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What You Need to Know About the APEC Business Travel Card
Yes, you need to know how to get a passport if you travel frequently for business. You never know where your career may take you, and you need to be prepared to go wherever that may be. Sometimes there are exceptions to having to get a visa for every international trip, though. The APEC Business Travel Card is a lesser known tool that can do a great deal to help business travelers, especially those who have not yet gotten their passport together.
So what is the APEC Business Travel Card? It’s a travel document that can be obtained by business travelers who are citizens of a country that’s a member of APEC. Member countries include the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Peru, and the People’s Republic of China, among several others. APEC is the accepted abbreviation for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The organization works for economic and technical cooperation, trade and investment liberalization, and business facilitation.
This card is a real necessity for many travelers, and it empowers you to travel to many countries with far less hassle and preparation. The APEC Business Travel Card is good for empowering travelers to go to more places with less notice and far fewer hassles. If you hold this card, you won’t have to possess a visa when going to those member countries. In other words, it cuts through a lot of pesky red tape.
A few other benefits include that the organization allows card holders to enjoy short-term entries for a minimum of 59 days (and sometimes longer). There’s expedited border crossing at participating countries. There’s even access granted to air-crew lanes for expedited entry into both Canada and the United States. (If required by national law, though, visas and passports will still be necessary, depending on the traveler’s country of origin and situation.) Since the card is conveniently valid for three years, you don’t have to worry about renewing it all the time.
Another cool perk of the card is that your visa interview can get expedited scheduling if a visa is necessary. This can be a really big convenience if you need to get somewhere on short notice, and it’s more complicated than the plans may seem to be at first. Large businesses especially find this worth; as the old saying goes, time is money, especially when it comes to limited schedules and dynamic demands that a competitive business may have.
The card is issued with a similar look to credit cards. In fact, it can be read by machines and scanned so it’s quite like other pocket cards. It fits easily into your wallet. It has several fields that contain your personal information, including your name, sex, the name of economy of your country of residence, your birth date, the expiration date, your passport number, and your own personal signature.
So how can you get one before your next international business trip? Well, you’re eligible if you regularly travel to member countries and conduct business there. Another requirement is that you have not been convicted of a crime. Also, you need to have a passport for one of the countries to be eligible. A few countries have other requirements and limitations so be sure to check with the office in your country for eligibility confirmation. It may take a few minutes, but it may equate to hours of hassle saved if you’re a frequent traveler to these countries.