Can Singapore PRs Apply For APEC Business Travel Cards?

Goh Jun Cheng

The APEC Business Travel Card facilitates short-term travel access for business purposes to member economies. But can Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) qualify for these cards?

This article examines the eligibility criteria and application process.

Overview of the APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card is a travel document issued to accredited business travelers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum economies.

It provides pre-cleared, expedited immigration privileges in participating member destinations.

Cardholders enjoy faster entry, relaxed visa requirements and use of priority lanes at major airports for short-term business trips.

Eligible Economies

21 member economies are eligible to nominate business travelers for APEC Business Travel Cards:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Thailand
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Benefits of the APEC Business Travel Card

Key benefits include:

  • Pre-clearance for visa-free entry to participating economies for business trips up to 90 days
  • Expedited airport arrivals clearance via dedicated APEC lanes
  • Elimination of routine immigration formalities
  • Acceptance as official identification for domestic and international flights
  • Multiple entries valid for 3 to 5 years before renewal required

Criteria for Singapore APEC Business Travel Card

For Singapore, eligible applicants must:

  • Be Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Carry an executive or managerial position in a registered Singapore business
  • Have evidence of frequent regional travel e.g. immigration stamps
  • Possess valid passports and other supporting documents

Additional Requirements for PR Applicants

Beyond the standard criteria, PR applicants face some additional requirements:

  • PRs must have held their Singapore PR status for at least 2 years
  • They must show regular business-related travel within the Asia-Pacific region over 24 preceding months
  • This is verified through passport stamps as supplementary evidence
  • PR applicants must provide justification for why an APEC Business Travel Card is beneficial over regular passports
  • A higher degree of scrutiny helps validate PR applicants against potential misuse risks

Sponsoring Company Endorsement

To apply, the sponsoring local company must nominate and endorse the applicant as a key employee requiring the APEC Business Travel Card for regional business activities.

The company must be registered in Singapore and active for at least 12 months. Both SMEs and large enterprises can qualify as sponsoring companies.

The sponsoring company may be asked for additional documentation on the applicant’s executive role, business activities and travel needs.

Application Process and Fees

PRs meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for APEC Business Travel Cards via the International Enterprise Singapore portal.

The application fee is $80 for a 2-year term card or $120 for a 3-year term card. Renewals for existing cardholders are $40 for 2 years.

An online self-assessment tool provides information on qualifying. Supporting documents need to be uploaded.

If approved, cardholders will be informed via email. Average processing time is 5 business days after submission. Rejected applicants have appeal options.


In summary, Singapore PRs can apply for and receive APEC Business Travel Cards provided they meet the qualifying criteria.

While PR applicants undergo closer scrutiny, the APEC card remains accessible to both citizens and PRs employed in executive business roles necessitating frequent Asia-Pacific travel. Adhering to the card conditions also helps PR holders justify renewing their long-term ties to Singapore.

1 thought on “Can Singapore PRs Apply For APEC Business Travel Cards?”

  1. Hi
    “PRs meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for APEC Business Travel Cards via the International Enterprise Singapore portal”

    I can’t seem to fin dthis portal or anywhere to apply as a PR.

    Also on the ICA website I see:
    “Applicants of other nationalities, including Singapore permanent residents, are to submit the application through their home economy”

    Could you share a link?


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