American visa requirements

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There are a number of different types of American visas and each one has a unique set of US visa requirements. Many nationalities can now apply for ESTA which is an electronic visa waiver. The application is completed online and applicants just need a valid passport from one of the eligible countries.

Travelers who are not eligible for ESTA need to apply for a B1/B2 US Visitor Visa. This is the standard type of US visa for tourists and business people.

Chinese passport holders need to obtain a B1/B2 US Visa and also are required to enroll with EVUS. At the moment, EVUS is specifically for Chinese travelers though the scheme may be expanded to cover more nationalities in the future.

B1/B2 10-year Visitor Visas

There are three types of nonimmigrant visas: B1 visas (for business purposes), B2 visas (for tourism and/or medical treatment), and combination B1/B2 visas when the reasons for visiting are mixture of business and tourism).

The length of the US visa ranged between one year and ten years depending on the needs of the traveler and what is permitted (Visitor Visa renewal after 10 years is the most common). They can be used multiple times over this duration as long as the total number of days spent in the US is not longer than 180 days in any year duration.

This means that travelers are permitted to enter the US for six month durations. It is possible to seek an extension which enable visitors to stay for up to one year. This requires a range of supporting documentation.

B1/B2 US Visa requirements

The US B1/B2 US visa application process is thorough and involves a formal interview at a US embassy or consulate. There are a number of US visa requirements.

The first step is to complete the DS-160 form. It is submitted online on the Department of State website. After the form has been filled out and submitted it is necessary to take the following steps:

  • Print and keep the page of the DS-160 with the barcode
  • Schedule a visa interview appointment as a US embassy or consulate
  • Visit the US embassy or consulate website where you will be interviewed, review the country-specific instructions, and pay the visa application fee.

EVUS: The US electronic visa for Chinese citizens

EVUS (Electronic Visa Update System) was created to screen travelers before they enter the US. Chinese visitors need an EVUS electronic authorization in addition to a B1/B2 visa.

Applying for EVUS is simple. The online application only takes a matter of minutes to complete. It is necessary to have a valid Chinese passport and a B1/B2 visa to able to submit the application.

Chinese travelers should complete the online form at least 72 hours before traveling to the States to allow plenty of time for their application to be processed. Approved EVUS visas are valid for two years (or before if the applicant’s passport or B1/B2 visa expires). If someone gets either a new passport or a new B1/B2 visa it is necessary to reapply for EVUS.

EVUS: US requirements for Chinese passport holders

To apply for EVUS it is necessary to have a valid Chinese passport and a B1/B2 visa. To submit the online EVUS form it is necessary to pay a fee using a credit or debit card and to enter a range of information which includes:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Passport details
  • B1/B2 visa information
  • Current/most recent employer details
  • Health information

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