The APEC Business Travel Card saves a lot of time and money for those who regularly travel to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries on business. You only need to prepare your documents and file and application once, and you will be able to freely visit China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Japan and another 13 states for the next five years.
Right, the main advantage of the APEC Card is that you will not need to apply for a visa to visit each individual country. Just imagine how much time and money will be saved. Moreover, you will be making it through the passport control several times faster. Even in Canada and the United States, although they are the APEC member countries, but do not provide visa-free access to the APEC Business Travel Card holders, you will enjoy special routes that are designed for airline crew members in most international airports.
Other advantages are as follows:
- You will not have to get an invitation from your partners in the APEC countries.
- 100% guarantee of access to any of the 19 countries.
- A single trip can last for 2 to 3 months depending on the country.
Who Can Get an APEC Card?
APEC Cards are not issued to private individuals. It can be obtained only by government officials, individual businessmen or managers/employees of legal entities who have no criminal record. The card will allow you to travel on business only. It does not give you the right to employment.
The APEC Card was specifically developed to promote business in the APEC area. It is the same size as a standard credit card and allows multiple visits to up to 18 APEC member countries for the periods of two to three months. Today, the list includes the following countries:
- Hong Kong;
- Papua New Guinea;
- New Zealand;
- South Korea;
- Chinese Taipei.
So, these were the advantages. Now the main question is, how do I get an APEC Business Travel Card?
How Can I Get the APEC Card?
The APEC Card application must be filed in the applicant’s country of residence. If your country confirms that the applicant meets all the criteria, it submits information about them to other member states of the program. It is up to each country to decide whether or not to grant the applicant permission to visit. When all the countries have made their decision, the applicant is given a card listing the countries that have agreed to travel authorization.
No country can influence the term within which another country will be considering your application. Therefore, the timeframe for processing the APEC Card directly depends on how long each country will be considering your application. As a rule, it usually takes no more than 3 to 6 months. If for some reason one of the countries does not approve your application, you will still get the card. It just won’t have this state included.
On the Internet you can read a lot of reviews about getting the APEC Card, where people describe the difficulties of this procedure. Some even write that after great efforts they never managed to get the card, or that it is only issued to the chosen ones.
Partly, this is true, because obtaining the APEC Card independently involves a lot of effort and is rather time-consuming. As a rule, you will first have to send a letter to the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (or another relevant organization), where in addition to describing your business, you will need to specify why you need the card.
Having received the approval, you can apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within three months. In addition to the APEC Card application, you will need the following papers:
- The above-mentioned written request.
- Copies of you civil and travel IDs. Please note that your travel ID should be valid for at least another 5 years at the time of application.
- Police clearance certificate.
- Original and copy of the tax payment certificate.
- Membership card issued by one of the regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry (if you have any).
It is just the basic documents list. Other documents might be requested depending on your individual case. Please not that only a copy of your travel ID is required. The original remains with you.
If you are interested in the cost of the APEC Card, you can learn it here. We will provide you full support in obtaining the APEC Card, including assisting you in filling out the form correctly and preparing the documents, taking into account all the pitfalls. We also help with obtaining a second citizenship that can also provide visa-free access to most countries for you and your family. Should you wish to get free advice, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.