Our Government is committed to making it easier for Canadian business people to expand their businesses’ international reach, with a view to creating jobs and economic growth.
To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that a pilot project is expected to be launched this winter, which will facilitate Canadian business travel to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies.
The goal of introducing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card (ABTC) is to make it easier for pre-approved Canadian business people to travel to participating APEC economies. The ABTC, which is valid for three years, allows card holders multiple short-term entries into participating economies, and accelerates border processing by providing fast-track entry using designated APEC lines at major airports.
Currently, both Canada and the United States are transitional members of the ABTC scheme. The two countries facilitate travel for ABTC members by providing access to designated APEC lines (special service counters), which, in foreign economies, is also identified as an APEC designated lane. Foreign ABTC members must still present all required documents such as passports, visas and permits for entry into Canada.
What is the Canadian ABTC Pilot?
The Canadian ABTC pilot will allow Canadian business travellers, who are both NEXUS and ABTC members, access to designated APEC lines for facilitated border clearance when travelling to participating foreign APEC economies. Canadian ABTC members must still present all required documentation such as passports, visas and permits when entering participating foreign APEC economies. Canadian ABTC holders will also benefit from faster border clearance using Trusted Traveller kiosks when returning to Canada. NEXUS is the bi-national, Canada-U.S. program for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering Canada or the U.S. at designated air, land and marine ports of entry.
How to apply:
Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS and who conduct business in the APEC region are now eligible to apply for an ABTC. Please note that Canadian ABTC members will still need to apply separately for, and obtain, any required travel documents (e.g. visa, passport) that are required by the APEC country they intend to visit.
Enquiries regarding the Canadian domestic ABTC pilot should be directed to the CBSA (ABTC‑CVAA@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
For enquiries regarding the NEXUS program, visit www.NEXUS.gc.ca
For general information on the ABTC, visit the APEC Business Mobility Group's Web site.
Currently, 19 of the 21 participating APEC economies issue ABTC cards to their qualifying citizens. These foreign ABTC holders are able to enter Canada using designated APEC lines (special service counters) at Canada’s eight major international airports in the following cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax.
Reporting requirements for foreign ABTC holders to Canada remain the same. When using designated APEC lines to enter Canada, foreign ABTC holders will be required to show the following documents to a border services officer:
- a valid ABTC;
- a valid passport;
- a visa, if required; and
- work permits may also be required depending on the nature of the business to be conducted in Canada.