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ABTC/APEC Business Travel Card for US/Canadian Citizens: Updates, Experiences, Q&A

ABTC/APEC Business Travel Card for US/Canadian Citizens: Updates, Experiences, Q&A

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Old Apr 7, 21, 10:03 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Boraxo
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US/Canadian-issued ABTC can only be used to access the APEC/Crew/Diplomat lane. It does not replace/waive any visa requirements. Chinese embassy webpages mentioning visa not being required is for ABTC with CHN endorsed on the back. No US/Canadian-issued ABTC will have that endorsement.


Locations confirmed up and running:
AUS
BOS (Logan) only one of the two signature pads was working (late nov 2014)
BOS (Logan) still only 1 signature panel working, and a bit of confusion, but it all worked out (Jan 2015)
CVG (Minneola Pike)
EWR
IAD signature capture working in GE enrollment center; walk-in accepted after appointments accommodated - I was in the office for less than two minutes
IAH (outside security in E, no word on inside security GE office yet)
JFK (walk-in accepted; entrance directly across from Central Diner on arrivals level, T-4)
LAS
LAX
Long Beach, CA (downtown CBP Seaport offices, not LGB airport); posted as No Walk In, but may accommodate just the signature capture
MIA
MCO
ORD
PHX (Terminal 4, behind #6 baggage carousel)
SEA (Nexus office)
SFO (walk-in)
TUS (walk-in accepted)
Washington, DC/Reagan Bldg. walked in, only person there, signature captured, walked out, all within 5 minutes
YYZ (Nexus office)
YVR (Nexus office)

Usage Experience Updates:

BKK - 11/11/14 - success, 03/19/17 - success, 05/10/17 - success
CGK - 02/20/15 - denied (exit), 05/10/17 - success (exit), 08/20/17 - success (entry)
CRK - 10/28/16 - success, but only 30 days, not 59 days for no-endorsement US issued ABTC.
CTU - 03/18/16 - denied -(APAC lane has limited hours)
CUN - 12/30/17 & 12/27/19 - success (with family) but difficult to enter express lane due to pushback from line monitor
DMK - 9/20/17 inbound - success, had to go under lane ropes; use Official/Diplomatic, not Crew. No APEC markings.
DPS - 03/08/15 - success but with pushback (exit)
GMP - 09/18/14 - success, 03/18/15 - success (arrival)
HKG - 09/21/14 - success, 02/28/15 - success, 02/29/15 - success (exit), 3/18/17 success, 3/19/17 - success (exit)
HND - 07/30/14 - success
ICN - 09/13/14 - success, 03/24/25 - success (departure)
KUL - 03/10/16 - success
MEX - 06/28/15 - success, 7/11/17 - success
MNL - 11/27/2015 - success (T1) (business visa not necessary for U.S. citizens) 59 days (depends on agent training. Most give 59, some give only 30, (Oct 2018))
NRT - 12/1/2014 - success both inbound and outbound immigration (visa not needed); 9/25/17 - inbound success
PEK - 07/25/14 - success (T3)
POM - 11/01/15 - denied, PNG immigration has a sign saying "only endorsed ABTC cards"
PVG - 07/24/14 - success (T2)
PVR - 11/2018, 4/2021 success (with family)
SGN - 09/04/2014 - success (visa on arrival), 02/15/2017 - denied (visa on arrival)
SHA - 11/10/2014 - success
SJD - 6/2017 & 6/2018 - success (with family)
SIN - 2/3/2016 - denied, 5/3/2017 - success; 9/16/17 - success at APEC lane
TPE - 07/24/14 - success (T2), 9/30 - success (T1), 10/12 - Denied (T2), 02/24/2015 - success (T1), 5/11 & 5/13 - success (T1)
YUL - 11/2014 - success inbound (repeatedly into 2016 via dip line)
YVR - 06/2015 - success inbound
YYZ - 07/2016 - Success inbound
SCL - 04/02/2017 - Success inbound
LIM - 12/04/2017 - Success inbound

China land crossings from HK:
Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau, Huanggang, Shenzhen Bay - 09/29/14 reported - success

China Train crossings from HK:
Dongguan and Guangzhou - 09/29/14 reported - success
Hung Hom (Hong Kong's International Train Station) - 04/30/15 - success in both directions

China Seaports from HK/Macau:
Shekou, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Baoan and and Macau/China ferry terminal in Hong Kong - 09/29/14 reported - success

[On all above China-HK crossings look, to use ABTC to enter/exit China, look for the "Special" counters]

For CGK: Go to line marked 3 on left side just before main immigration hall. If you get to line in main hall you've gone too far. Do not use crew line.
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Old Feb 15, 21, 10:48 pm
  #1711  
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Originally Posted by danielm View Post
I'd fly to Asia *constantly*, and I'd really like an APEC card. However, I'm not sure if my business would apply and I'd like some insight on whether there are downsides to giving this a shot.

I have an LLC for my website, which is centered on providing airport lounge reviews, with a focus on Asia (www.loungesharks.com). I *do* sometimes hop on a flight to get into a lounge, and I go out of my way to visit lounges at airports I wouldn't otherwise use.

Do I have a case here? Any reason not to apply?

Thanks,
Daniel
You're way overthinking this - most Customs inspectors I've dealt with while renewing this card barely even know what it is, and just ask me a cursory "do you have business in Asia" without going into detail. Describing a consumer market research firm based on Asia-based hospitality services is far more information than they will need, but you can always offer a link to your website if you get unlucky and encounter an inspector at the interview who just wants to be difficult.
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Old Feb 19, 21, 1:09 pm
  #1712  
 
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So I obtained my APEC travel card in mid-2019, and for obvious reasons have used it only a couple times. Wonder if this will make it less probable or me to renew later this year. Any recent experiences?
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Old Feb 19, 21, 1:13 pm
  #1713  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: PVD/BOS, PIT
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
So I obtained my APEC travel card in mid-2019, and for obvious reasons have used it only a couple times. Wonder if this will make it less probable or me to renew later this year. Any recent experiences?
My last renewal came after a year with no travel to Asia. No questions were raised. I received the renewal card quickly.
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Old Feb 24, 21, 5:20 pm
  #1714  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 20
Does anyone else have Nexus and a APEC card? I've been trying to get an interview for the past 15 months, and have had 6 different appointments canceled since for some reason the scheduling software only lets me schedule an APEC interview at a NEXUS location, and those are all not taking appointments. I am based in Phoenix, and would much rather schedule with a local office, but apparently am restricted to Nexus centers for some reason. Any tips? Short of that, I am worried I am going to eceed the 720 day interview requirement since there are now 0 appointment available due to Nexus enrollment centers with my most recent 3/22 interview having just been canceled again today. Thanks
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Old Feb 24, 21, 5:26 pm
  #1715  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Originally Posted by hisoka View Post
Does anyone else have Nexus and a APEC card? I've been trying to get an interview for the past 15 months, and have had 6 different appointments canceled since for some reason the scheduling software only lets me schedule an APEC interview at a NEXUS location, and those are all not taking appointments. I am based in Phoenix, and would much rather schedule with a local office, but apparently am restricted to Nexus centers for some reason. Any tips? Short of that, I am worried I am going to eceed the 720 day interview requirement since there are now 0 appointment available due to Nexus enrollment centers with my most recent 3/22 interview having just been canceled again today. Thanks
You have your Nexus card already? (Meaning it is not trying to schedule a Nexus interview…) If so, not sure why your APEC card interview would be restricted to a Nexus centre. My APEC interview was in Houston.
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Old Feb 24, 21, 5:42 pm
  #1716  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 20
Yeah, I already have my Nexus card, just trying to add APEC. I've emailed multiple times asking why I cant get a Phoenix interview, and I just get the boilerplate that I need to schedule online. I tried to do a interview on arrival like they do with global entry in San Francisco, and after doing the interview, they told me that since I have a Nexus card, they couldn't add the APEC to my account. After trying for 3 hours, I gave up. Its been a battle.


See attached the photo showing my Nexus, conditionally approved APEC, but then the only scheduling sites that show up at NEXUS centers.
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Old Feb 25, 21, 8:34 am
  #1717  
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Originally Posted by hisoka View Post
Yeah, I already have my Nexus card, just trying to add APEC. I've emailed multiple times asking why I cant get a Phoenix interview, and I just get the boilerplate that I need to schedule online. I tried to do a interview on arrival like they do with global entry in San Francisco, and after doing the interview, they told me that since I have a Nexus card, they couldn't add the APEC to my account. After trying for 3 hours, I gave up. Its been a battle.


See attached the photo showing my Nexus, conditionally approved APEC, but then the only scheduling sites that show up at NEXUS centers.
You're not a Canadian citizen are you? Speculating if you are Canadian citizen, the APEC card is actually "issued" by Canada (but outsourced to CBP) so the ABTC interview has to involve CBSA?
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Old Feb 25, 21, 2:25 pm
  #1718  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 20
mmm. I am not a Canadian (American, residing in Arizona), but as my parents are up in BC, I completed my Nexus interview at YVR (converted GE to Nexus since I was crossing the boarder frequently when seeing my parents). So, maybe this is due to my card being issued in Canada? That would be a bummer, I guess if that's the case, I should renew in 2023 in Blaine or some other US based center.

I do see a remote option becoming available, so if I can actually get an appointment, maybe that will solve the issue. Will just have to keep a close eye on it I guess.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 1:50 pm
  #1719  
 
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Originally Posted by hisoka View Post
Does anyone else have Nexus and a APEC card? I've been trying to get an interview for the past 15 months, and have had 6 different appointments canceled since for some reason the scheduling software only lets me schedule an APEC interview at a NEXUS location, and those are all not taking appointments. I am based in Phoenix, and would much rather schedule with a local office, but apparently am restricted to Nexus centers for some reason. Any tips? Short of that, I am worried I am going to eceed the 720 day interview requirement since there are now 0 appointment available due to Nexus enrollment centers with my most recent 3/22 interview having just been canceled again today. Thanks
I'm in the same boat, US citizen, have NEXUS but it defaults the appointment search for NEXUS only centers.

However, looking in the FAQ:
"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. However, if you are already a CBP trusted traveler, visit any CBP trusted traveler enrollment center for signature collection without an appointment."

So if you have Nexus or GE already, you can just go to any CBP center to finish it without an appointment. I haven't personally tried it yet, but will probably go in May when I am bringing my parents to the local one for their Global Entry interview and see.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 1:58 pm
  #1720  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Originally Posted by Rukes View Post
I'm in the same boat, US citizen, have NEXUS but it defaults the appointment search for NEXUS only centers.

However, looking in the FAQ:
"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. However, if you are already a CBP trusted traveler, visit any CBP trusted traveler enrollment center for signature collection without an appointment."

So if you have Nexus or GE already, you can just go to any CBP center to finish it without an appointment. I haven't personally tried it yet, but will probably go in May when I am bringing my parents to the local one for their Global Entry interview and see.
Unless they have changed it, the APEC interview is not just signature capture. They also interview you to ensure you are getting it for an authorised purpose (business travel as defined in the program).
My guess is the website has a logic problem that is forcing the interview to a Nexus location. I have both Nexus and APEC, but my interview was years ago and I booked it in Houston.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 3:55 pm
  #1721  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
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Originally Posted by Rukes View Post
I'm in the same boat, US citizen, have NEXUS but it defaults the appointment search for NEXUS only centers.

However, looking in the FAQ:
"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. However, if you are already a CBP trusted traveler, visit any CBP trusted traveler enrollment center for signature collection without an appointment."

So if you have Nexus or GE already, you can just go to any CBP center to finish it without an appointment. I haven't personally tried it yet, but will probably go in May when I am bringing my parents to the local one for their Global Entry interview and see.

So, I have also tried this, but no luck. on my last return from Japan through SFO, I asked if I could do an interview on arrival like they do with GE. The guy did the interview, but when he tried to approve the application, he said it was pulling up Nexus data and couldn't. They called a supervisor, I went into the local DHS office, and 90 minutes later they said they couldn't help me. Then, a couple months before lockdown, I was in YVR and stopped by the office, they told me it requires an appointment and they wouldn't just give it to me. So, YMMV, bot got denied at both SFO and YVR when dropping in.

Despite multiple emails to with screenshots to support, they dont seem to actually grasp that my problem is lack of centers to schedule an interview online. The last email does indeed say they made a notation on my account that my expiry date would be extended if no centers started taking applicants before my required scheduling timeline was due, but honestly, at this point, I'll probably need a renewal on my Nexus pass before I can get my APEC interview. Im about ready to just forget it, I might even be done with most of my Asian business trips by the time this actually comes though...
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Old Apr 7, 21, 3:58 pm
  #1722  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Originally Posted by hisoka View Post
Despite multiple emails to with screenshots to support, they dont seem to actually grasp that my problem is lack of centers to schedule an interview online. The last email does indeed say they made a notation on my account that my expiry date would be extended if no centers started taking applicants before my required scheduling timeline was due, but honestly, at this point, I'll probably need a renewal on my Nexus pass before I can get my APEC interview. Im about ready to just forget it, I might even be done with most of my Asian business trips by the time this actually comes though...
Might be time for one or more of you to contact your Congressional representative and ask for their help.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 6:05 pm
  #1723  
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Updated to reflect recent success in Puerto Vallarta. Show the card and they should direct you to the Mexico residents line.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 9:02 am
  #1724  
 
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Although it doesn't look like this has made it to the US cards yet, physical ABTC cards are going away and being replaced with virtual cards.

https://www.apec.org/Groups/Committe...p/Virtual-ABTC has the details.

Australia is the first country to implement this. I have an Australian-issues ABTC, and have already been given access to the virtual card and told that they will no longer be issuing physical cards to Australian holders.
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Old Apr 12, 21, 12:19 pm
  #1725  
 
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Although it doesn't look like this has made it to the US cards yet, physical ABTC cards are going away and being replaced with virtual cards.

https://www.apec.org/Groups/Committe...p/Virtual-ABTC has the details.

Australia is the first country to implement this. I have an Australian-issues ABTC, and have already been given access to the virtual card and told that they will no longer be issuing physical cards to Australian holders.
Not smart. So if your phone battery dies, you can no longer use the ABTC lines?
And one more item to fumble with as you get in line?
With the physical card, you can just insert it in the midst of your passport pages.
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