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September 28, 2001

Canadian Border Crossing Cards Expire October 1, 2001

WASHINGTON – On October 1, 2001, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) will begin implementing the legal requirements for the new biometric border crossing cards (BCCs).  For temporary business or pleasure visits to the United States, the vast majority of Canadians, and certain persons who share a common nationality with Canadians or British subjects, are not required by existing INS regulations to have visas, border crossing cards (BCCs) or other entry documentation.  However, some Canadian permanent residents from other countries, “landed immigrants,” must present proper documents for admission to the United States. 

In lieu of a visa and passport, many of these landed immigrants have presented a Canadian border crossing card (CBCC), issued by the Department of State (DOS) before 1999.  On October 1, 2001, the CBCC is invalid for admission because it does not contain a biometric identifier that can be matched to the bearer, as required by section 104 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA).  Holders of the CBCC will be required to present a valid B-1/B-2 visa, which may be obtained from a United States consulate, and an unexpired passport.

Individuals who present a combination B-1/B-2 visa and BCC document issued by DOS may be admitted on the basis of the unexpired B-1/B-2 visa.  Unlike previously, a valid passport is now also required.

The INS also will continue to admit the limited group of Canadians who have valid multiple-entry waivers of inadmissibility that have been separately documented on an INS-issued BCC (Form I-185).  Although the non-biometric Form I-185 itself is invalid on October 1, 2001, IIRIRA did not affect the validity of the multiple-entry waivers.  A multiple-entry waiver documented on Form I-194, rather than a BCC, is also acceptable, provided the alien is otherwise admissible. 

– INS – 


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