I recently got an APEC card, with validity for countries like Indonesia & China, which normally have higher visa-requirements for me as a UK passport holder than other countries (no visa-on-arrival, full-page stickers in my passport etc).

The APEC card is supposed to give me Visa-free access to those countries, but I am worried of traveling and then being bounced back at passport control. Can someone tell me from their own experience if they had any problems trying to cross the border with an APEC card despite normally requiring a visa to China?

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    You want to "immigrate" or you want to pass through "customs and immigration"? Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 14:12
  • 1
    I want to pass through customs and immigration
    – uncovery
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 8:04
  • I thought so, hopefully my edits made it a bit more clear for some people though. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 8:25
  • I had a similar issue with exiting South Korea on Jan 18th. The immigration official at the ABTC counter looked at the back of my US issued card (which has no country designations) and said "no good, no good".
    – user26169
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 22:09

2 Answers 2


I have an APEC card. In a number of cases I have had visa free entry as a NZ citizen
(Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia) so do not need the card there.

In China I have used it once or twice without major hassles. It was more a matter of unfamiliarity on the part of officials that caused a slight ripple. eg the lack of a visa sticker in the passport needed to be explained on one occasion with reference to the card. As most airports have APEC cardholder lanes at customs this is usually not an issue. I did not feel under any threat of non-entry in China - which is what would happen without a visa as they have no visa on arrival arrangements.

Added 2023: At the time that this answer was written USA was not accepting all APEC cards and others were reciprocating by not recognising US issued APEC cards.

lambshaanxy noted: " ... the US is only a "provisional" member and does not grant visa-free access to ABTC holders, so other countries are returning the favor (or lack thereof)."

You need to ensure that your host country is 'playing nice'. In most cases this will not be a problem.

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    India is not a part of APEC, so the odds of them allowing entry under an APEC card is... well.. Zero.
    – Doc
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 18:24
  • @Doc - I agree. I'm not sure how the holder of a UK passport is eligible to hold oneso, if so, as stated, maybe the"portal" is different and India is included in whatever he has. BUT I just realised that the country code for Indonesia (which IS on my card) has been confused with India. | ... Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 6:52
  • ... India does allow 'visa on arrival' for a small group of mostly obscure (unless you live in one) countries. This includes NZ but, interestingly, excludes the UK. NZ's inclusion may have some association with Sir Edmund Hillary, However, NZ just beat India at cricket so we can probably expect the VOA rights to be withdrawn any day now :-). Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 6:53
  • Sorry, its Indonesia, not India. And my passport does not matter so much, I got the APEC card as a HKG permanent residency holder.
    – uncovery
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 8:05

I recently received my APEC card from the United States, but it did not work in Indonesia. The Indonesian officials are refusing to accept APEC cards issued by the US. I've been in touch with US folks about it and they are saying they are working to fix the problem, but its a matter of training the Indonesian customs officials which they have no control over.

Until Indonesia gets on board, US issued APEC card holders are out of luck.

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    It's actually the other way around: the US is only a "provisional" member and does not grant visa-free access to ABTC holders, so other countries are returning the favor (or lack thereof). Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 6:52
  • @lambshaanxy Did you add your comment in the last day or so, or many years ago. The system shows me "15 hours ago" but my recollection was that this is an old comment. Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 22:45

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