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Breaking down the NEXUS program application

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    NEXUS is a joint initiative between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to enter the United States and Canada in an expedited process. NEXUS members can use dedicated lanes or kiosks to enter designated ports of entry in a faster and efficient way.

    To be approved for NEXUS, you'll go through a multi-step application process. We'll take you through the details of that process below.

    What is the NEXUS application process?

    The NEXUS application process involves submitting an online application, providing proof of citizenship, paying a fee (via credit card), a risk assessment and an in-person interview. If you prefer to apply by mail, you can fill out a paper application and the remaining steps will be done by email or phone. Payment must be submitted with the application. Please note that applicants must be approved by both the U.S. and Canada. Disapproval by either agency disqualifies the applicant.

    How to apply for NEXUS

    To apply for NEXUS, follow the steps below:

    1. Register: Register a login at the Trusted Travelers Program (TTP) website.
    2. Complete application: Complete online application in which you'll need to provide personal information, a passport, driver's license or visa number. U.S. lawful permanent residents are eligible for NEXUS and are not required to have passports.
    3. Application fee: Pay a nonrefundable fee of $50. If approved, this fee is good for five years.
    4. Conditional approval: A risk assessment is conducted by both the United States and Canada and then you wait for conditional approval, which could take 6 to 12 weeks (sometimes more). You can find the status of your conditional approval on the dashboard of your TTP account.
    5. In-person interview: If conditionally approved, schedule an inperson interview at an enrollment center. You'll be interviewed by customs and immigration officers from both the U.S. and Canada.
    6. Final approval: If you meet all requirements, you'll be approved. You'll receive your NEXUS card in the mail. You'll need to provide this member card at the border before crossing.

    It's important to note that meeting the NEXUS program eligibility criteria does not guarantee approval. You'll want to consult CBP's Website for all up-to-date information regarding the application process.

    What is needed to apply for NEXUS?

    Before filling out your NEXUS application, you'll want to make sure your proof of citizenship documents are in order. The application requires a passport, driver's license or visa papers. U.S. lawful permanent residents are eligible for NEXUS and are not required to have passports.

    In addition, you must meet the NEXUS eligibility requirements. Applicants may not qualify for participation in the NEXUS program if they:

    • Provide false or incomplete information on the application.
    • Have pending criminal charges that include outstanding warrants, or have been convicted of any criminal offense.
    • Have been found in violation of any immigration, customs, or agriculture regulations or laws in any country.
    • Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulation, including applicants with parole documentation and approved waivers of inadmissibility.
    • Are subjects of an ongoing investigation by any state, local law enforcement or federal agency.
    • If you have been denied for the purchase of a firearm.
    • If you have received a criminal pardon from any country.
    • Cannot satisfy CBP officers or Canada Border Services Agency of their low risk status or meet other program requirements.

    How much does a NEXUS card cost?

    As of May 2023, the application fee for NEXUS is $50, and membership lasts five years. Credit cards are accepted, and some actually offer a benefit that reimburses the NEXUS application fee—Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example. If you use your card to pay the NEXUS, TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee, you're eligible for a statement credit up to $100 every four years. The NEXUS fee is still non-refundable, even if your application is declined.

    Can U.S. citizens apply for NEXUS?

    Yes, U.S. citizens can apply for NEXUS. Other eligible individuals include U.S. lawful permanent residents, Canadian citizens, Canadian lawful permanent residents and Mexican nationals who are members of Mexico's trusted traveler program, Viajero Confiable. For applicants under the age of 18, it's necessary to have consent from a parent or legal guardian and they are admitted to the program free of charge.

    In summary

    Having a NEXUS card is especially beneficial to those who travel between the U.S. and Canada frequently. The NEXUS program offers a convenient and efficient way for eligible travelers to cross the border, and remains a valuable Trusted Traveler Program.

    The application process involves an online application, a risk assessment, a fee and an interview. Once approved, members can enjoy shorter wait times, dedicated lanes and a streamlined entry process.

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