Canada has joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) initiative as a transitional member. This will bring Canadian citizens one step closer to having the opportunity to apply for this program that is designed to facilitate business travel and provide accredited business people with priority processing among the participating APEC countries.
As a transitional member, the Government of Canada has three years to work towards fulfilling all of the requirements it needs for full ABTC membership status. During this time, the Canada Border Services Agency, in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will be addressing several key issues such as developing program and information technology infrastructure. These matters need to be resolved before Canada can fully implement the ABTC program.
At this time, Canada does not offer the APEC Business Traveller Card.
Current ABTC holders are able to enter Canada using the special service lane at Canada’s eight major international airports in the following cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax. Travellers should follow the signage with the APEC logo to access this lane.
Cardholders will still need a valid passport to travel since the ABTC is not meant to replace the passport as an official travel document.
When using the special service lane to enter Canada, ABTC holders will be required to show the following documents to border services officers:
Once the ABTC program is fully in place in Canada, Canadian citizens who conduct regular business in the APEC region will be eligible to apply. Until then, as an alternative, they can apply for membership in the NEXUS or CANPASS Air programs. These programs are designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved member travellers by allowing them to use, for example, self-service kiosks at Canada's eight major international airports.
For more information on the ABTC, visit the Business Mobility Group's Web site.