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A Guide to APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card is for bona fide business travellers wanting to apply for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) under the ABTC Scheme. The APEC Business Travel Card enables applicants to travel within the APEC economies.


What is the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme?

The aim of the ABTC Scheme is to enhance the free mobility of business travellers among the APEC economies, thereby promoting free-flowing business within all the participating countries. Check whether your country is represented in the ABTC Scheme in the list of APEC Card countries:

Countries participating in the Scheme are :

  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Chile
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • The Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam


The APEC Business Travel Card is a plastic card similar in size and shape to a credit card. It is normally valid for five years. Please note, however, that the card is good for multiple visits within two to three months to participating economies.

Who Can Apply for the APEC Business Travel Card?

A business person who is a resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may apply for an ABTC if he/she: 

  1. Is a holder of a Hong Kong permanent identity card and also holds a valid national passport;
  2. Has not previously been denied entry to any of the participating economies 
  3. He or she has no criminal or security objections 
  4. Must be a certified bona fide business person or investor who needs to travel on short term visits within the APEC region to fulfil business arrangements 

Please note that the term bona fide business person refers to a business person engaged in the trade of goods or services or who is also frequently involved in the transaction of investment activity. This term does not refer to entertainers, musicians, artists or persons engaged in similar occupations. Such persons are not eligible to apply for the APEC Business Travel Card and will be denied APEC card application.


Got a Questions about APEC Business Travel Card?

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APEC Business Travel Card Benefits

The APEC Business Travel Card allows free travel for business travellers, for frequent short term trips. No visa is necessary and application for this card is low-cost and convenient for business travellers on the go. Indeed, the APEC card encourages free mobility of business travellers among the APEC economies, thereby promoting free-flowing business within all the participating countries.

APEC Business Travel Card Application Process

The APEC Business Travel Card application will be processed and reviewed in tandem with other participating APEC economies and countries. Therefore, the application form (ID 900) should be completed in English in block letters and black or blue ink, with the applicant’s photograph affixed on it. Attached the following documents must be included for successful APEC card application:


  1. A photocopy of the applicant’s Hong Kong permanent identity card 
  2. A photocopy of the applicant’s valid passport showing nationality, dates of issue and expiry
  3. Identical photograph of the applicant
  4. A letter from the applicant’s employing company supporting his/her application.


The applicant may be required to submit further supporting documents and information when necessary. During the application, the applicant can nominate a maximum of five economies which he or she needs to visit as a priority for business commitments. The nominated economies will expedite the processing of the applicant’s application. However, the nomination of economies is optional. If the applicant wishes to make the nomination, please complete the “Options for receiving an interim card” (SF/IM/1609) and submit it together with his/her application.

After the completion of local processing of the application for ABTC in Hong Kong, the application will be referred to the other participating economies for pre-clearance. 

Apply for an APEC Business Travel Card

Applying for the APEC Business Travel Card is tricky and onerous, but Links International can help you. Links International provides professional visa advice and consultation in Asia, and our well-trained staff of 120+ have years of experience with links to local immigration authorities.

Our visa application services range anywhere from preparation and providing a checklist of documents required, to the endorsement of visa in passports and safe delivery to our clients. Learn more about the services we offer by contacting us now for a one-on-one consultation with one of our experts.

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