Nexus cards: how to request them

At the end of April, there were more than 292,700 Nexus applicants waiting for a required interview.

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Are you waiting for a Nexus card? You’re not alone.

Applications for the trusted traveler program, which allows pre-approved travelers to go through separate, faster lines when going to and from the US, have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, resulting in long wait times that exceed 12 to 18 months. waiting period that the federal government says is the norm.

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According to the Canada Border Services Agency, 611,698 Nexus applications were received in 2023, more than double the pandemic-induced low of 259,756 in 2020, and surpassing 2019’s 520,516 applications.

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At the end of April, there were more than 292,700 applicants waiting for a required interview, up from 276,725 last year.

Here’s what you need to know about how to apply for a Nexus, how long it takes and recent changes to the interview process.

What is Nexus card?

Nexus is a program administered jointly by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It provides pre-screened travelers with expedited entry when entering the US and Canada, allowing them to skip the regular line. Nexus members can also access expedited security lanes at airports.

There are currently more than 1.8 million people enrolled in Nexus, more than three-quarters of whom are Canadian citizens.

Why do you have to wait so long to receive a Nexus card?

In 2022, Nexus’ registration in Canada was put on hold due in part to a standoff over the right of U.S. agents to carry weapons on Canadian soil.

The standoff exacerbated a backlog of applications due to office closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already delayed the processing of many applications by up to 24 months.

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A compromise was announced in January 2023 allowing Canadian border agents to interview applicants separately from US agents. Nexus offices in Canada used to be staffed by CBSA and US border officials.. This change has now resulted in a new two-step interview process.

How do I apply for a Nexus card?

Applicants can apply for Nexus in the US Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Program (TTP). website. You will be asked to create or log in to an online account.

Applications can be processed within 30 days, but this does not include the enrollment interview, the CBSA says. There is currently a “significant backlog of new applicants,” and interviews depend on availability at enrollment centers.

As of early May, appointments for the single land enrollment center in Washington state are booking through September, the busiest of the 16 centers in the US.

Processing times are listed as 12 to 14 months, although people have reported waiting longer for interviews.

What information do I need to apply?

To apply online, you will need an email address, address history for the past five years, employment history for the past five years, international travel history for the past five years, and a phone number.

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You will also need court documents if you have been convicted of a crime and documentation to prove any other citizenship.

How much is the Nexus application fee?

There is a non-refundable processing fee of US$50 per adult. Once the application is approved, membership is valid for five years.

The rate will increase to $120 on October 1.

Children under 18 must apply separately from their parents, but there is no processing fee for minors.

How can I book the necessary interviews?

Once you have been conditionally approved for the Nexus program, your online account will have instructions on how to schedule an interview.

In BC there are two options:

• At the land registration center in Birch Bay, Washington, where applicants will be interviewed by US and Canadian border officials at the same time, or;

• A two-step interview at the YVR enrollment center followed by an interview at a US preclearance location at the airport.

These interviews do not have to take place on the same day or at the same airport.

But because applicants cannot access the preclearance location unless they are ticketed passengers headed to the U.S., most people schedule the interview in the U.S. with travel to complete it. before a scheduled flight.

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An appointment is not necessary, but travelers are advised to allow extra time before their flight.

What documents do I need for the interview?

Once you have scheduled an interview, a list of required documents will be posted to your dashboard on the TTP website.

The following original documents are generally required:

• A valid passport.

• Permanent resident card, if applicable.

• Documents that prove your residence, such as a driver’s license or mortgage payment.

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