The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced that, beginning Nov. 29, 2016, all Chinese passport holders who carry a 10-year visa B-1 (business visitor) and/or B-2 (tourist visa) must have a valid Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) enrollment when traveling to the United States.  Chinese passport holders who currently hold a 10-year B-1/B-2 visa will not be allowed to travel to the United States unless they have a valid EVUS enrollment.  For Chinese passport holders who have multiple flights to reach the United States, EVUS enrollment will be verified upon their check-in for the first flight.  The cost to enroll in EVUS is $8 USD.  EVUS enrollment is valid for two years or until the Chinese traveler obtains a new passport or visa, whichever is earlier.

Our team previously discussed EVUS in February 2016.  For additional background, EVUS is a secure online system for nationals of China using a 10-year business or tourism visitor visa to enter the United States.  Enrollment in EVUS is a new requirement that is part of a relatively recent agreement between China and the United States to issue visitor visas with a 10-year validity based on a reciprocal basis. According to CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, EVUS is intended to “enhance both national security and the longevity of the joint agreement with China to issue 10-year visas.”  Additional background information about EVUS can be found on the CBP’s website.  It is expected that additional countries will have a similar requirement in the future, although CBP has not listed any additional countries at this time.

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Photo of Cole F. Heyer Cole F. Heyer

Cole F. Heyer has been working in the immigration field for over a decade and has wide-ranging experience in both family-based and employment-based immigration matters. Prior to joining GT in 2015, Cole worked at a high-volume family-based immigration practice where he represented clients

Cole F. Heyer has been working in the immigration field for over a decade and has wide-ranging experience in both family-based and employment-based immigration matters. Prior to joining GT in 2015, Cole worked at a high-volume family-based immigration practice where he represented clients before the Atlanta Immigration Court and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

At GT, Cole focuses his practice on representing domestic and multinational employers before the USCIS, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on virtually all issues that employers may face in the employment context with immigration.

Specifically, Cole represents and advises employers, ranging from small, start-up companies to Fortune 50 companies, in all areas of employment-based immigration matters, including nonimmigrant visa categories (B, E-1/2, E-3, F, H-1B, H-3, J, L-1A/B, O, TN, R), permanent residence (PERM, Extraordinary Ability/Outstanding Researchers, Multinational Managers and National Interest Waivers), naturalization, and DACA. He services companies in all industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical device, oil & gas, retail and fashion, IT, financial services, and food & beverage on U.S. employment-based immigration, compliance and enforcement actions, and global immigration. Cole also assists with GT’s federal litigation practice concerning immigration matters.

Finally, Cole advises employers with I-9 compliance by providing onsite training, internal audits and reviews, and deploying best practices to minimize exposure and liabilities in the event of ICE investigations and audits. As part of this practice, Cole has worked directly with ICE on I-9 audits to negotiate on behalf of employers that he represents.