The number of Chinese citizens that travel to the U.S. has been increasing significantly in recent years. EVUS, the Electronic Visa Update System, was introduced in November 2016, specifically targeted to Chinese visitors. Since EVUS was launched, Chinese nationals have been traveling to the United States with a valid visa and an approved EVUS registration.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, “China is one of the fastest-growing inbound travel markets to the United States”. It should also be noted that Chinese visitors spend more while in the United States than any other nationality. Based on the National Travel and Tourism Office, Chinese citizen arrivals from January to April 2018 reached over a million. Final statistics about the total number of Chinese visitors in the U.S. still need to be released. It is likely that this year the number of Chinese travelers visiting the United States will be higher.
The United States and China agreed to prolong a bilateral agreement that extends the U.S. visa validity from one to ten years. This agreement became effective in 2014, and it has been contributing to the growth of Chinese travelers to the U.S.
EVUS was introduced to improve border control. Chinese travelers with a US visa (B1, B2 or a B1/B2 visa), valid for ten years, are expected to enroll in the EVUS system at least 72 hours before traveling to the country. Enrolling in EVUS is a straightforward process that will not take the applicant more than 10 minutes.
As its name indicates, EVUS is a system where the traveler can update the data of their visa in order to travel to the U.S. The EVUS application requirements establish that the traveler must be a national of China and must have an approved and valid B1, B2 or B1/B2 visa as well as a current email address and a debit or credit card. When completing the EVUS form the traveler should provide their visa details, including issuing and expiration date.
At this time, it is mandatory that a Chinese traveler with a valid American visa registers with the EVUS system if they wish to enter the country for tourism or business purposes. Once approved, the EVUS registration will be valid for a period of two consecutive years or until the passport or visa expires. Chinese travelers with a valid short-term visa will need to have enrolled with EVUS to enter the U.S.
According to travel reports, in 2016, 3 million Chinese citizens visited the United States. This was an increase of 15 percent from the previous year. In 2016, China was also the third-largest overseas inbound travel market to the U.S.
Based on a Summary Inbound Travel Market Profile made by the U.S. Travel Association, it is projected that by 2020 China will be the second-largest overseas market, following the UK.
It is forecasted that by 2022, Chinese visitors will surpass the 4.5 million. Currently, about 120 million Chinese citizens hold passports. That’s only about 8.7 percent of the population. Traveling is becoming more accessible to Chinese citizens each passing year. It should be no surprise that Chinese travelers are a strong market. Certain businesses are already tailoring to the needs of Chinese visitors.
At this time, the top destinations for Chinese tourists include Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, the U.S. and Italy.
On the other hand, the United States welcomed 37.58 million overseas visitors in 2016 and it is predicted that this figure will increase to up to 45.64 million in 2022. Besides China, some of the most numerous visitors to the U.S. are Canadian and Mexican citizens. While Canadians don’t need a visa to enter the U.S., Mexican citizens are required to obtain a category B visa to enter the United States.