Issuance of Virtual APEC Business Travel Cards to Start from April Applications

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will digitalize the “APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)”.

Applications made by the end of February will receive a plastic ABTC, while those made from April onwards will be issued a virtual ABTC. March will be a transition period, during which applications are discouraged. The fee for new issuance applications will be reduced from 13,100 yen to 13,000 yen. It’s also possible to switch from a plastic ABTC to a virtual ABTC.

Under the new system, applications are made by entering information and attaching files on a dedicated website. A fee, which has to be sent by postal mail using revenue stamps, is required. After domestic approval, the ABTC is issued immediately and will be displayed in real-time on the app following approval from each country/region. There’s no worry about losing the card. Depending on the conditions, it’s also possible to apply online for re-issuance due to a change in passport number.

Currently, the virtual ABTC cannot be used for traveling to Russia, while the plastic ABTC can.

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