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Business travel card

Information about Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC)

​​​Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) advice for foreign applicants

The following information is for foreign applicants who hold or have applied for an ABTC in their home economy. If you have not yet applied for an ABTC, you should contact the agency responsible for the ABTC in your home economy.

Contact details are available on the ABTC website.

Travelling to Australia using your ABTC ​​– Do I need to apply for a visa?

From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel exemption​. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia.​

When travelling to and entering Australia, you must hold a valid visa.

If you hold a valid physical ABTC with 'AUS' printed on the reverse side, or ‘AUS’ is visible on your Virtual ABTC home screen, you do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Australia for business purposes.

Your ABTC application is, by law, consecutively an application for a Business Visitor (Subclass 600) to travel to Australia. You do not need to take any action unless we ask you for information.

Please note: if you apply for another visa to visit Australia to engage in activities not covered by your ABTC (while your ABTC is still current), it is your responsibility to ensure this visa does not impact your authority to travel using your ABTC in the future. You may need to contact the Australian ABTC team by email at abtc@homeaffairs.gov.au​ to confirm.

You must ensure that the passport number linked to your physical or Virtual ABTC matches the passport number that you are using to travel. If your passport has changed during the lifetime of your ABTC, please contact your home economy for advice.

If you hold a valid physical ABTC that does not have 'AUS' printed on the reverse side, contact your home economy to verify if Australia has provided pre-clearance since your card was printed. If your home economy confirms that pre-clearance was granted then you do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Australia for business purposes – the ABTC does not need to have 'AUS' printed on the reverse in this instance.

If you are using a Virtual ABTC, all approved pre-clearances will be displayed on your Virtual ABTC home screen. Once it has been approved, pre-clearance will be immediately displayed when you open or refresh your smart device app.

Information about the features of the Virtual ABTC can be found at the Virtual ABTC page​ of the APEC website. Each Economy will determine its own timeline to transition its cardholders to the Virtual ABTC.

Australian ABTC fast-track entry and exit lanes are available at major international airports.

If pre-clearance has not been granted then you will need to apply for a visa prior to travel to Australia.

How long you can stay in Australia

Your ABTC allows you to visit Australia for short-stay business purposes for a maximum stay of up to three months (or 90 days) at a time.

Using your ABTC for business and non-business purposes

The ABTC is intended to facilitate travel for short-stay business purposes. This includes:

  • trade and investment activities;
  • investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract; or
  • participating in conferences, trade fairs or seminars.

Australia also allows ABTC holders to use their card to travel to Australia for non-business purposes, such as to have a holiday or visit family and friends. Please note that any other accompanying travellers will need to hold a valid visa for entry into Australia.

You may not use your ABTC to work in Australia. Work includes, but is not limited to:

  • paid employment;
  • being remunerated for services to an Australian business or organisation;
  • selling goods or services to the general public; and
  • engaging in a working holiday.

If you intend to work in Australia, you must have a valid visa with work rights. If you apply for a visa to engage in activity in Australia not covered by the ABTC, it is your responsibility to ensure that your authority to travel using your ABTC in the future is not impacted by the granting of​ another visa.

Responding to a request for further information

If you have received a request for further information from the Department, your pre-clearance to Australia cannot progress until this information has been received and reviewed by the Department.

You should return the requested information by email to abtc@homeaffairs.gov.au as soon as possible. Ensure that you include your name, ABTC Application Number and passport number in your response.

Change of circumstances

If your circumstances change, including a change to your passport number or employer, you must inform your home economy.

Contacting the Australian ABTC team

If you have a query in relation to your Australian pre-clearance or visiting Australia using an ABTC that is not covered in the above information, you may contact the Australian ABTC Processing Centre by email at abtc@homeaffairs.gov.au. Ensure that you include your name, ABTC Application Number and passport number in your email.