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By Haruna Kobayashi, for ExpatBriefing.com
14 September, 2015
Hong Kong's Immigration Department has announced that successful applicants for an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) whose applications are submitted on or after September 1, 2015 will be granted a card valid for five years.
The Immigration Department spokesman said: "The APEC Business Mobility Group has announced the implementation of the extension of validity of the ABTC from three to five years, effective from September 1, 2015. The extension of validity of the ABTC brings greater traveling convenience to business travelers among the APEC economies, thus further promoting business within the region."
At present, there are 19 economies participating in the scheme, namely Australia, Brunei, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam. The USA and Canada have joined as transitional members but do not offer visa pre-clearance referred by other participating economies under the ABTC Scheme.
In Hong Kong, residents holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card and a valid national passport may apply for an ABTC. Applicants must be bona fide business people, have no criminal record and must never have been refused entry to any of the participating economies. Applicants should also have a need to travel frequently on a short term basis to the APEC economies to fulfill business commitments.
The ABTC is valid for multiple visits for a stay of two to three months to participating economies without the need for a visa if pre-clearance has been granted.
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