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 and Australia.” “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.
APEC Business Travel Card Scheme: Clearing customs on international trips is one of the most frustrating processes I endure, once landing all I want to do is get to my hotel and freshen up. Enter the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme. What is the advantage of having the APEC Business Travel Card? Completing one (and waiting for pre approval from each country) form gives holders pre approval to visit participating APEC countries at any time for multiple short stays. Access to Priority APEC Fast track customs/Immigrations lanes at most major International airports in participating countries. The APEC Business Travel Card is valid for 3 years and is linked to your passport, so it is recommended that you have at least 3.6 years left on your passport so you get the full benefit of the scheme. In addition if you passport is either lost or stolen you will need to reapply for the APEC Business Travel Card. How do I know if I am an accredited business person and how do I go about applying for the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme? Membership conditions are that: A business person who holds a valid passport of a participating economy Travels frequently to conduct trade and investment activities within the APEC region and Has never been convicted of a criminal offence. Application procedures vary depending on which country you are from, but application forms and information for relevant participating economies can be found on the APEC Business Mobility website here: http://www.businessmobility.org/key/status_tracker.htm After you have applied and payed the relevant application fee (Currently AU$200 for Australians), you will then need to wait for your application to be pre-approved by each member country, after which you will be issued the APEC Business Travel Card. Participating Economy Length of Stay Application Pre Clearance time (Working days) Australia APEC lanes are signposted, located at the far left of immigration concourses, and are shared with aircrew. They are available in both the arrival and departure halls of the following major airports: Adelaide Brisbane Cairns Darwin Sydney Melbourne Perth 90 Days Foreign applicants: 21 Days Brunei Darussalam Special APEC lanes are provided at: Brunei International Airport 90 Days Average pre approval processing time not available Chile Special APEC lanes are provided at: Santiago International Airport 90 Days Foreign applicants: 15 Days China Special APEC lanes are provided at: Beijing International Airport Pudong International Airport (Shanghai) 60 Days Average pre approval processing time not available Hong Kong (China) APEC lanes are signposted and located in the Arrival and Departure Halls, and shared with Hong Kong Residents and Travel Pass holders at:· Hong Kong International Airport APEC Lanes are also available at selected ferry points and land control terminals. 60 Days Foreign applicants: 14 days Indonesia APEC lanes are signposted and located in the Arrival and Departure Halls at: · Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Jakarta) · Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali) · Polonia International Airport (Medan)· Juanda International Airport (Surabaya) · Batam International Ferry Ports 60 Days Foreign applicants: 25 […]