Frequently Asked Questions about the NEXUS Program
What is NEXUS?
NEXUS is a bi-national, Canada-United States program for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering Canada or the United States (U.S.) at designated air, land and marine ports of entry.
The program enables its members to enter either country more quickly and easily by using automated self-serve kiosks in the air mode of travel, dedicated lanes in the land mode of travel, and by calling Telephone Reporting Centres (TRCs) prior to arrival in the marine mode of travel.
What are the benefits of using NEXUS?
NEXUS members avoid long line-ups and save time using automated self-serve kiosks at nine Canadian international airports (NEXUS Air).
As an added benefit, when travelling on domestic, U.S.-bound, and select international flights, NEXUS members can be expedited through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) airport security screening lanes located at 16 Canadian airports. Members must present their valid NEXUS card to access the Trusted Traveller CATSA Security Line.
Members also enjoy a quick and simplified entry process using dedicated lanes at 20 designated land border crossings (NEXUS Land).
When arriving by boat, members travelling to over 430 marine sites in Canada can report by phone to a TRC (NEXUS Marine) between 30 minutes and four hours before they arrive.
NEXUS allows Canadian and U.S. border officers to focus their efforts on unknown and potentially higher-risk travellers and their goods.
How do I become a NEXUS member?
To become a member of NEXUS, applicants must:
submit an application and go through a registration process;
satisfy the eligibility criteria;
be admissible to Canada and the U.S.; and
pass risk assessments by both countries.
Is there a fee involved to apply for NEXUS?
Yes. There is a non-refundable processing fee of $50 in Canadian or U.S. funds.
Am I guaranteed membership if I apply?
Both Canada and the United States must approve your application for you to become a member of NEXUS. If you do not meet all of the requirements, your application will be denied. More details regarding eligibility criteria are available on the "Join NEXUS" page.
Does each member of my family have to complete an application form?
Yes, each person who wants to participate in the NEXUS program must fill out a separate application form.There is no fee for applicants under the age of 18.
Please note that for minors, parents or legal guardians must complete and sign the application on behalf of children under the age of 18.
For non-custodial parents or guardians who apply for a minor child under the age of 18, a photocopy of all applicable legal documents showing custody rights must be included with the application. Alternatively, a notarized copy of the parent's or legal guardian's consent in writing to the enrolment of that child in the program may be included with the application.
Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a custodial parent or legal guardian at the time of final interview processing.
Can Canadians apply online?
Yes, Canadians can apply using a paper application form or online through the U.S. CBP's Global Online Enrolment System (GOES). Access to GOES is available through the CBSA Web site.
A NEXUS card is approximately the same size as a standard credit card or driver's licence.
Is the NEXUS card a WHTI compliant document?
Yes, it is a WHTI compliant document for entry into the United States.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a U.S. law that requires all travellers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other acceptable secure document, such as a NEXUS card, when travelling to or through the U.S. from within the western hemisphere. The goal of the U.S. WHTI law is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the U.S. for its citizens and legitimate foreign visitors.
It's important to note that there are no changes to the entry or re-entry requirements into Canada.
Can I use my NEXUS card as proof of identification and citizenship in non-NEXUS lanes when entering Canada?
Yes. If you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen, and a NEXUS member, you may use your membership card as proof of identification and citizenship when entering Canada by land, air (when coming from the U.S.) or boat when using non-NEXUS lanes.
NEXUS members who are permanent residents of Canada or the U.S. must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence. You may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.
Please note: Only one citizenship is listed on a NEXUS card. As such, when using non-NEXUS lanes, members with dual citizenship may be required to present proof of their second citizenship.
Note that NEXUS members who choose to use their NEXUS card in a non-NEXUS lane will be processed as a regular traveller and will not receive the benefit of expedited entry.
Can I use NEXUS when travelling with pets?
Most domestic pets are allowed through the dedicated NEXUS lanes at land border crossings and NEXUS kiosks at designated airports. Pet birds and prohibited animals are never allowed in NEXUS lanes.
Members must carry the pet's valid rabies vaccination certificate signed and dated by a licensed veterinarian. The certificate must:
Clearly identify the animal by breed, age, sex, colouring and any distinguishing marks, and
Include the name of the vaccine used, its serial number and its expiry date, and the validity period of that vaccination must not have expired.
Animal tags are not accepted in lieu of certificates.
Puppies and kittens three months of age and under do not require rabies vaccination certificates, though proof of age is strongly recommended.
Pets being used for commercial purposes (e.g., racehorse, breeding) are considered commercial importations and are not allowed in the NEXUS lane.
How does NEXUS in the air mode work?
NEXUS members can use the automated kiosks located in the U.S. Preclearance area and the Canadian inspection services area at participating airports.
Members can proceed directly to the NEXUS self-serve kiosk and do not need to go through the standard queue to speak to a border services officer or CBP officer.
Members stand in front of the self-serve kiosk and look into the adjustable camera and follow the audio instructions so that their irises can be photographed using iris recognition biometric technology (see question below).
Once the CBSA or CBP has confirmed that the photo of the irises matches the one on file, the member will use the touch screen to answer standard customs and immigration questions.
NEXUS members residing in Canada can use a Traveller Declaration Card (TDC) to declare goods and pay for any duties or taxes when entering Canada. Members simply deposit a TDC in a secure TDC box conveniently located near a self-serve kiosk. Any duties or taxes owing will be collected through the credit card information provided on the TDC.
What is iris recognition biometric technology?
Iris recognition biometric technology identifies the unique patterns of the iris (the coloured ring around the pupil of the eye). The technology reads each of the 266 unique characteristics in the human iris. It is safe, secure and non-invasive.
Where is NEXUS in the air mode available?
NEXUS in the air mode is available at 8 locations when entering Canada.
In addition, please note that a trusted traveller kiosk is also available at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, for incoming flights only for use by members of NEXUS and CANPASS Air.
How does NEXUS work in the land mode of travel when entering Canada or the United States?
When you enter Canada or the United States using the NEXUS lane, stop and hold your NEXUS card in front of the proximity card reader.
Proceed to the booth and stop for a visual inspection by a CBSA or a CBP officer.
Unless you are directed to an inspection area, you may proceed into Canada or the U.S. when authorized to do so.
NEXUS members residing in Canada can use a Traveller Declaration Card (TDC) to declare goods and pay for any duties or taxes owing when entering Canada. Members simply deposit a TDC in a secure TDC box conveniently located near the border services officers' booth. Any duties or taxes owing will be collected through the credit card information provided on the TDC.
Note: If you are transporting persons into Canada or the U.S. who are not NEXUS members, you must use the regular lanes or risk having your membership card revoked.
Where is NEXUS in the land mode available?
NEXUS in the land mode is available at 19 locations when entering Canada.
How does NEXUS work in the marine mode of travel when entering Canada or the United States?
When entering Canada, the boat master must call the NEXUS TRC a minimum of 30 minutes and up to four hours (maximum) in advance of their arrival: 1-866-99-NEXUS (1-866-996-3987).
When entering the United States, the boat master must call the local Customs and Border Protection (CBP) marine reporting number for their arrival area. The CBP requires a minimum of 30 minutes advance notice and up to four hours (maximum) before arrival in the United States. See www.cbp.gov for CBP marine reporting numbers.
As proof of presentation to the CBSA, you will receive a report number for your records. You must produce this number when asked to do so by a border services officer. If a border services officer is not at the specified docking site to meet the boat captain at the reported estimated time of arrival or actual time of arrival, you may proceed to your intended final destination.
Where is NEXUS in the marine mode available?
NEXUS in the marine mode is available at approximately 430 locations when entering Canada.
I am a NEXUS member and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (Green Card holder). Do I need an eTA to fly to Canada?
Yes. Starting March 15, 2016, you will need an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada. Apply for an eTA today before it is a mandatory requirement.
You do not need an eTA when you enter Canada by land or sea. However, always carry your valid Green Card to show your status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.