Russia joins the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme
Sapporo, Japan, 29 May 2010
Pre-cleared immigration entry into the 18 fully participating member economies*, eliminating the cost and time involved in obtaining visas.
Expedited transit through special fast-track lanes at major airports and seaports in all 21 economies.
Over 80,000 active cardholders now enjoy these benefits, and the APEC business community's interest in the scheme continues to grow. Figures to-date in 2010 show applications are up 27 percent on the same period last year.
As of April 2010, Russia has been providing fast-track ABTC lanes at its international airports and seaports; and it will announce procedures for its citizens to apply for the card in due course. As it is a transitional member, all ABTC cardholders entering Russia will still have to obtain a visa (unless otherwise exempt under Russian legislation or international arrangements). However, visa applications from ABTC cardholders will be given priority.
Under existing bilateral agreements, Russia is able to provide full ABTC benefits to applicants holding ordinary passports from Hong Kong-China and Thailand for stays of up to 14 days and 90 days respectively. Applicants from 16 other economies - Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Viet Nam - can currently receive multiple entry visas at Russian Embassies or Consulates.
Pre-clearance of Russian citizens by other economies will be possible once Russia is able to offer reciprocal arrangements to those economies.
*The 18 fully participating members are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; China; Chile; Hong Kong, China; Korea; Indonesia; Japan; Peru; Philippines; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; and Viet Nam. The 3 transitional members are: Canada, Russia, United States.