APEC FAQs for US Citizens | Fast Track Passport Control

APEC FAQs for US Citizens

 

The answers to the most frequesntly asked questions about the APEC card for US citizens are as follows

 

Who qualifies as a “verified business person” for APEC business?

A “verified business person” engaged in APEC business  means a person engaged in the trade of goods, the provision of services or the conduct of investment activities in the APEC region.  Professional athletes, news correspondents, entertainers, musicians, artists or persons engaged in similar occupations are not considered to be verified business travelers engaged in business in the APEC region when they are traveling in such a capacity. 

A “U.S. government official” means a U.S. government official performing U.S. government activities that support the work of APEC.

 

How long will my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card be valid for?

The U.S. APEC Business Travel Card is valid for three years from the date of issue, or until the expiration date of the card holder’s passport if this is earlier than three years.  The expiration date will appear on the card.

For example, if your passport will expire two years after your U.S. APEC Business Travel Card issue date, your travel card will also expire two years after the issue date.  If your passport will expire four years after your U.S. APEC Business Travel Card issue date, your U.S. APEC Business Travel Card will expire three years from the issue date. 

Legislation authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to issue U.S. APEC Business Travel Cards only through Sept. 30, 2018, unless the law is amended to extend that date.

 

What happens if the expiration date for a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card is after Sept. 30, 2018?

Even though DHS may not issue U.S. APEC Business Travel Cards after Sept. 30, 2018, cards issued before that date will be effective until their expiration date. For example, if you are issued a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card on Aug. 30, 2018, and the card’s expiration date is Aug. 30, 2021, you can use the card through Aug. 30, 2021, unless it is suspended or revoked by CBP before then.

 

Do I have to be a member of a Trusted Traveler program to apply for the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card Program?

All applicants for a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card must be existing members of a Trusted Traveler program. Fast Track Services can arrangbe for you to apply for one of the programs.

 

Is it more advantageous for me to apply for a Trusted Traveler program in advance or when I submit the application for the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card?

It is best to apply for the Trusted Traveler program and the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card at the same time because this means that you only have to visit the enrollment center once for an interview.  

 

Are the government fees refundable if I change my mind or am denied from the Trusted Traveler and APEC program?

All application fees are non-refundable regardless of the decision.  If you are denied membership to the Trusted Traveler program, you would be also be denied a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card and no refunds are available.  

 

How do I renew my APEC membership?

To renew the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card, submit a new U.S. APEC Business Travel Card application, pay the program fee, and meet all the eligibility criteria, including maintaining active membership in one of the Trusted Traveler programs. Unless the law is amended, you may not renew your U.S. APEC Business Travel Card after September 30, 2018.  As that date approaches, the US Customs and Border Control will provide more information about timelines for renewing. 

 

Do I have to renew my Trusted Traveler program membership if it is set to lapse prior to the expiration of my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card?

Yes. your U.S. APEC Business Travel Card may be revoked if you fail to renew or maintain your Trusted Traveler program membership.

 

If I am already a member of a Trusted Traveler program, do I still have to visit an enrollment center to complete my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card application?

Yes, you must provide an electronic signature. You can schedule an appointment or arrive without an appointment at any Trusted Traveler enrollment center.  

 

If I am a U.S. citizen living abroad, can I complete my interview in the country in which I reside?

No.  Interviews and signature collection for the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card must be done at a Trusted Traveler enrollment center and none are located outside of the United States and Canada.

 

Can the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card be used in lieu of a visa in a foreign APEC member economy?

No.  Foreign APEC member economies will not recognize the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card in lieu of a visa.  Card holders must present any travel or identity documentation, such as a passport and visa (where applicable), required by the foreign APEC member economy.  If a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card holder does not conform to the foreign economy’s visa, passport or entry requirements, the card holder may be directed to a non-expedited lane or refused entry.  

Check the entry requirements of the destination APEC member economy before travel. 

 

Can I use my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card for personal travel, such as vacation?

No. The APEC Business Travel Card is for members who travel frequently on short-term visits within the APEC region to fulfill business commitments. To use the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card, you must be traveling solely for business purposes to the foreign APEC economy. 

 

If my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card expires or I am no longer eligible for a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card, does this affect my membership in a Trusted Traveler program?

No.  You would still be considered a full participant in the Trusted Traveler program for the remaining period of your membership.

 

Who can I contact if my U.S. APEC Business Travel Card application or membership is suspended, denied, revoked or canceled?

You may contact the Trusted Traveler enrollment center where you interviewed or gave your signature, or write to :

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

P.O. Box 946

Williston, VT 05495

Attention: CBP Ombudsman

 

Is my spouse or child able to access the APEC lanes if they are traveling with me?

No. The U.S. APEC Business Travel Card is not transferable and applicable only to the card holder. Access to APEC lanes will not be extended to anyone traveling with the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card holder.

 

In what situations will US Customs and Border Patrol revoke or suspend a U.S. APEC Business Travel Card program membership?

A U.S. APEC Business Travel Card membership may be suspended or revoked for any of the following reasons:

  • the individual provided false information in the application and/or during the application process;
  • the individual failed to follow the program’s terms, conditions and requirements;
  • the individual has been arrested or convicted of a crime or otherwise no longer meets the program eligibility criteria.
  • the card holder is no longer a member of a Trusted Traveler program; 

 

 

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