The United States is one of the most popular tourist destinations — it welcomed nearly 80 million tourists in 2019 and was the third most visited country in the world!
Tourists come from around the world to see famous sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Statue of Liberty, walk along the legendary Sunset Boulevard, and even partake in fun activities like going to a theme park.
Chinese citizens are especially fond of visiting the United States and were the fifth most common foreign nationals to enter the country.
To make it simpler for tourists to visit, the US government created the Electronic Visa Update System for Chinese nationals. Those planning a trip soon should bookmark this article, as it has practical information regarding the benefits, how to apply, and much more.
The Electronic Visa Update System
The Electronic Visa Update System (also shortened to EVUS) is a program that was announced in 2016 specifically for holders of Chinese passports.
Chinese citizens who have a B1, B2, or combo B1/B2 visa are required to register in the EVUS program to be granted entry into the United States. Because the latter three visas are issued for 10 years, the EVUS was created so that Chinese citizens could update the details of the US visitor visa and make sure that everything is up-to-date and correct.
Besides being granted entry to the United States, the Electronic Visa Update System has a few other benefits. Perhaps the most important is that the EVUS is valid for 2 years and allows the holder multiple entries to the United States.
Likewise, the application process to obtain an EVUS is extremely simple and straightforward and should take about 15 minutes to complete. Best of all, the process is done entirely online, which means there is no need to spend hours visiting an embassy or preparing for an in-person interview!
It should be noted that the EVUS program is currently open to those who have a passport issued by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Individuals who hold a passport from Taiwan, Macau, or Hong Kong (HKSAR) do not need to apply for an EVUS and may travel to the United States as they usually do.
How to Apply for an EVUS
In order to apply for an Electronic Visa Update System, Chinese travelers must meet a few requirements beforehand.
First and foremost, the EVUS program is open only to Chinese citizens who are currently in possession of a B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa. Those who have another visa type (i.e., other than a B-class visa) do not need to go through the EVUS process.
Likewise, the traveler’s Chinese passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry into the United States. Applicants whose passports are due to expire soon should make sure to renew them before proceeding with an EVUS application.
Once these requirements are met, travelers may apply for the EVUS. The application form is available in both English and Mandarin, but answers must be in English.
The application will ask a few basic questions, such as the traveler’s personal details (first name and surname, date of birth, gender), passport data (serial number, date of issue/expiry), and contact information.
There will also be a separate section with yes/no questions pertaining to the traveler’s health history, criminal background, and previous travels.
Once the application is complete, travelers should double-check to make sure all of the details are correct and submit it. Typically, the EVUS is processed within 1 to 3 business days (24 to 72 hours), although in many cases, it is instantaneous.
The EVUS will be sent to the applicant’s email address once it has been approved. Due to this, it is important that travelers note down the email address that they use the most so that it is not lost or forgotten.
When traveling to the United States, printing the EVUS confirmation is unnecessary. This is because, as the name states, the EVUS is electronically linked to the traveler’s Chinese passport.
All travelers must enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System if they wish to gain entry into the United States. It is best to apply for the EVUS at least a few days before departure so that there is adequate time to get approved.
Finally, travelers should keep in mind that an EVUS is valid for two years or until the traveler’s passport or visa expires (whichever happens first). Travelers whose EVUS expire while they are already in the United States can stay in the country but must renew before their next trip.
By enrolling in the EVUS program and making sure their information is updated, travelers can enjoy a fun and stress-free trip to the United States.