United States: New Visa Update System Takes Effect for Chinese Nationals Beginning November 29
Chinese nationals holding a 10-year B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visitor visa must enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) before traveling to the United States for business or tourism on or after November 29. The new system is expected to be available soon for early enrollment.
Effective November 29, Chinese nationals with a B-1/B-2, B-1 or B-2 visitor visa valid for 10 years will be required to enroll in the new Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) before traveling to the United States for business or tourism.
EVUS is a joint program established by new regulations from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the State Department to maintain current information on U.S. visa holders. Though Chinese nationals are the first group to be subject to the new requirement, the regulations give CBP broad authority to require a dditional classes of nonimmigrants to enroll their visas before travel to the United States.
EVUS is expected to be available for early enrollments soon. Chinese nationals subject to the new requirement must enroll before traveling to the United States on or after November 29.
Who Must Enroll in EVUS?
In the initial phase of EVUS, only those traveling on a passport issued by the People's Republic of China and a 10-year B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visa will be required to enroll. Those with a Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR or Taiwan passport are not subject to the new requirement.
After November 28, Chinese nationals traveling on a 10-year visitor visa will not be permitted to board a carrier to the United States or enter at a land port of entry without proof of compliance with EVUS.
When Must Enrollment Take Place?
If you are a Chinese national with a 10-year B-1 or B-2 visa issued before November 29, you must enroll in EVUS by December 14, 2016, or earlier if you plan to travel to the United States before that date.
If you are issued a B-1/B-2 visa on or after November 29, 2016, you must enroll when you receive your visa and before travel to the United States.
After you enroll initially, you must update your enrollment if there is a change in your name or a change to any of your answers to the eligibility questions in the system.
Failure to enroll or re-enroll will result in an automatic provisional revocation of your visa. The visa may be reinstated once you successfully enroll in the system.
How to Enroll
To enroll, visit www.evus.gov and enter the requested passport, visa and other biographic information. The system will take up to 72 hours to adjudicate your enrollment, though most enrollments are expected to occur shortly after submission. If enrollment is successful, CBP will issue a notification of compliance valid for two years or until your passport or visa expires, whichever occurs first. Enrollment does not guarantee that you will be admitted to the United States, but will allow you to board a carrier or apply for admission at the U.S. border.
You may complete the process yourself or designate someone to do it for you, but you remain responsible for the truthfulness and accuracy of the information submitted on your behalf.
What This Means for Foreign Nationals
If you are a Chinese national planning business travel to the United States on or after November 29, you must enroll your visa in advance of your travel date to minimize the risk of delays.
Fragomen is closely monitoring the EVUS program and will provide further updates as implementation nears. If you have any questions about EVUS, please contact your designated Fragomen professional. This alert is for informational purposes only.