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Head of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry: China-US Ten-Year Visa Still Valid

2016/03/05

Reporter: the Department of Homeland Security of the US recently announced on its official website that Chinese nationals holding a 10-year visa (B1 or B2) will be required to update personal information online on a regular basis. Could you please tell me whether the regulation means that the 10-year visa agreement has come to an end and Chinese nationals holding a 10-year visa should re-apply visa before going to the US?

With regard to this question, Head of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry expressed that China and the US reached the agreement on November 2014 to issue the 10-year multiple-entry visa to the other's businessmen and travelers. The Department of Homeland Security of the US released the information requiring Chinese nationals holding a ten-year US visa to regularly update their personal information online. This measure does not require re-application of the visa, nor does it affect validity period of the visa or require relevant visa holders to go through the procedure in the US embassies or consulates in other countries. The reciprocal arrangement between China and the US on the long-standing visa is not annulled and still valid.

He stressed that the personnel facilitation arrangement between states should also take into account maintenance of national security while providing facilitation for exchanges between their personnel. As far as I can see, people live in countries and regions enjoying visa-free treatment of the US must fill in similar forms before entering the US. China will, in the principle of reciprocity, make corresponding arrangement at a proper time based on its needs. From the professional point of view, timely updating information will help improve the 10-year visa arrangement and make it more sustainable.

He said that since the two countries reached the reciprocal arrangement on long-standing visa, their personnel exchanges have been greatly facilitated. The 2016 China-US Tourism Year has opened and it is believed that bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges will be increasingly expanded.

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