The APEC Business Travel Card
The APEC Business Travel Card is a scheme created by the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) to enhance easy travel for business people within the APEC economies. The countries participating in this scheme are Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the People's Republic of China, Peru, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
The APEC Business Travel Card is a small plastic card in the size of a standard credit card and valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issuance. The APEC Business Travel Card allows for multiple entry visits of 2 months to any of the participating countries.
In order to apply for one in Hong Kong, applicants:
* should be Permanent Resident of the HKSAR
* must possess valid a travel document (i.e., passport)
* must prove that he/she is a bona fide business traveler
* must have a record showing free of any criminal offence and refusal of entry to any of the participating countries
* must prove the need to travel frequently on short-term business visits to APEC countries
Completed applications along with supporting documentation (which is listed on the HKID website) may be sent by post or in person to :
Other Visas and Permits Section, Immigration Department, 7/Floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Applications fees are HK$427 for a first card and HK$150 for replacement cards.
The typical processing time is relatively long, normally 1 - 7 months depending on the speed of receiving the pre-approval from the participating countries. Issuance of an APEC Business Travel Card requires a pre-clearance from at least one participating country. Upon securing the pre-clearance, the card will be issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. The card may be collected in person or by an authorized representative of the applicant.
The holder of the APEC Business Travel Card has to carry his/her valid travel document together with the APEC card when he/she travels to any of the participating countries.
In Hong Kong the holders of APEC Business Travel Card may queue up in the 'Hong Kong Residents' counters at the Entry Points, allowing quick immigration clearances.