US visa holders required to update information online for entry

China Daily


From November 29, 2016, all China passport holders carrying a 10-year visa will be required to have a valid Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) enrollment when traveling to the United States, otherwise they will not be able to get their boarding passes, said the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Wednesday.

The enrollments are valid for two years or until the traveler obtains a new passport or visa, whichever comes first. CBP will announce once the EVUS site is open for public enrollments, anticipated in mid-October.

EVUS is the online system used by nationals of the People's Republic of China holding a 10-year B1/B2, B1 or B2 (visitor) visa (visas for general business and tourist travel to the United States) to update basic biographic information to facilitate their travel to the United States.

In November 2014, the governments of the People's Republic of China and the United States entered into a reciprocal agreement to issue visitor and business travel visas (B1/B2, B1 and B2) with 10-year validity. That same agreement recognized that travelers would be required to periodically complete an online form updating their information. This requirement is new, and is similar to requirements that nationals from 38 countries currently must follow before traveling to the United States. The US government expects that the EVUS program will apply to additional countries in the future.

US Customs & Border Protection Attaché Kent Krul (L) and US Embassy Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs Julie Kavanagh (R) clarify details of EVUS enrollment in the US Embassy, Beijing, on September 28, 2016.

"Travelers of all ages must enroll, including those under 14 and older than 80, and it is highly recommended that you enroll at least 72 hours before your plane leave for US, said Krul.

"The enrollment process will take 10-15 minutes, but some can take up to 72 hours."

Each EVUS enrollment will require the traveler to provide his or her name, birth date, emergency contact, passport information, and biographical and employment information. Travelers will also answer questions related to travel eligibility.

A friend, relative, travel industry professional, or another third party may submit the required information to EVUS on a traveler's behalf. A third party may also pay the EVUS fee on behalf of the traveler. The traveler is responsible for the truthfulness and accuracy of all information submitted on his or her behalf.

CBP has been working to ensure that the enrollment process will be fast, easy and mobile phone-friendly. "No picture or fingerprint is required for the enrollment," added the attaché.

The fee to enroll in the system will be $8, or about 53 RMB. All payments for EVUS enrollments must be made by credit card, debit card or through PayPal. Union Pay, Master Card, VISA, JCB, American Express, Diner Club, and Discover Card are all acceptable cards.

Krul also mentioned that "third parties countries that accept US visas will have their own policies."

"The aims of EVUS is to expand and facilitate to make it easier for Chinese travelers to US and US travelers to China," said Minister Counselor Kavanagh.