The United States today became the 18th country to sign up
to the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme further boosting trade and investment
across the APEC region.
The scheme provides for priority processing of business people holding the
card, in APEC countries.
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Kevin Andrews, welcomed the American
decision to become a transitional member of the scheme, adding, “I know that
Australian business people welcome the increased ease of travel between the US
“The decision by the US to join the scheme will contribute positively to
our already strong commercial relationship and I am sure that US business
people will soon appreciate the benefits of this scheme as much as the 10,000
Australian cardholders do.”
The scheme is managed on behalf of the APEC Business Mobility Group by the
Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
A certificate of participation allowing the US to start issuing APEC travel
cards was signed in Canberra by Assistant Commissioner for International
Affairs and Trade Relations, US Customs and Border Protection, Michael C Mullen
The card allows holders to transit through the airport quickly using a priority
APEC immigration processing lane, often the lane used by aircrew and diplomats.
It also provides business visa pre-clearance valid for three years and multiple
entries for a maximum stay of two months.
Card holders lodge one application with their home government and, once
approved, may travel to other participating APEC economies without applying
separately for visas.
There are 27,000 active card holders across the participating APEC economies.
The scheme is seen as a model of APEC multilateral cooperation combining
facilitation of travel with enhanced security.