The Department of Homeland security issued a visa update that affects people who hold a People’s Republic of China passport with a B1, B2 or a combined B1/B2 American tourist or business visa. All Chinese nationals who wish to visit the United States should enroll with the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) before traveling to the country. This ruling has been put in effect since November 29th, 2016 and it is expected to expand and apply to more countries in the near future.
The EVUS visa update is a mandatory migration requirement that was implemented as part of a reciprocal agreement between the United States and China. The governments reached a consensus to grant a 10-year visitor and business travel visa and require periodical online updates to the traveler’s personal data.
Currently, filling the online application form for EVUS is only a requirement for Chinese nationals. Those citizens who hold a Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR or Taiwanese passport are not obliged to enroll with the visa update system. They may continue to travel to the U.S. as they have done so in the past.
A Chinese citizen wishing to visit the U.S. must enroll with EVUS at least 72 hours before departure time. This is an obligatory migration measure and those people who do not register with EVUS will be denied entry to the country.
The EVUS visa update is also a security measure. It is a system that compares the data provided by the applicant with an immigration database. Information provided should be accurate and legitimate. The passport and the American visa are both linked electronically to EVUS, which is valid for a period of 2 consecutive years or until the passport or visa expires.
EVUS is not a visa, it is an additional requirement. If the applicant does not have a valid visa B1, B2 or a combination of the two, he or she should not apply for EVUS. During the registration process people will be asked to provide passport and visa information, and details should be up to date.
During the EVUS enrollment, each person should also have a current email address along with a valid credit or debit card to pay for the fee. Minors are also expected to complete this process before departure, a parent or tutor should complete the application on their behalf.