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Questions about the US Border Crossing Card (BCC)

What is Border Crossing Card (BCC)?

The Border Crossing Card or BCC is a biometric card brought out jointly by the Department of State and the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) in the Department of Homeland Security. The BCC is a combination of Form DSP-150 and a visitor B-1/B-2 visa. This means it is a nonimmigrant visa that allows visitors to enter the United States for a limited period of time. Below are some of the top questions related to the Border Crossing Card answered by Experts.

What are the prerequisites for Border Crossing Card (BCC) for applicants from Mexico? What documents need to be produced if one is applying for a new BCC or renewing an existing BCC?

Those who apply for a Border Crossing Card (BCC) need to prove they have strong ties to Mexico in terms of families, society, business, etc. Essentially, applicants should be able to demonstrate they are not attempting to immigrate to the U.S. because of strong ties to Mexico that demand they return home. First time Border Crossing Card applicants should have a document of citizenship and identity along with a valid Mexican passport. Those who already have a BCC and want to replace it with a new one can present their voter registration card along with the old BCC card and a recent photo identity card. Renewal applicants who have these forms of identification have to submit their passports.

How long can one stay in the U.S. with a Border Crossing Card?

The maximum time limit one will be able to stay in the United States with a BCC is six months. The actual length of stay will depend on the officer at the port of entry. The BCC is the permit to enter, and the time limit will be stated on the I-94.

Does one get an I-94 along with a Border Crossing Card?

An I-94 is the proof of legal entry into the United States and every non-immigrant should get one when they enter the U.S. Whether one has a BCC, a Visa Waiver, an H1-B visa, or a B-2 tourist visa, they must also have an I-94 as proof of legal entry.

If a person loses their Border Crossing Card as well as their I-94, how can they recover the record of their legal entry? Can they obtain a duplicate of their BCC? If they have a copy of the card on hand can they use that at border crossings or will officers ask for the original BCC?

Form I-102 can be filed to obtain a duplicate copy of an I-94. This form is available at www.uscis.gov along with the instructions. It’s unlikely they will be able to obtain a duplicate of their BCC or a copy. A duplicate of I-94 should be sufficient proof for legal entry into the U.S. If they have a duplicate copy of the card on hand, they should be able to use that, although they may be asked for the original BCC if they cross the border frequently.

My visa is expired and I don’t have a passport. I lost my BCC and I’m not able to find a record of my entry after filing an I-102 with USCIS. What should I do?

With no passport to prove your citizenship, no visa stamp, and no means to prove your legal entry, it would be sensible to can contact the Customs and Border Protection office as soon as possible.

The Border Crossing Card is also known as a “laser visa”. The new BCC is valid for 10 years and contains various security features. If you have questions about any issues related to the Border Crossing Card, you may want to clarify your doubts with a legal expert.
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