Understanding the Border Crossing Card Will Help Alleviate Confusion

The United States offers a special type of document for those who wish to travel to the United States from Mexico for a very short period of time. The border crossing card is an identification card that allows citizens of Mexico entrance into the United States. There are some important qualifications and restrictions so it is important to learn more about the border crossing card.

What is a Border Crossing Card?

A border crossing card, BCC, is a document specifically for Mexican citizens to use when they want to cross into the United States. The BCC is not a green card, and it comes with some limitations. The most significant limitation is that a BCC holder cannot travel great distances past the border. Also, card holders are not allowed to stay in the U.S. for a period longer than 30 days at a time.  The card is valid for a period of ten years. The card contains your vital information including a photo and is the same size as a standard credit card.

Travel in The U.S. With a BCC

Travel in the U.S. with a BCC is limited. In Arizona border card holders can travel up to 75 miles past the border. In New Mexico, travel is limited to 55 miles beyond the border and in California and Texas, the limit is just 25 miles. If this travel limitation does not allow you the access that you require you may need to apply for a visitor visa instead. Those with a BCC are not usually required to have a passport; however, it is best to verify this before you travel.

Application for a Border Crossing Card

The eligibility requirements for a border crossing card are the same as those necessary to obtain a tourist or visitor visa, a B-1 or B-2 visa. You must, for example, have significant ties to Mexico. This may be proven by showing that you own land or a business in your homeland. Additionally, you must have the funds available to finance your stay in the United States. The applicant must prove that he or she will return to their homeland.

Obtaining a Border Crossing Card

Those who have the need to travel to the United States from Mexico on a frequent basis will find a border crossing card quite useful. However, it must be noted that you are not allowed to overstay your visit, or you will be subject to the consequences of unlawful presence. Border crossing cards and visas can be complicated. If you have questions, talk to a qualified immigration attorney at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss your case.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding The Border Crossing Card, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.