Do I need an EVUS if I’m only in transit in the U.S.?

Do I need an EVUS if I’m only in transit in the U.S.?

If you are a Chinese national and you will be in transit in the United States on your way to another country, you have to enroll with the EVUS. This migratory requirement was put in place on November 29th, 2016. Registration with EVUS is mandatory for all Chinese citizens traveling to the United States. Even if the traveller is not going to stay in the U.S., it is required that he or she has an approved EVUS before their trip.

Citizens and nationals of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who have a 10-year U.S. visitor visa B1, B2 or a combination of the two are required to register online with the EVUS visa system if they are going to travel to the United States. Failure to complete registration will result in denied entry to the country.

EVUS stands for Electronic Visa Update System and it was created to facilitate travel to the United States. At the same time it was designed to improve national security. The data provided by the applicants is compared against an immigration database to ensure that all those who travel to the U.S. have been properly screened.

Applying for the EVUS is a fairly simple process as long as the applicant has all the required documentation to do so. If you are a citizen of China, you have a valid Chinese passport and a visa class B1, B2 or B1/B2 and you are going to enter U.S. soil you can easily register online.

The application can take up to 20 minutes to fill in. It has four main sections in which the traveler has to complete basic biographical details, travel and contact information and answer eight general questions. Applicants must also have a valid credit or debit card to pay for the fee. Once approved, the EVUS is valid for two consecutive years and multiple trips.

It is strongly advised that travelers enroll at least 72 hours before their time of departure. Though most applications are approved within minutes, some cases might take longer to evaluate. The approved EVUS visa will be sent to the applicant’s email address, which should be provided during the application process.

Transiting the U.S.: Things to Know

All international travelers transiting through the U.S. are expected to carry a valid passport and a valid visa unless they’re exempt from this requirement. Those travelers who belong to countries in the Visa Waiver program should have an approved ESTA. Currently, only Chinese citizens are expected to have an approved EVUS visa to enter the United States. However, the EVUS visa program is expected to impact more countries in the coming months.

Millions of people enter the United States daily. Each person who arrives at a port of entry to the U.S. will be subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protection officers. This is in compliance with immigration, customs and agriculture regulations.

Travellers can have with them as much money as they wish. However, amounts larger than 10,000 should be declared to the Customs Border Protection (CBP) using an specific form. It is recommended to follow the immigration rules as punishments can be severe.

All people traveling to the U.S. should also note that there are specific products and materials that are not allowed. These products are mostly those that could injure the community's health, public safety, the American people and animal and plant life. Examples of this restricted products are firearms, animal products, certain fruits and vegetables, drugs, etc.

Be responsible during your travels, carry proper documentation with you and make sure that you comply to all the requisites established by the United States.

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