New travel regulations for Chinese entering the US
Starting from November 29, travelers holding a Chinese passport with a 10-year valid visa (B1/B2, B1, or B2) will be required to have a valid Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) enrollment before boarding a US-bound flight.
The United States Consulate General Shanghai on Nov 16 held an EVUS public event at the Shanghai American Center where a number of 10-year business and visitor B visa holders were enrolled.
In his remarks, consular section chief William J. Weissman said the US government is committed to facilitating travel between the US and China and has ensured that the enrollment process is as simple and quick as possible.
With the help of consular officer Reid Howell, the invited guests completed the seven-step enrollment process within 15 minutes. Each EVUS enrollment requires the visa holder to provide his or her name, birth date, an emergency contact, a contact in the US, passport information as well as biographical and employment details. The applicant will also have to answer questions related to security and travel eligibility.
Third party applicants, such as a friend, relative or travel agent, can also help the visa holder to submit the required information to EVUS.
The EVUS system will inform visa holders of their application result within minutes after the electronic form submission. However, officials said that some people may have to wait up to 72 hours. The US Customs and Border Protection has opened a 24-7 call center staffed with Mandarin speakers to provide assistance to those who face issues with their applications.
The EVUS system, which can be accessed at evus.gov, is currently in its trial phase and enrollments are free. Visa holders can expect to pay $8 per enrollment after the trial period.
In November 2014, the Chinese and US governments agreed to issue visitor and business travel visas with a maximum validity of 10 years. As part of that agreement, visa holders will be required to complete an online form and update their personal information when necessary. There are 3.9 million 10-year visa holders in China, according to the latest statistics from the US Customs and Border Protection.
Wen Wenyi contributed to this story.