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  • Tuariki
    replied
    26mi365. It is probably only worth it if you can get visa exemptions for the countries you wish to visit. If a US issued APEC card gives you exemptions for Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and China and you are visiting some of those countries then it is probably worth while.

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  • bruce3404
    replied
    Remember, you still have to have a business reason to get an APEC card; if you'll be doing business in Singapore then you'd have eligibility for APEC. For GOES, it may or may not be worth getting the card. It requires an interview and costs around $150; it will save you time, so it depends on how much your time is worth and how often you'd use the card.

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  • 26mi235
    replied
    So, we are going to Singapore and probably several places near by (from the US); is it worth doing this?

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  • Tuariki
    replied
    The APEC card for APEC members was agreed to in 1999 at the APEC held in NZ that year.
    The card is issued for three years, and eliminates the need for its holder to possess a visa when visiting other APEC participating economies. The different APEC economies have very different criteria for vetting applications from their own citizens. Other than providing quick airport clearance for APEC card holders the US has not fully participated.

    The US appears to be changing its stance as in May 2014, the Department of Homeland Security published an interim final rule regarding the issuance of APEC cards to U.S. citizens. However, US APEC card holders will not enjoy the full benefits of the APEC card until the US gives APEC card holders reciprocal free visas for each participating economy - 21 in all.

    If you travel to the Pacific rim countries and you can get one, you should. They are a great help.

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  • bruce3404
    replied
    US and Canada probably aren't listed because they just became eligible in June. The profiling can be brutal. Just came from Morocco into Spain. As an American, I couldn't go through the EU line and had to stand in line with Moroccan citizens. The EU line moved about 20X faster.

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  • Tuariki
    replied
    I don't know anything about the GOES card but the APEC Card is a separate thing altogether. A valid APEC card is considered a VISA for every country that is listed on the APEC card. Citizens of each APEC country apply to their own government agency and that government agency then requests an approval for the applicant for that country. In my case the only 2 APEC countries that are not listed on mt APEC card are the USA and Canada. I guess the "spook departments" in the USA and Canada think there is too much risk of subversive Commies / ISIL / Taleban / and Maori-Kiwis for them to embrace all of the benefits of APEC. However, as someone who served faithfully as a US Army grunt for 4 years they still let me in and I still get to go through a special channel saving usually about 30 minutes in processing time.

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  • bruce3404
    replied
    But all the GOES card does is allow one to bypass customs and go through shorter immigration lines. It still doesn't remove the visa requirement or lower the cost. But you're right, if you travel a lot it will save some time. The US (along with Canada) has also just entered into what's a transitional membership in APEC. While not as good as a full-fledged membership, it would save some time applying for different visas, but there are pretty stringent measures regarding one being a businessman doing business in APEC countries. Apparently selling on Ebay isn't going to get you one. While China has set fees, it's not a bad idea to shop various visa companies unless you live in a city with a Chinese embassy and don't mind standing in line and returning later to stand in line to pick the visa up. In that case, a 10 year visa for an American citizen is $140, but different consulates have different requirements ranging from drivers licenses proving residency in the area of the consulate, provable paid hotel reservations and pre-paid air tickets, etc. It was quite a bit easier to get a visa in the late '90s than it is now.

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  • Tuariki
    replied
    China definitely did not offer 10 year visas in 2008.

    Following are the application fees for some USA temporary visas:
    $160 – (Business/Tourism, Transit Visa, Crew-Airline/Ship, Students)
    $190 – (Person of Extraordinary Ability)
    $265 – (FiancĂ© Visa)

    I guess the moral of these charges is:
    * Don't be extraordinary (be an average athlete like I was I guess)
    * Don't get married - live in sin

    I travel throughout the APEC countries using my APEC card. Every APEC country including USA issues these. The cost (at least in NZ) is NZ$150 and is valid for 3 years.

    For US citizens who travel a lot Information is available on www.cbp.gov. To apply, you must go to the Global Online Enrollment System, or GOES website.

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  • HopStepJump
    replied
    My wife is Chinese. It's pretty much a pain in the ass for her to get a visa anywhere, even as a green card holder. A Schengen visa, which covers Germany, is well over $100. Also, I guarantee that the Chinese government did not not offer a 10-year visa option back in 2008.

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  • bruce3404
    replied
    It's often reciprocal. While visa fees tend to be reciprocal, occasionally countries that need western currency will charge less than the US charges their citizens. In fact, the US charges about $20 more for a Chinese citizen to visit ($160 vs $140), but the Chinese have to go through an interview process, obtain various letters, etc. My guess is that the German government charges a Chinese citizen around $35-40.

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  • norunner
    replied
    This is funny, the Chinese really don't like you guys, for Germans the visa costs 30 Euro (37 USD).

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  • gh
    replied
    if there was any longterm option available in '08, my visa company certainly didn't mention it.

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  • bruce3404
    replied
    Interesting. At least for US citizens, this was only formally announced in the past week or so:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/w...bama/18786007/ though perhaps they had a short term deal in place for the Olympics.

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  • toyracer
    replied
    bruce3404; the Chinese had similar measures in place for the 2008 Olympics.

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  • bruce3404
    replied
    FWIW, China has just started allowing 10 year visas at the same price as the previous one visit visas. This applies to US citizens, but may also apply to citizens of other countries. While it may be unlikely that most of us will visit China twice in 10 years, at least the option exists and at no extra cost. The major processor of Chinese visas in the US is Allied Visas; one simply checks "other" for the time frame requested and 10 years is generally awarded.
    Total cost runs $207, which includes the visa fee of $140, processing fee of $45 and FedX fee of $22. Damned visa costs more than the cheapest all-session ticket!

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