shared among the Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and transitional economies members. That’s why applicants only have to make a single application to enter any country.

With this travel authorization, cardholders get fast-track immigration lanes. They can stay in each territory for up to 60 or 90 days. But be aware that the ABTC scheme is only for business purposes, so for tourism, you must apply for another visa type to meet the entry requirements.

Who is eligible for an APEC Business Travel Card?

The ABTC is a facility for APEC nationals, but border protection measures still apply. So, there are some requirements to apply for this travel permission. Check all the eligibility criteria:

  • Citizens must be from participating APEC economies.
  • The travelers must have never been convicted of a criminal offense.
  • They must hold a valid passport issued by the home economy.
  • The ABTC is designated for business people that frequently travel on short-term visits within the APEC region for business commitments. Hence, proving that you work for a verified business is necessary.
  • Senior government officials engaged in the region may also be eligible for an ABTC.

The applicants from fully APEC economies get a five-year card. It serves as a multiple-entry document for full APEC members and allows 60 or 90 days per stay.

APEC Business Travel Card benefits

The Business Travel Card was developed to facilitate the flow of business travelers among the Asia-Pacific countries to promote economic integration.

So, the document offers some benefits for APEC participating economies:

  • A fast-track entry and exit through special APEC lanes at participating airports;
  • Multiple, short-term entries to pre-cleared APEC economies;
  • A single visa application to travel to any of the fully participating members;
  • Permission for a 60 or 90 days stay per entry.

Application for an APEC Business Travel Card

The best thing about the ABTC is that applicants must do a single application process, and the document will allow entering any APEC members. The travelers have to apply on the home economy application page.

The citizen data is analyzed and provided to the other APEC economies who conduct their assessment of whether to grant pre-clearance. When all members have made a pre-clearance decision, the applicant receives an ABTC with all economies to which they have permission to travel.

It’s important to know that each economy is responsible for managing the ABTC processing of their pre-clearance applications, and no economy influences the processing of another.

APEC Business Travel Card price

Travelers must apply for the APEC Business Travel Card through their home country. Each country is responsible for the analysis and processing of its own applicants. The ABTC price may differ from one APEC member to another. Check the information on your home country’s government website.

How to renew your APEC Business Travel Card

The document is connected to the traveler’s passport. All ABTC holders need a valid passport to use and renew their cards.

If the cardholders have to renew their passport, they must apply for a new ABTC. The same goes when the card expires. The process of renewing the APEC Business Card the same as applying for the first time.

APEC Business Travel Card processing time

Each country is responsible for the processing of its citizens. Once the application is submitted, the country will share the traveler’s APEC information with the other APEC members. This means the processing time can be longer than for other visas.

Each application can take two to three months to be processed, but the time required to process an application completely may vary between countries.

There is an option for the applicants to indicate their priority countries during the application. This may reduce the waiting time for the card. It’s recommended to submit the renewal application at least three months before the current card’s expiration date.

More information about travel documents and visas?

It is not possible to apply for the APEC card on iVisa currently, however, we will update this page once we do. If you have any questions about traveling to member countries or other travel documents and visas for these, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team via online chat or [email protected].

Was this page helpful?

Editor's Pick