Australian minister announces extension to business visa card

by Ray Clancy on July 31, 2015

in Australia, General Information

A business travel card that provides holders with a multiple entry short stay visa for Australia and other Asia Pacific countries is being extended from three years to five.

The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) will offer bona fide business people a five year, short stay, multiple entry visa to participating member economies and priority lane access at major airports in APEC economies.

UKvisa_thumbnailThe ABTC was originally launched by APEC economies in 1997 and has experienced significant growth in recent years. The number of active ABTC users in the year to the end of June 2015 increased by 15% to more than 190,300.

The idea for the extension came from the APEC Business Mobility Group, which met in the Philippines in January 2015 and has now been agreed to by all 21 APEC member economies. The five-year extension will be valid from 01 September 2015.

“Facilitated entry for frequent business travellers in the Asia-Pacific region is now even more convenient. Extension of validity of the ABTC will significantly benefit business travellers who will not have to apply for a new card as frequently. It will also reduce processing times,” says Michaelia Cash, Australia’s Assistant Immigration Minister. “These changes benefit not only Australians travelling throughout the region for business, but also the broader Australian economy by fostering trade, investment, innovation and new services and technologies.”

The ABTC offers significant efficiencies for card holders and it has been found to greatly reduce the cost of business travel between APEC economies. The card has reduced application fees, as well as the time and costs associated with application and immigration processing.

All successful applications from 01 September 2015 for an ABTC will be valid for five years. Applications received on or before 31 August 2015 will still be granted an ABTC valid for three years.

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