New travel reg­u­la­tions for Chi­nese en­ter­ing the US

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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