No More Visa Application Needed With APEC Business Travel Card
Enter Into Country Participating in APEC Travel Card Scheme Without Any Visa Application
The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) provides genuine, frequent business travelers with pre-cleared entry to fully-participating APEC economies. The card enables them to enter APEC nations multiple times. It removes the waiting time needed to complete immigration clearance processes. Businesspersons belonging to these APEC economies get quick clearance at major international airports through specially designated lanes during entry and exit.
Card-holders get the benefit of staying in participating economies for 60 to 90 days per visit. The card provides the flexibility to attend business meetings, conduct investment activities, and explore new business opportunities in APEC nations.
No Need for a Separate Application for a Visa
There are 21 member economies participating in the APEC Business Travel Card scheme. Out of which 19 nations are fully-participating economies. The United States and Canada are transitional members. If you have an APEC Business Travel Card, you can enter any of the fully-participating economies visa-free. You do not have to apply separately for a visa if you have been granted preclearance by the economy you are visiting.
On the back of the APEC Business Travel Card is a list of the APEC countries to which you have received preclearance. You need not carry any other document, such as a visa, as proof when you enter the economy. The travel card does not replace the passport as a travel document. If you have a card, you still need a valid passport for travel.
The best practice recommended for business travelers is to apply for preclearance to all the APEC countries you may need to travel to in the coming five years.
Visa Needed for Transitional APEC Members
If you want to visit an APEC economy that is a transitional member like the United States or Canada, you will need a travel or identity document, such as a visa. Therefore, before traveling to an APEC economy, it is advisable to verify the entry requirements. These transitional members are not part of the preclearance facility offered by the ABTC scheme. However, they do allow card-holders to get the benefit of speedy immigration checks at specific airports through designated lanes.
Eligibility Criteria for APEC Business Travel Card Applicants
Every APEC economy has its particular set of criteria to apply for the APEC Business Travel Card. If you need an ATBC, you must apply to the economy for which you have a passport.
In general, the applicants must be people who:
- Hold a valid passport of their home APEC economy
- Have clean criminal records
- Are authentic business people who travel frequently or make short-term visits to any of the APEC nations to conduct business transactions. The business person must be engaged in goods trading, provide services, or conduct activities related to investment
- Is a public officer belonging to a government department, ministry, economic agency, or statutory board who needs travelling often to APEC economies for official work
Once approved, you obtain an ATBC with a validity of five years or a period equal to your passport’s validity, whichever is shorter. Usually, it takes three months to get an ABTC, but the need for preclearance from all participating economies may delay the process. However, you can use an interim card while waiting for preclearance.
The APEC Business Travel Card does away with the need for a separate visa application. It makes your business trips less stressful. With the card, you save your precious time and money and conduct your business smoothly without wasting time standing in queues for immigration clearance. The card helps increase your productivity and profits for your business in the long run.
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