Updated: Nov 12, 2022
This article provides information to readers on what NEXUS is, its many benefits, and how to apply for the program. NEXUS can be used by visitors arriving in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. An application for an ESTA or U.S. visa can be submitted before or after applying for NEXUS as the processes are independent from one another. Using NEXUS with an approved ESTA can expedite a traveler's experience.
The NEXUS pass is a border crossing card that aims to speed up the border crossing process between the United States and Canada. It promises expedited travel at these border crossings for certain pre-identified low-risk US and Canadian citizens. Members are allowed to use NEXUS as an air card when they fly from Canada to the United States or vice versa.
The NEXUS card was specially developed to help expedite the border crossing process between the United States and Canada for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. NEXUS members are able to bypass the normal queues of travelers and join a special customs/security line when they wish to enter either country. These lines are normally a lot shorter, and the process goes a lot faster.
This is because NEXUS members have the benefit of dedicated processing lanes when they cross the border at designated border posts between the two countries. When they enter Canada by air, for example, there are specific NEXUS kiosks they can use and when they enter the US from Canada via an approved preclearance airport there are special Global Entry Kiosks. NEXUS members also enjoy faster processing times at marine border crossings.
People who have been approved to join the NEXUS program are issued with a radio frequency identification card. They can then use these when crossing the border between Canada and the United States, provided they do so at a designated NEXUS port of entry. The list of approved ports of entry includes various land, air, and marine border crossings.
Being a member of the NEXUS program enables members to drastically reduce the waiting time at any of the designated ports of entry for the following reasons:
Apart from that, NEXUS members can also use their membership card in place of a passport when they travel from Canada to the U.S. or vice versa. Take note, however, that when entering the United States by air from Canada, you can only use a NEXUS card at Canadian airports where there is a U.S. pre-clearance area. If there is no such area at the airport, you will still need your passport if you want to join the NEXUS processing lane.
Although it has many features in common with Global ENTRY, the NEXUS card could be a better choice for someone who:
Citizens of both the United States and Canada are eligible to join the NEXUS program. The list includes lawful permanent residents of both countries, as well as citizens of Mexico who belong to Viajero Confiable, that country’s Trusted Traveler program. Individuals who are under the age of 18 need a parent or guardian’s consent before they can join the NEXUS program.
The following reasons might disqualify you from participating in the NEXUS Program:
Please also take note of the following: Your NEXUS application has to be approved by both Canada and the United States. If either of these countries denies the application, you will not be able to participate in the NEXUS program.
As we’ve explained above, NEXUS was specially created to speed up the border crossing process between Canada and the United States for previously approved, low-risk travelers. By paying a single flat fee, NEXUS members enjoy special crossing privileges at land, air, and marine ports of entry that partake in the program.
With NEXUS, the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) and the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) have joined forces to make border crossings simpler for members, while at the same time improving border security.
For those who want to apply for NEXUS membership, the procedure is fairly straightforward:
More information is available on the NEXUS Program page.
Once the United States and Canada have completed their risk assessments, you will be sent an email notification that can be viewed on your TTP account’s dashboard. When you get this notification, it means that you have been ‘conditionally approved.’ You then have to arrange an interview at one of the NEXUS enrollment centers to finalize the application process.
If this interview is successful, and you are approved for NEXUS membership, the next step is to have your iris captured so you will be able to use a NEXUS kiosk if you want to enter Canada. At this stage, you can only have your iris captured at specific airports. The list currently includes Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax, and Winnipeg.
The alternative is to go to one of the dedicated land enrollment centers that can be found throughout the United States.