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A NEXUS Card certifies you as a “trusted traveler,” someone who is not considered a security risk. Your NEXUS Card shows CBSA, CBP and TSA officers that you have already passed specific security checks and are not a danger to both the Canadian or United States governments. A NEXUS Card allows you to:
- Pass through airport security checks quickly, ahead of other travelers
- Pass through customs faster by utilizing GOES consoles
- Use NEXUS booths and fast lanes at designated border crossings
- Use the NEXUS-exclusive Whirlpool Bridge in Niagara Falls
The NEXUS program is part of the larger Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, a strategy implemented by the United States after 9/11 to make sure all travelers to the U.S. are properly identified. The NEXUS Program is a trusted traveler program that serves both Canada and the United States and applies to those traveling between the U.S.-Canada border by land or air.
The NEXUS Card Program is voluntary program jointly run by Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection. It is not a right to have a NEXUS Card and you must apply to become a member. The application process includes submitting of an application form (either by mail or online), interviewing with an officer at your nearest Enrollment Centre, and recording of your biometric information (fingerprint and iris scan, when applicable). If this application process is successfully completed, approved travelers will receive their NEXUS card, which remains valid for up to 5 years.
In order to be eligible for the NEXUS program, you must be able to prove to both the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that you are not a security risk and you can be trusted to travel between the U.S. and Canada without extensive security checks. To achieve this status, you must prove that:
- You are who you say you are
- You have never been convicted of a crime
- You have never violated Canadian or U.S. customs regulations or immigration laws
- You do not put either country’s security at risk
If you have a criminal record or have violated customs regulations or immigration laws, you are not eligible for a NEXUS Card (or any other “trusted traveler” program). For the safety and security of each country, only the people who meet these criteria can have the privilege of passing through U.S.-Canadian borders without extensive security checks.