Sample Border Crossing Card
Travel Document (BCC)(DSP-150)

The card incorporates considerable security technology and in Spanish the card is sometimes referred to as a "laser" or pasaporte local.

Obtaining and Use of Cards

Citizens of Mexico can obtain a border crossing card from a US Consulate in Mexico. An in-person interview is usually required. Applicants must present a valid Mexican passport and other documents proving identity and non-immigrant intent, and have their photographs and fingerprints taken. Proof of a fixed address in Mexico to return to, with utility bills and/or pay stubs is commonly required. Reports estimate that 15 to 30% percent of regular BCC applications are denied; the most common reason for rejection is that the applicant is unable to prove a fixed address. Pay stubs and employer letters evidencing a job to return to are often scrutinized for fraud.

For most cards issued within the past decade, they include a fingerprint or other machine readable biometric identifier. The card allows multiple entries into the United States for periods of up to thirty days at any one time within a border zone of 75 miles on the US side of the border. The cards are valid for an extended period for entries (usually ten years). They can be used without having also to show a passport or other visa upon any entry if they are of the current machine-readable biometric issue. There is no required period of stay in Mexico between uses. The border crossing card does not authorize work in the United States.

Extension of Stay

Once in the United States, by regulation, 8 CFR 235.1(f)(1), the holder of the card can apply for an I-94 at the port of entry that will extend the initial period stay up to a maximum period of six months. A single extension of the I-94 for another period of up to six months from USCIS, if justified to the immigration officer, may be obtained from within the US by filing a form that is freely available with instructions at the USCIS website with the proper fee,and without leaving the country.

Voiding of Cards

If an immigration officer at the port of entry or on the US side of the border confiscates a card (called voiding or cancelling), the holder may be entitled to a hearing before an Immigration Judge to establish admissibility. By regulation, the grounds for voiding or cancelling a card are: the holder has violated the immigration laws; is inadmissible to the United States; has abandoned the residence in the country upon which the card was granted; or the BCC does not contain a machine-readable biometric identifier. An appeal to a U.S. immigration judge may be available. If you have problems with loss of a border crossing card to the authorities, please contact Messing Law Offices (520) 512-5432 for a brief telephonic evaluation or to schedule an initial consultation.

At Messing Law Offices, we provide high quality legal services and expertise to families, working men and women, and businesses. If you have a concern in the areas of family based immigration, business based immigration, employment based immigration, or naturalization and you are seeking the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, call Messing Law Offices (520) 512-5432 for professional Arizona immigration attorney assistance.