Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

CBP Announces Electronic Visa Update System for Certain Chinese B Visa Holders

On March 15, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the establishment of the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS), a new platform under development 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 B-1/B-2, B-1, and B-2 visas must complete an online form to update certain biographic information. Travelers will need to enroll in EVUS before 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 U.S. and China,” said CBP 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 and being required to complete EVUS enrollments before their first travel to the United States, such travelers will need to update their enrollments 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. The update will generally be valid for two years and will help to facilitate entry into the United States. 

EVUS will be launched in November 2016. Travelers will be asked to update or verify their 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, CBP said. 

The EVUS process is similar to the process that travelers from 38 other countries must follow before traveling to the United States, CBP noted. “If Chinese travelers do not update their information at least every two years, or upon obtaining new passports after EVUS becomes effective, they will not be able to use their 10-year visas,” CBP said. 

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.