Over the past five years AmCham Singapore has pushed the U.S. government to allow American citizens access to the APEC Business Travel Card. The card gives frequent business travelers pre-cleared, facilitated short-term entry to participating APEC member economies, saving them valuable time at airports around Asia-Pacific. For several years, the card has been available to citizens of every APEC economy except the United States and Canada. The U.S. government started issuing APEC Business Travel Cards to qualified U.S. travelers on June 12, 2014. In October 2017 and with strong support from AmCham Singapore, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved bipartisan legislation and it was signed into law by President Trump, just in time for his first extended trip to Asia since occupying the White House. There is no question that the legislation was ultimately a result of our advocacy efforts in coordination with Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce. Many thanks to all of our AmCham members who advocated with us on this important piece of legislation!
On November 16, 2016 AmCham Singapore strongly endorsed U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono’s letter to President Obama, co-signed by Senators Cory Gardner, Amy Klobuchar and Gary C. Peters, requesting that the United States extend the validity of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) from three to five years on the occasion of the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting to be held in Lima, Peru from November 19-20, 2016.
The ABTC has greatly improved procedures so that hundreds of members of AmCham Singapore can travel efficiently throughout the region to conduct trade and investment activities that are important to creating jobs in the United States.
“Clearing immigration at airports across the region involves a lot of time and even greater uncertainty about how long it will take on any given trip. The APEC Business Travel Card has removed this uncertainty, allowing business travelers to plan their time more efficiently and, ultimately, be more productive,” said Steven R. Okun, AmCham Governor. “The card is a game changer that allows U.S. citizens to compete more evenly with their foreign counterparts. A five-year validity will increase the card’s impact.”
Read the letter here.
On November 4, 2011 the U.S. Congress passed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards (ABTC) Act of 2011 and President Obama signed it into law shortly thereafter. AmCham Singapore applauded its passage and urged the government to begin issuing APEC Business Travel Cards to U.S. citizens as soon as possible. Since then, on our own, through APCAC, and with the support of U.S. Embassy Singapore, we have pressed the issue with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of State, and the White House. On June 12, 2014, U.S. citizens became eligible to apply for the ABTC.
- After Oct 1, 2017 Global Entry members will no longer be able to access their Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account. Existing members must migrate from GOES to the new Trusted Traveler Program Website at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov –select the option “I’m already a program member”. You will first be directed to gov, where you must create an account. Login.gov is an authentication platform shared by United States government agencies to streamline the login process and to allow the public to securely access personal information and federal government services. After creating a Login.gov account or logging in to your existing Login.gov account, you will be directed back to CBP’s Trusted Traveler Website – https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/ . You must ensure that your PASSID is added to your TPP account or your profile. Select the “Edit Profile” section on the TTP dashboard to manually add your PASS ID in your profile if it not already there. Once you saved the information, all of your application details will be available on the dashboard. The PASS ID update is necessary so that the new TTP system will migrate all of your application data over.
- FAQS about the TTP website can be found at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/faq?lang=en
- An existing Global Entry member can log in to the TTP website, to apply for an APEC Business Card. On the TTP Dashboard, you can go to the Program Memberships section and click on the Apply for APEC Business Travel Card button. It will take one to two days for you to receive a conditional approval notification on your TTP account. The notification letter will inform you if you are required to take any further action to complete your enrollment. If this is a renewal request for a new APEC card and your e-signature is on your profile, then you may not be required to take any additional action.
- Please note, if you are required and wish to complete your enrollment for the e-signature collection in Singapore, then you must schedule an online appointment via the TTP system. The U.S. Embassy, Singapore does not allow for walk-in. Alternatively, you can walk in or schedule for an appointment at any Global Entry Enrollment Center in the United States – http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/enrollment-centers, or choose to complete your enrollment at Participating Enrollment on Arrival Airports. Enrollment on Arrival program eliminates the need for a Global Entry applicant to schedule an interview at an enrollment center to complete the application process. When landing in an international terminal follow the signage directing you to CBP officers who can complete your interview during your admissibility inspection. You won’t need any additional documents other than the requisite documents for international travel (e.g., your passport). See – https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/enrollment-arrival
We wish to thank all of our members who have written to and spoken with their representatives to help transform the APEC Business Travel Card legislation into a reality for U.S. citizens. In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Singapore has been a tremendous partner in terms of its flexibility in implementing Global Entry and the APEC Business Travel Card here and in encouraging lawmakers and government officials in Washington to get the cards in the hands of travelers.