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APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) (For FMM Members Only)

NOTE: Only for company registered as FMM Member. Check your membership here. To join FMM as a member, please click here.

For non-member, please get the support letter from Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and its agencies eg MIDA, MATRADE and SME Corp.


The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) provides cardholders with pre-cleared, multiple entry (no visa requirement) to participating APEC countries for short stay business visits and access to express immigration processing on arrival and departure through special APEC-marked lanes.

Currently, 19 out of the 21 APEC economies participate in the ABTC scheme. The 19 participating economies are :
  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Chile
  • China
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Russia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

As the US and Canada are not participating in the ABTC scheme, ABTC holders travelling to the US or Canada will still be subjected to the existing immigration clearance process applicable to all travelers. The US and Canada will also not be listed on the card.

Following complaints raised by businesses on the delays in the issuance of the ABTC card, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Immigration Malaysia have streamlined the ABTC procedures and developed new guidelines for the ABTC application process. The new guidelines will come into effect on July 1, 2013. The new guidelines are expected to reduce the processing time from the present 6 - 12 months to 2 - 3 months. Highlights of the new guidelines are as follows:
  1. Six (6) chambers / associations including Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) have been authorised by the Department of Immigration Malaysia to issue the ABTC support letter for members of their associations. They are Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, Malay Chamber of Commerce, Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCCIM), Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MAICCI), Malaysian Service Providers Confederation (MSPC), Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MICCI).
  2. Upon receiving the applications and necessary supporting documents, the authorised chambers / associations would check and verify if applicants are from bona-fide member companies and thereafter issue the ABTC support letters; 
  3. Authorised chambers / associations would submit the members’ ABTC applications and the necessary supporting documents to the ABTC Unit of Department of Immigration in Putrajaya; and 
  4. A fee of RM37.10 (inclusive of 6% GST) per application would be levied by authorised chambers / associations to cover administrative and other related cost to dispatch the applications and support letters to the Department of Immigration Malaysia. 
GUIDELINES ON THE APPLICATION OF ABTC THROUGH FMM:
Eligibility: To qualify for the ABTC, you have to be a citizen of Malaysia holding a valid passport and fulfil the following conditions:
  • Malaysian citizens only
  • The members of the business and investment community who has activities of trade and investment with the (21) economies. The members of the business and investment community (Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Director, Managing Director, Marketing Manager or equivalent.) must be endorsed by the appointed regulatory agencies through a Supporting Letter.

    Note: Personnel NOT eligible for the ABTC application will include those traveling to provide technical support or internal company affairs, e.g.: HR Manager, Admin Manager, IT Manager, Engineering Manager, Production Manger, Technical Advisor, Company Secretary, etc.
Application Procedures: FMM has been given the mandate by Department of Immigration Malaysia to check and verify the application for the ABTC, issue the support letter and submit the application to the ABTC Unit, Department of Immigration Malaysia in Putrajaya.

The following is the seven (7) step application process to apply for the ABTC card through FMM:

Step 1:
Member companies to submit the following documents to
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers
Wisma FMM, No. 3, Persiaran Dagang,
PJU 9,
Bandar Sri Damansara,
52200 Kuala Lumpur
(Attn: International Business Division - ABTC):

  1. Checklist of documents (which could be downloaded at the bottom of this page) ;
  2. Completed ABTC application form in BLACK ink and CAPITAL letters (which could be downloaded from www.imi.gov.my or at the bottom of this page) with original signature of applicant;
  3. A copy of applicant’s Malaysian passport personal information page with validity of at least three years;
  4. Copy of inside pages that have been stamped to prove frequent travel to APEC countries (submit pages from previous passport if passport is new passport); 
  5. Official letter from employer to Immigration Department (on company letterhead, refer sample below)
  6. Official letter from employer to FMM (on company letterhead, refer sample below)
  7. FOR NON-DIRECT MEMBER ONLY: Official Letter of Verification (on FMM member's letterhead, refer sample below);
  8. 1 recent passport sized photograph; (with BLUE background) and 
  9. Copy of applicant’s Malaysian identity card (IC); 
  10. Bank-in (Maybank A/C No: 5142 0833 0768) / cash / cheque (Payable to Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers) of RM37.10 (inclusive of 6% GST) per application, payable to Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers. Tax Invoice to be issued to company. The bank-in slip / cheque should be submitted together with the application form and supporting documents.
Step 2:
Upon receiving the application and supporting documents, FMM would check and verify that applicants are from bona-fide member companies. Upon verification of the documents, FMM would prepare and issue the ABTC support letter.

Step 3:
FMM would compile the ABTC application, supporting documents and FMM support letter and dispatch to the ABTC Unit of Department of Immigration, Putrajaya.

Step 4:
Upon receipt of the ABTC application form, FMM support letter and supporting documents from FMM, Department of Immigration would issue the ABTC reference number to FMM. FMM would e-mail the ABTC application number to ABTC applicant to start tracking the status of application.

Step 5:
Applicants to track the status of their ABTC application using the reference number given through http://www.abtc-aps.org/abtc-core/status/check.html 

Step 6:
If you are assessed as an eligible applicant by the Department of Immigration, Malaysia, your application would then be forwarded to all participating APEC economies for approval. These economies may vet your application against their Immigration requirements to determine your clearance of entry.

Step 7:
Once all 19 economies have vetted and approved your application, your card is estimated to be issued within 2 - 3 months (the length of time taken for approval by the foreign economies could vary significantly and is not controlled by the Department of Immigration Malaysia). After all the 19 countries have pre-cleared you for entry, contact Immigration to request for card collection. A fee of RM100.00 would be charged by the Immigration Department when the ABTC card is issued. Payment and collection should be made by applicant directly with ABTC Unit, Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Fee: A processing fee of RM37.10* (non-refundable) per application would be imposed by FMM to check and verify the application and issue the support letter. The fees also include the cost to dispatch the application to Department of Immigration, Putrajaya.
* inclusive of 6% GST. Tax Invoice to be issued to company

Payment mode - Payment by bank-in (Maybank A/C No: 5142 0833 0768) / cash / cheque would be accepted. Payment should be made in favour of “Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers”. The bank-in slip / cheque should be submitted together with the application form and supporting documents.

The background on the ABTC, eligibility conditions, application process and checklist of documents required from applicants can be viewed below:

For further details, please contact Angelina Lim / Lily Hee (International Business Division) or Maygelah / Shamini (International Trade Policy Unit) at Tel: 03-6286 7200; Fax: 03-6274 1266 or email: abtc@fmm.org.my

For latest update on the ABTC application, please visit http://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/main-services/apec-business-travel-card-abtc

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