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TravelHere's everything you need to know about the APEC travel card

Here’s everything you need to know about the APEC travel card

U.S. citizens who work in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region may be eligible for a specific travel card that can fast-track them through the immigration processing at participating airports.

Here’s everything you need to know about using an APEC Business Travel Card.

What is an APEC Business Travel Card, and where can I use it?

The U.S. APEC Business Travel Card Program is available to U.S. citizens and government officials engaged in business in the APEC region; APEC is an economic forum supporting free trade and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The group is comprised of 21 member countries, including the U.S.

APEC Business Travel Cardholders can access a dedicated fast-track lane for expedited immigration processing at the major international airports of each APEC country, specifically the U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

U.S. citizens with an APEC Business Travel Card may also use the card to enter the U.S. via Global Entry for expedited clearance through automated kiosks at 75-plus airports.

Who is eligible for an APEC Business Travel Card?

APEC Business Travel Cards are for U.S. citizens and government officials “actively engaged” in APEC business. More specifically, they need to be “a verified business person” involved in the “trade of goods, the provision of services or the conduct of investment activities in the APEC region,” per U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Note: These terms do not include professional athletes, news correspondents, entertainers, musicians, artists or persons engaged in similar occupations.

Additionally, you must also be a member (in good standing) of a CBP trusted traveler program — specifically Global Entry, Sentri or Nexus — to be eligible.

How do I apply for an APEC Business Travel Card?

APEC Business Travel Card application page at Department of Homeland Security website DHS.GOV

You can apply for an APEC Business Travel Card on the Trusted Traveler Program website. You can apply for the other trusted traveler programs on the website as well.

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“Check the box in TTP for the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card,” according to CBP. “Then schedule a visit to any CBP trusted traveler enrollment center for an interview (if you are not already a CBP trusted traveler) and for electronic signature collection.”

It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete the application.

Existing CBP-trusted travelers don’t need to schedule an appointment and can instead visit any enrollment center to complete the interview process.

Stand-alone applicants should expect to pay a nonrefundable $70 application fee. Those applying for the card and Global Entry would pay $170. However, since Global Entry prices will soon increase, they will pay if they apply after the beginning of October.

Bottom line

Though only useful for a very specific group of travelers, U.S. citizens who participate in APEC business should consider applying for an APEC Business Travel Card if they would like expedited entry back into the U.S.

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