U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on March 15, 2016 the anticipated establishment of the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS), a new platform under development designed to enhance border security in accordance with the bilateral arrangement with China to issue 10-year validity tourist and business visas. Beginning in November 2016, nationals of the People’s Republic of China holding 10-year visas B1/B2, B1 and B2 visas will be required to complete an online form to update certain biographic information. Travelers will need to have a valid EVUS enrollment prior to traveling to the United States. An EVUS enrollment is valid for two years or until the traveler obtains a new passport, whichever comes first.
“More than 2.7 million nationals of the People’s Republic of China are part of the 10-year visa program, a milestone in diplomatic relations between the United States and China,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “The Electronic Visa Update System will enable CBP to enhance the security of the program while facilitating legitimate travel.”
In addition to having valid 10-year visas, such travelers will be required to complete EVUS enrollments, prior to their first travel to the United States and at least once every two years, to be admitted into the United States. A nominal fee will be charged at the time of the EVUS enrollment and subsequent updates. This update will generally be valid for two years and will help to facilitate entry into the United States.
EVUS will go-live in November 2016. Travelers will be asked to update/verify the following fields: name, address, date of birth, passport number, and other basic biographic information needed to expedite entry into the United States. Visa holders do not need to do anything until the platform has officially launched.
The EVUS process is similar to the process that travelers from 38 other countries must follow before traveling to the United States. If Chinese travelers do not update their information at least every two years, or upon obtaining a new passport after EVUS becomes effective, they will not be able to use their 10-year visas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.