Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business (APEC) Travel Card

By 13 June 2018August 19th, 2020No Comments

It is worth remembering that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) provides eligible Australian citizens with quick and easy access to participating countries for business purposes.

The following APEC economies offer reciprocal entry arrangements: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Chinese Taipei, Chile, Hong Kong (SAR China), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation; Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

The ABTC is issued with a validity period of 5 years from the date of issue, and depending on the destination, the period of stay ranges from 60 to 90 days.

The ABTC also allows access to fast-track entry and exit lanes at participating major airports. This benefit is enjoyed by card holders even where there is no reciprocal arrangement and the holder must acquire a valid visa (including transitional countries such as the United States and Canada).

  1. Travel frequently to an APEC economy (other than Australia or the applicant’s place of residence) for business purposes.
  2. Has not been convicted of a criminal offence.
  3. Holds one of the following positions:
    – The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or regional or country head of a registered business entity;
    – An owner or director of a registered business entity;
    – A Board member of a registered business entity;
    – The CEO or CFO of an Australian-based business peak body;
    – An employee of a registered business entity nominated by the CEO, CFO, regional head, owner or director of the organisation; or
    – A senior government official.
  4. The relevant business must be actively engaged in trade between APEC economies. There are many ways this criterion may be satisfied, including:
    The business has received an Austrade grant or been a finalist in the Australian Export Awards in the last 5 years;
    – The business is listed on the current Forbes Global 2000 Business List;
    – The business can provide evidence of being lawfully registered in the economy in which it is operating;
    – The business can provide evidence that it is trading goods or services, or conducting investment activities between APEC economies;
    – A start-up may also be actively engaged in trade where there is clear evidence of viability, sound business planning, market research and products or services to be traded.

Applications must be made online and involve the provision of a number of certified documents. During the assessment period, each APEC economy will assess the application against their own immigration requirements.

For non-Australian citizens, eligibility for an ABTC may still be available through their own country of nationality. When travelling to Australia with a valid ABTC, the holder is not required to apply for a visa and may stay for a maximum of 90 days. While in Australia, the holder is permitted to engage in trade and investment activities, investigate, negotiate, sign and review business contracts, participate in conferences, trade fairs or seminars. In addition, the holder is able to holiday or visit family in Australia using the ABTC.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

DISCLAIMER This information is current as at 13 June 2018 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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Author Ron Kessels

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