APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Scheme

Before Applying

APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Scheme

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Introduction

This webpage sets out the arrangement for bona fide business travelers who wish to apply for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) under the ABTC Scheme for travelling within the APEC economies.

The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Scheme

The aim of the Scheme is to enhance the mobility of business travellers among the APEC economies, thus promoting business within the region.

The ABTC is plastic and the size of a credit card. It is normally valid for five yearsNote 1. The card is good for multiple visits of two to three months to participating economiesNote 2 without the need for a visa if pre-clearance has been granted.

For card holders travelling to a participating economy where pre-clearance has been granted, they can use the special service lanes at selected control points for entry and exit clearance and enjoy streamlined immigration clearance upon presentation of the card and their valid national passport. In Hong Kong, card holders are allowed to use "resident" counters where available.

Card holders can use the special service lanes at selected control points of participating economies regardless of whether pre-clearance has been granted by that economy. For card holders travelling to a participating economy where pre-clearance has not been granted, they are still subject to usual immigration clearance process, such as presenting valid passports and where applicable, valid visas.

Card holders travelling to the United States can use the "fast-track" lanes (currently designated for aircrew) for passenger clearance at all international airports in the United States upon entry. However, ABTC holders are still subject to the usual immigration clearance process as applicable to other travellers, such as presenting valid passports and where applicable, valid visas for the United States. Should an ABTC holder require a visa for urgent business travel and find that there are no appointments available for the next working day, he/she may fax the US Consulate General's office at 2147 3586 to request a special appointment slot.

Card holders can also use the special service lanes for passenger clearance at the major international airports in Canada upon entry. ABTC holders may follow signage with the APEC logo to access the lane. However, they are still subject to the usual immigration clearance process as applicable to other travellers, such as presenting valid passports and where applicable, valid visas for Canada.

Note 1: Applications lodged on or after 1 September 2015 will be granted an ABTC normally valid for five years. Applications lodged on or before 31 August 2015 will be granted an ABTC normally valid for three years.

Note 2: The arrangement does not apply to Chinese citizen of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for entry into the Mainland. They should continue to use the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents (commonly known as the “Home Visit Permit”) for such entry. It also does not apply to ABTC holders of Hong Kong (China) for entry into Chinese Taipei.

Participating Economies

The APEC economies 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 
Eligibility Criteria

A business person residing in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may apply for an ABTC if he/she:

  1. holds a Hong Kong permanent identity card and a valid national passport;
  2. has not previously been denied entry to any of the participating economies;
  3. has never been convicted of a criminal offence;
  4. must be a bona fide business person who needs to travel frequently on short term visits within the APEC region to fulfil business commitments.

A bona fide business person is taken to mean a person who is engaged in the trade of goods, the provision of services or the conduct of investment activities. It does not include entertainers, musicians, artists or persons engaged in similar occupations.

Applying

APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Scheme

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Application Form Completion and Submission

As the application will be referred to other participating APEC economies, 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 and enclosed with:

  1. a photocopy of the applicant’s Hong Kong permanent identity card (only the side with his/her personal particulars and photograph is required);
  2. a photocopy of the applicant’s valid passport showing his/her personal particulars, nationality, dates of issue and expiry;
  3. another identical photograph of the applicant; and
  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 in connection with his/her application when necessary.

The applicant may nominate a maximum of five economies which the applicant needs to visit as a priority when he/she submits the application. The nominated economies will expedite the processing of the applicant’s application as far as possible. 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.

The completed application form and "Options for receiving an interim card" (if applicable) should be sent by post or in person to the Other Visas and Permits Section, Immigration Department, 7/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Underpaid mail items will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. For proper delivery of your mail items, please ensure your mail items bear sufficient postage with return address before posting. (Details)

Payment of Fee

The current prescribed fee for new issue of the card is HK$490; a fee of HK$190 will be charged for card replacement for the remainder of its validity period. The fee is payable upon collection in cash, by EPS, by cashier order, bank draft or crossed cheque made payable either to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" or "The Government of the HKSAR". Cash should not be sent.

Fee Table

After Applying

APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Scheme

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Online / 24-hour Telephone Enquiry on Application Status

Once the receipt of application has been acknowledged, applicants can enquire the applications status here or through 24-hour telephone enquiry system (852) 3160 8663.

Issue and Collection

After the completion of local processing of the application for ABTC in Hong Kong, the application will be referred to the other participating economics for pre-clearance. The applicant can monitor the status of his/her pre-clearance application on-line through the APEC Business Mobility Group website. Should the applicant finds the pre-clearance results meet his/her business needs, he/she may request for the issue of an ABTC by sending a written request with his/her signature to us by post or by fax 2824 1161. The applicant will be informed by letter when the card is ready for collection.

The applicant may collect the card either in person or authorise a representative to do it on his/her behalf. Upon collection, the applicant or his/her authorised representative must produce the applicant’s original valid passport for inspection if this has not been done when the applicant submits the application.

Payment of Fee

The current prescribed fee for new issue of the card is HK$490; a fee of HK$190 will be charged for card replacement for the remainder of its validity period. The fee is payable upon collection in cash, by EPS, by cashier order, bank draft or crossed cheque made payable either to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" or "The Government of the HKSAR". Cash should not be sent.

Fee Table