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Business travellers applying for a new APEC Business Travel Card from September 1 2015 will find their precious plastic valid for five years – boosted from a maximum of three years at present.
APEC Cards serve to avoid a country’s usual visa requirements for business travellers, while also providing access to fast track APEC passport control lanes at major airports to avoid the often-lengthy queues.
In short, rather than applying for a business visa with each separate country on your itinerary, you could instead apply for an APEC Card and remain in one place for up to 60 or 90 days at a time – returning as often as needed for as long as your APEC Card is valid.
It’s especially useful for business travellers visiting China and Russia – both of which ordinarily have strict visa requirements – but can also come in handy with the likes of Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Thailand to shorten your wait at passport control.
Also on the list of participating countries is Brunei, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Taipei and Vietnam.
Canada and the USA too provide fast track immigration for APEC Card holders, but while enforcing normal visa requirements.
For more information on the APEC Business Travel Card including eligibility or to apply, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
Also read: Government loosens the rules for APEC Cards
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