About the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme
New Information for Applicants
For detailed information about new arrangements for Australian applicants applying for an APEC Business Travel Card on or after 1 November 2012.
See: New Arrangements for Australians Applying for an APEC Business Travel Card ( 73KB PDF file)
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card scheme is an important initiative that commenced permanent operations in March 1999. This scheme is for business people to gain streamlined entry to other economies. It contributes to APEC's goal of free and open trade within the Asia-Pacific region.
Business Mobility Group
Through a single application form, the scheme allows accredited business people to obtain an APEC Business Travel Card for multiple short-term visits to other APEC economies over a three year period. This saves business people time and effort involved in applying for individual visas or entry permits each time they want to travel for business.
About the size of a credit card, the APEC Business Travel Card is valid for three years and allows the holder to stay for two or three months in an APEC economy that is a full member of the scheme.
See: Summary of Periods of Stay for APEC Business Travel Card Holders
Picture 1: Sample APEC Business Travel Card
The scheme also provides cardholders with access to fast track immigration processing lanes at major airports in participating economies.
See: Arrangements at International Airports
Picture 2: Sample APEC lane
There are 18 of the 21 APEC economies who fully participate in the APEC Business Travel Card scheme.
The 18 fully participating economies are:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong, China
- the Philippines
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Chinese Taipei
The remaining three economies (the Russian Federation, Canada and the United States of America) are currently transitional members of the scheme. Transitional members do not offer reciprocal arrangements for entry to their economy. They only provide fast track immigration processing lanes.
Australia's participation in the APEC Business Travel Card scheme is managed by the department.