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Successful case study: Applying for an APEC card in Singapore is as easy as ABC!

Successful case study: Applying for an APEC card in Singapore is as easy as ABC!

On November 19, the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting concluded in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting focused on sustainable trade and investment. China is committed to open regional cooperation to promote prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. From Singapore, the country will be actively expanding  and comprehensively upgrading its regional economic cooperations. China’s resolve to open up at a higher level will remain the same. China’s doors will kept open to the world.

There are increasing opportunities for enterprises to go overseas and cooperate in international business, and having an APEC card will provide you with a lot of convenience for international business travel.

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An APEC card for 21 economies

1.     What is the APEC card?

APEC is the abbreviation of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. After the establishment of APEC, the Philippines, Korea and Australia initiated the APEC Business Travel Card Program (ABTC) at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the Philippines in November 1996 in order to strengthen regional economic cooperation and promote the free flow of business personnel. The participating economies are encouraged to offer each other multilateral long-term visas and expedited customs clearance for their business personnel (each economy has a dedicated APEC travel card clearance channel at its main border ports). In 1997, the program began.

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The Image come from pexels


2.     Differences between Chinese APEC cards and Singapore APEC cards

  • Similarities

APEC comprises of 21 economies, inlcuding: China, Hong Kong, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Russia; with the United States and Canada being transitional economies in the ABTC scheme

  • Differences
  1. Application units: designated Chinese foreign affairs offices, foreign affairs Office and other units in each province; For Singapore, apply at ICA (more on that below);
  2. Applicable economies:

Singapore citizens holding a valid Singapore passport and an issued APEC card may use the ABTC as a multiple travel visa to expedite immigration clearance through designated channels in the following participating economies:

In addition, the US and Canada are the transition economies in Singapore’s ABTC scheme and are not printed on the back of the ABTC.

However, Chinese citizens holding APEC cards cannot travel to Taiwan and Hong Kong in these economies.

Here we share our case scenario on how Singapore Citizens can apply for an APEC Card.

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The venturing story of Ms. C

Ms. C is a senior channel partner of a company in Singapore. Because of her particular job, she needs to take international business trips frequently. Through the introduction of industry insiders, Ms. C learned that the APEC card has many advantages:

Once the application is completed, the card is valid for 5 years, and the applicant can stay for 60~90 days for multiple entries.  In addition, economies generally provide cardholders with special channels for entry and exit to facilitate quick customs clearance.

Each economy allows a maximum stay of 60 days or 90 days, as follows:

60 days: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea;

90 days: Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Brunei, Mexico, Peru, Chile;

If the travel card is valid for less than 60 or 90 days, you must leave the country before the card expires. Cardholders from other economies can stay in China for up to 60 days.

To facilitate travel and work, Ms. C successfully applied for an APEC card with the assistance of Go Global Gem! This has brought a lot of convenience to her overseas work and travel.

APEC Card Tina 1

Theft must be investigated


A guide to applying for APEC Card in Singapore

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card is a program designed to facilitate the flow of business travelers among APEC member economies. Singapore citizens can apply for the card if they do not have any past criminal convictions and if they meet the following criteria.

1.     Application method:

Arrange the relevant information, log in to ICA Singapore official website, online application.

  1. A recent electronic or scanned copy of a passport-sized photo (of the last 3 months) in JPEG format,250 x 220 pixels, with a file size of less than 60 KB.
  2. Scanned copy of the authorization letter or support letter: JPEG format or PDF format, the file size is less than 1 MB (support document sample); If the support letter is self-signed, please provide a scanned copy of your ACRA business profile;
  3. Members of professional organizations who apply for the ABTC as individuals must provide a letter explaining the reason for application and the membership certificate of professional organizations;
  4. If you are applying as an overseas company, you must submit a scanned copy of the company’s Overseas Business Registration Certificate written in any of the four official languages (English, Mandarin, Tamil or Malay).
  5. A valid Singapore passport (not expired)

Interim Letter

Theft must be investigated


2.     Application requirements:

  1. Bona fide business persons representing economically active business entities;
  2. Members of professional bodies (such as doctors, lawyers or accountants);
  3. Public officials travelling in an official capacity on behalf of ministries, government departments, economic agencies or statutory bodies.

Note: If you are traveling to the United States or Canada with an ABTC, you will be subject to standard immigration clearance procedures; However, you can use the “Fast track” immigration lanes (currently designated for airline cabin crew) at major international airports.

For example, the designated airports in Canada are:

Calgary International Airport;

Edmonton International Airport;

Halifax Stanfield International Airport;

Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport;

Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport;

Toronto Pearson International Airport (Terminals 1 and 2);

Vancouver International Airport;

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport;

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What else do you know about the differences between China and Singapore APEC cards? If you want to apply for an APEC card, feel free to contact us. We will provide business services, overseas asset allocation, overseas identity planning and other integrated solutions for going abroad.


For enquires please reach out to us:
Email: info@goglobalgem.com