5 June 2013
Russia has begun processing APEC Business Travel Cards (ABTCs) under the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme.
An Immigration Department spokesman said the scheme aims to enhance the mobility of business travellers within the APEC economies, thereby promoting business within the region.
Including Russia, there are 19 economies participating in the scheme, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.
In Hong Kong, applications for ABTCs are open to people holding Hong Kong permanent identity cards and valid national passports. Applicants must be bona fide businesspeople, must have no criminal record, and must not have been refused entry to any of the participating economies. Applicants also need to travel frequently on short-term business visits to the APEC economies.
The ABTC is the size of a credit card and is normally valid for three years. The card is good for multiple visits of two to three months to participating economies without the need for a visa. Cardholders enjoy streamlined immigration clearance through special lanes at the control points of the participating economies.