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May 17, 2002

INS Announces Old Mexican Border Crossing Cards (BCCs) Are Valid Again Until October 1, 2002

More Than Five Million New Biometric BCCs Have Been Issued

WASHINGTON As part of the Enhanced Border Security Act, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced today that the older, non-biometric Mexican Border Crossing Card will be valid until October 1, 2002. Mexican nationals are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for the new biometric BCC, Form DSP-150. The Department of State has issued over five million new cards since April 1998.

On October 1, 2001, the Immigration and Naturalization Service began accepting only the new biometric BCC. This requirement was mandated by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. With the enactment of the Enhanced Border Security Act, holders of the old border crossing cards, Form I-186 or I-586, now have until October 1, 2002, to replace them with the new biometric, machine-readable cards (DSP-150).

The new DSP-150, also known as the biometric BCC, has a photo and machine-readable biometric information. Beginning October 1, 2002, the old BCC will no longer be a valid entry document.

With passage of the new law, those persons seeking admission to the United States must possess one of the following:

The old border crossing card, Form I-186 or I-586 (until October 1, 2002);
A valid biometric, machine readable, B1-B2 visa/BCC (DSP-150);
A B1/B2 visa and BCC combination document issued by DOS before 1998, where the visa is still valid, along with a valid passport; or
Other valid visa and passport.

The Department of State has been accepting applications for the new document since April 1, 1998. Persons must call a toll fee number in Mexico (listed below) to arrange for an appointment at a U.S. consulate. At their scheduled appointment, consular staff in Mexico photograph and fingerprint the applicants. Upon approval, DOS will issue the new BCC to the applicant.

The posts that are accepting biometric BCC applications are located in Mexico City, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Merida, Matamoros, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, and at the Tijuana and the Mexicali Temporary Processing Facilities.

In Mexico, visa information is available by calling 01-900-849-4949. In addition, visa information is available at no charge on the U.S. Embassy homepage at


Last Modified 05/21/2002