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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 Mar 26, 18, 8:10 am
  #1441  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Dread Pirate Jeff... My APEC was set to expire in Dec 18.... I just renewed through 2024... no issues
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Old Apr 8, 18, 6:00 pm
  #1442  
 
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Couple of questions ... I have a new APEC card and am a US citizen

There are no countries listed on the back as "valid for travel to." That's normal for US citizens, right? Or does it get approved by certain countries?

I recently tried to use it in the crew line at CUN and was told I couldn't. I asked what line I could use it in and the woman told me any line for US citizens I've seen signs for it in MEX and SJD. Has anyone used it at CUN or other places in Mexico?
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Old Apr 8, 18, 8:54 pm
  #1443  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Couple of questions ... I have a new APEC card and am a US citizen

There are no countries listed on the back as "valid for travel to." That's normal for US citizens, right? Or does it get approved by certain countries?

I recently tried to use it in the crew line at CUN and was told I couldn't. I asked what line I could use it in and the woman told me any line for US citizens I've seen signs for it in MEX and SJD. Has anyone used it at CUN or other places in Mexico?
The lack of endorsements on the back only pertains to attempts to enter a country without a required visa - for example, China. You can use the card at any posted APEC counter. When at the airport, don't ask if you can use the card, just ask where the APEC counter is located and go there. Hand over the card with your passport and don't ask if it's OK to use.
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Old Apr 8, 18, 8:59 pm
  #1444  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The lack of endorsements on the back only pertains to attempts to enter a country without a required visa - for example, China. You can use the card at any posted APEC counter. When at the airport, don't ask if you can use the card, just ask where the APEC counter is located and go there. Hand over the card with your passport and don't ask if it's OK to use.
Thanks.

I didn't ask. I didn't see any APEC signs at CUN and went to the empty crew line since that seemed to be the general guidance from what I had read. I handed over the card and passport and was told: "you can't use that here." When I asked if there was an APEC line, she told me any line, which obviously would defeat the purpose of expedited entry. Ultimately, she let me through and told me don't do it again.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 1:08 am
  #1445  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I didn't ask. I didn't see any APEC signs at CUN and went to the empty crew line since that seemed to be the general guidance from what I had read.
In the US, the APEC line is frequently (but not always) the crew line. Outside of the US, the majority of the time it is NOT the crew line.

In most airport it'll be explicitly signed as APEC. Sometimes it's the same line as the Diplomatic line, sometimes it is it's own line, sometimes it is the crew line - there's no single rule other than look or ask for "APEC".
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Old Apr 9, 18, 2:55 am
  #1446  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: BKK/SEL/YQG
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I live in TH so I enter/exit at least 2-4 times a month and the last 2 years I haven't had any issue using my Canadian-issued card, but in the last 2 months, 3 times the immigration officer gave me a hassle for not having TH listed on the back so I wonder if they've had a directive to look closer at APEC cards, as 50% of the time they don't even look at the card and just hand it back. Even though I have a valid visa/work permit for TH, so am certainly not trying to enter visa-free with the card, they have said I cannot 'use it in Thailand' all three times they've eventually let me through. One required a bit of pushing back and telling them to check with a supervisor, since he handed me my passport back and said to go to the normal queues.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 10:13 am
  #1447  
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
In the US, the APEC line is frequently (but not always) the crew line. Outside of the US, the majority of the time it is NOT the crew line.
In MEX Terminal 1, APEC card holders, diplomats, crew members and wheelchair passengers all use the same line.
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Old Apr 15, 18, 11:22 am
  #1448  
 
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Interview experiences?

Has anyone applied recently and had their interview?

What questions were you asked? Did you bring any documents proving that you're a "bonafide business person" (just in case)?
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Old Apr 16, 18, 6:56 am
  #1449  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I just got asked a dozen different ways that I really travel to Asia for business regularly.

I went to the interview in December in SFO. I was on the way out of the airport on return from a business trip to Asia, so after ~18 hours on UA38 and the hop from LAX to SFO I might have looked more like someone who snuck into the airport than a "business traveler".

I wasn't asked for any documentation, but I work for a well known company that'd seem likely to send people to Asia for business so that might have covered it.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 11:51 am
  #1450  
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The husband and I applied for 5 year renewal renewal of GE and he added APEC. Just got a note that GE cleared and logged in and scheduled us for a interviews. I don't see anyway to check the status on APEC or what the next step is.
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Old May 7, 18, 7:17 am
  #1451  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Did my interview at the Blaine Enrollment Center near the Canadian border in WA while visiting my parents, new application for both GE and APEC card. Interview was done together but the agent first, wrongly, told me I wasn’t eligible as I live in Japan (even though I’m a Us citizen). After pushing back a little and telling him what was written on the CBP website he relented and processed me but then said he wasn’t sure how I could get the card. Well, it arrived in the mail today at my home in Japan (about two weeks after the interview). He also told me they couldn’t send the GE card to my parents US address. I’m hoping he was wrong there too. I was approved for both almost immediately after the interview, which I could see on my dashboard. The questions for both were quite standard... where did I travel, had I committed any crimes, did I lie on my applications, etc. Nothing difficult. The most difficult part of the whole process was the agent’s bad attitude.
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Old May 11, 18, 2:18 am
  #1452  
 
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I did the enrollment on arrival thing with GE. Not many questions were asked and I was directed to an office outside of the immigration so that they could collect a signature.

I wonder whether the situation is better now that most of the countries have seen a blank APEC card from US/Canada? Is Taiwan worst? If I was refused to use the APEC lane with a US APEC card in Taiwan, I will definitely let CBP and state department know about this.
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Old May 11, 18, 10:44 am
  #1453  
 
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Originally Posted by HKUSFLYER View Post
If I was refused to use the APEC lane with a US APEC card in Taiwan, I will definitely let CBP and state department know about this.
When the APEC cards were first issued to US Citizens I think there were some issues with Taiwan but now everything is smooth. I have used the APEC lane probably a dozen times in the last year without an issue.
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Old May 11, 18, 10:51 am
  #1454  
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Originally Posted by HKUSFLYER View Post
I did the enrollment on arrival thing with GE. Not many questions were asked and I was directed to an office outside of the immigration so that they could collect a signature.

I wonder whether the situation is better now that most of the countries have seen a blank APEC card from US/Canada? Is Taiwan worst? If I was refused to use the APEC lane with a US APEC card in Taiwan, I will definitely let CBP and state department know about this.
Can you give more details on the Taiwan incident? Dates, airport, terminal, arrival time? More context - who denied you, did you escalate, were you forced to change lines, etc etc
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Old May 11, 18, 1:00 pm
  #1455  
 
Join Date: May 2017
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I've never been denied with a US APEC card at either TPE or TSA airport.
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