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

Old Jun 23, 14, 11:17 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Boraxo
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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ABTC/APEC Business Travel Card for US/Canadian Citizens: Updates, Experiences, Q&A

Old May 21, 15, 2:33 pm
  #676  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by pinoymutt View Post
Actually according to CBP's official site that isn't quite true:

Q:
Can I use my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card for personal travel, such as vacation?

A:
No. The APEC Business Travel Card is for members who travel frequently on short-term visits within the APEC region to fulfill business commitments. To use the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card, you must be traveling solely for business purposes to the foreign APEC economy.

http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-tr...ked-questions2

But in reality, I don't think most immigration queues enforce this strictly, but technically they could according to the rules.
Actually, although I am entering the country on a tourist visa, I am actually going to a conference, so it is related to work and I do have the card because of frequent travel in the region for work. But I was advised to have a tourist visa for this trip. Anyway, I will try to use it in a few weeks, see if it works, all they can do is say no, and report back.
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Old May 21, 15, 6:33 pm
  #677  
 
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Originally Posted by rlbmorton View Post
Actually, although I am entering the country on a tourist visa, I am actually going to a conference, so it is related to work and I do have the card because of frequent travel in the region for work. But I was advised to have a tourist visa for this trip. Anyway, I will try to use it in a few weeks, see if it works, all they can do is say no, and report back.
You were given bad information.

What country are you traveling to?
Always Flyin is offline  
Old May 23, 15, 7:32 pm
  #678  
 
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To add to my positive entry into Korea experience I posted earlier I was able to leave ICN with the card and skip lines, enter FUK with the card and skip lines a couple of weeks ago and just exited Japan at NRT and was able to skip a lot of lines with the card.

So far most helpful. No one at ICN, FUK or NRT looked at the back. Very nice...
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Old May 24, 15, 7:06 pm
  #679  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Always Flyin View Post
About a week for the four people I know.
Got my ID in 4 days. Not bad...will give it my first go entering Singapore in July/Aug.
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Old May 25, 15, 1:24 pm
  #680  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
mine was almost 3 weeks

data point...upon arrival at TPE the inspector looked at the card carefully with a magnifying glass and checked the back a couple of times, but didn't say anything. The diplomat/APEC line can be backed up a little with wheelchair and strollers, but depending on your arrival time, can still save you a considerable amount of waiting time.

she also changed the entry type on my immigration card from tourist (which I am on this trip) to business, but didn't ask what I was planning on doing in TW.
You can potentially be denied using that lane if not on business, but I was surprised she changed for you. I guessed she noticed that late, and do not bother sending you back to the other lanes, especially if she already started processing.

I have no idea what the TPE agents are looking for. They know very well US ABTC cards do not have any countries listed.
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Old May 25, 15, 1:25 pm
  #681  
 
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Originally Posted by srs507 View Post
Got my ID in 4 days. Not bad...will give it my first go entering Singapore in July/Aug.
I think I got mine in less than two weeks, but I forgot exactly how long.
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Old May 25, 15, 9:44 pm
  #682  
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Can anyone from Taiwan tell me where you applied for the card in or near Taipei? My colleague wants the card and we have no idea where the enrollment office is, and the TW website is not helpful.
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Old May 26, 15, 1:13 am
  #683  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Can anyone from Taiwan tell me where you applied for the card in or near Taipei? My colleague wants the card and we have no idea where the enrollment office is, and the TW website is not helpful.
Assuming your colleague is a Taiwanese nationality, then

http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=...tNode=727&mp=1

If American, then signed up Global Entry, APEC/ABTC is next.

My recent visits to Taipei, T1, no real issues. Security at departure found my ABTC, and pointed me to EXPRESS lane for security check. Officer flipped the card and made attempt to say something, I stood firm and expressed TW Foreign Affairs Department has agreed to accept it with no endorsement in the back. She agreed. Saved me at least 20 minutes in the Monday morning rush hour.
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Old May 26, 15, 1:41 am
  #684  
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Originally Posted by jerrywu View Post
Assuming your colleague is a Taiwanese nationality, then

http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=...tNode=727&mp=1

If American, then signed up Global Entry, APEC/ABTC is next.

My recent visits to Taipei, T1, no real issues. Security at departure found my ABTC, and pointed me to EXPRESS lane for security check. Officer flipped the card and made attempt to say something, I stood firm and expressed TW Foreign Affairs Department has agreed to accept it with no endorsement in the back. She agreed. Saved me at least 20 minutes in the Monday morning rush hour.
Yes, they are Taiwanese...but that website is not really clear on where to go to apply, just describes the general BOCA office in each region, so we need to assume they go to their closest BOCA office and ask someone where to apply.
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Old May 26, 15, 2:09 am
  #685  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Yes, they are Taiwanese...but that website is not really clear on where to go to apply, just describes the general BOCA office in each region, so we need to assume they go to their closest BOCA office and ask someone where to apply.
They don't hand out cards to individuals like they do in the US, but rather to persons associated with a business. There are certain qualifications for one or their business to meet (such as minimum annual revenue), and a "recommendation letter" from one of the many trade organizations is required. Qualifications are outlined on this page: http://www.boca.gov.tw/np?ctNode=684&mp=1.

Assuming the individual/business qualifies, one only has to gather the documentations and walk up to BOCA office. I highly recommend your pals to call BOCA. They are surprisingly helpful.
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Old Jun 5, 15, 8:20 pm
  #686  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Sorry side tracking a bit:

I hold an ABTC but it has expiry on the card as 'August 2015'. I have just been asked to go to Beijing in July for a week. Previously I won't need a visa. I can't find out if there is a minimum valid duration of the ABTC for exemption of visa entry. My local chinese embassy said they do not know and referred me to an office in Beijing.

Does anyone have experience in similar situation?
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Old Jun 5, 15, 9:32 pm
  #687  
 
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Originally Posted by HKGNZL View Post
Sorry side tracking a bit:

I hold an ABTC but it has expiry on the card as 'August 2015'. I have just been asked to go to Beijing in July for a week. Previously I won't need a visa. I can't find out if there is a minimum valid duration of the ABTC for exemption of visa entry. My local chinese embassy said they do not know and referred me to an office in Beijing.

Does anyone have experience in similar situation?
I would treat the card validity like that of any other visa. As long as it is valid on your date of arrival, it is good.
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Old Jun 5, 15, 9:47 pm
  #688  
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Had a less than stellar welcome with my APEC card in Singapore. Inspector looks for the endorsement on the back, doesn't see one, then compares the card to passport and mumbles something about I can't use the card (APEC is US issued, I entered with Canadian passport), but let me through anyway.

When I ask for clarification and try to explain the US cards don't have endorsements, she waved me off with a "that's all" that sounded (and looked) exactly like Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada
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Old Jun 6, 15, 2:45 pm
  #689  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Had a less than stellar welcome with my APEC card in Singapore. Inspector looks for the endorsement on the back, doesn't see one, then compares the card to passport and mumbles something about I can't use the card (APEC is US issued, I entered with Canadian passport), but let me through anyway.

When I ask for clarification and try to explain the US cards don't have endorsements, she waved me off with a "that's all" that sounded (and looked) exactly like Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada
Many countries do not like US issuing ABTC cards her own way (by not printing list of countries). With so many US ABTC card holders passing through APEC countries, they see that all the time. There was no need to explain. Since she let you through already, it was probably quicker to say thanks and proceed, in case there were others behind you.
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Old Jun 7, 15, 2:08 am
  #690  
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Originally Posted by cxfan1960 View Post
Many countries do not like US issuing ABTC cards her own way (by not printing list of countries). With so many US ABTC card holders passing through APEC countries, they see that all the time. There was no need to explain. Since she let you through already, it was probably quicker to say thanks and proceed, in case there were others behind you.
She wasn't going to let me through with the card and insisted I couldn't use it, and I didn't appreciate the dismissive attitude because if they are going to accept APEC cards, then they accept all of them regardless of what's printed or not, and I don't care who is behind me, they can wait.

This issue was escalated at TPE and they corrected the inspectors who were making arbitrary, and incorrect, decisions about the US cards - sounds like Singapore inspectors need similar re-training.
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