Knowledge base articles

What is an APEC card?

The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) provides accredited business people with streamlined access to participating APEC countries.

Participating APEC countries

Cardholders enjoy:

  • express immigration clearance through special APEC lanes on arrival and departure
  • no requirement to apply for visas before travel
  • multiple entries to participating countries


To apply you will need to download the application form below and send this with a passport-sized photo and the application fee (NZ$150) to:

Postal Address
APEC Business Travel Card Scheme
Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 76895
Manukau City
Auckland 2241
New Zealand

Courier Address
APEC Business Travel Card Scheme
Immigration New Zealand
C/- DX Mail
20 Fairfax Avenue
Auckland 1061
New Zealand EP71514

APEC Business Travel Card Application

Am I eligible for an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)?

The APEC Business Travel Card is available to New Zealand business people engaged in trade and investment activities, who:

  • are nationals of New Zealand and hold a current New Zealand passport
  • travel frequently (on short notice and for short term stay) to conduct trade and investment activities in participating APEC countries due to the nature of their business
  • have not been convicted of a criminal offence

The APEC card is designed to meet a business persons frequent short term travel needs and not to replace visa applications for infrequent travel.

What supporting documents do I need to include?

All applications need to provide supporting documents highlighting your need for frequent business related travel to APEC economies.

You must provide as much information as possible to allow us to process your application. Failure to provide sufficient evidence may result in the application being declined.

Some examples of supporting documents are:

  • supporting letter from your employer
  • invoice from overseas suppliers
  • contracts and agreements
  • invitations to overseas trade shows, fairs or exhibitions
  • any other third party documents which can identify you, your business and your need to travel for business related purposes.

How long is a card valid for?

APEC applications are valid for five years from the date your first card is issued to you. However, if the passport you provided with your application expires before this date, the expiry date listed on your card will match the expiry date of your passport.

Your application will still be valid for five years so you will need to contact us with a scanned copy of your new passport for us to update your details and issue you with an updated card.

Can I renew my APEC Business Travel Card?

All applications are treated as new applications. There is no facility for cardholders to renew their APEC Business Travel Card. As such you will be required to submit a new application, photograph, and supporting documents which will be assessed against eligibility criteria.

What if I have a criminal conviction?

If you have a criminal conviction you will not be eligible for an APEC card.

If you have old convictions which are concealed under The Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 you do not need to disclose those convictions when you apply for a card, and it will not affect your eligibility.  Information regarding these convictions will not be disclosed to other participating countries.

However, your clean slate does not apply when you fill out forms when travelling overseas. You will need to declare these convictions on your arrival card overseas, and if you do not meet that country’s entry requirements you may be refused entry. You will need to check the entry requirements with that country’s embassy or consulate before you travel. 

How long does it take to receive the full card?

The timeframe for issuing a full card is determined by the speed of clearance, and requirements, of each selected, participating country. Processing times can be anywhere between 4-6 months.

We also send out an interim card based on the economies you select on the application as priority economies. When the economies you've selected have provided clearance, an interim card will be printed and sent out before the full card with all economies.

Cards are sent via overnight courier within New Zealand or via standard mail internationally. We have no tracking or timeframe for delivery of international mail. If you live overseas and need your card urgently, you will need to contact us to arrange international courier delivery at your expense.

What do I do if my acknowledgement letter or my APEC card includes incorrect data?

You will need to email us and advise what information is incorrect.


If I get a new passport can I still use my existing APEC card?

No. Your card must be linked to the passport you will travel with.  When you have your new passport you will need to contact us with a scan of your new passport, if your application is still valid, we will issue a new card to you.

What do I do my if New Zealand passport is lost or stolen and I have a new passport?

If your APEC card is still valid email us to request your card be re-issued, you will need to include a scanned copy of your new passport.


What do I do if my address or email has changed?

Contact us by email and we will update your personal data.


What do I do if my card is lost or stolen?

Contact the police to report your card as lost or stolen. 

Email us with the relevant information, detailing how and when your card was lost or stolen. We will then issue you with a replacement card. You will need to provide your passport number when you contact us so we can easily identify you.


I have an APEC card, but I'm planning to go to New Zealand for a holiday, and not business. Can I still use my APEC card?

No, APEC cards can only be used for business purposes, so it is not appropriate for use in this situation. If you are not from a visa waiver country, you will need to apply for a visitor visa in order to travel to New Zealand for a holiday.

Visa waiver countries

Apply for a Visitor Visa