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NEXUS and Global Entry: Fast Track at the Border

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Learn abour NEXUS and Global Entry, two programs for American and Canadian travellers for rapid border crossing.

NEXUS and Global Entry: two fast clearance programs

With the prospect of international travel coming up again, I decided to treat myself. From now on, I won’t wait in line at customs (and will spend the time saved in an airport lounge). Hello NEXUS and Global Entry programs!

Programs NEXUS and Global Entry make it easier for Canadian and U.S. passport holders to cross the borders of both countries. Because these self-service programs speed up customs formalities. And this by sea, land or air. The “fast track” as they say.

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NEXUS and Global Entry have pre-selected these travellers. Thus, the authorities concerned were able to conclude, according to their criteria, that these travellers represented only a low risk to the security of both countries. Therefore, no need to linger.

A third program, CANPASS AIR, has the same function but serves passengers on private or business aircraft.

global entry nexus

The NEXUS Program

The NEXUS program is the result of an agreement between the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Customs and Border Protection. It therefore only concerns these two countries.

The NEXUS card allows selected travellers to expedite their border crossing on both the Canadian and American sides. And may include TSA Precheck from US airports.

It also works for returns to Canada from any other country. You know those people you see walking down without waiting, while we’re standing in line?

Nexus Passeports Milesopedia

The Global Entry Program

Global Entry, on the other hand, is an American initiative aimed at their citizens. Like NEXUS, it allows pre-screened travelers to quickly clear customs upon arrival in the United States. And it includes TSA Precheck for departures from US airports.

The Canadian traveller is well advised to enrol in the NEXUS program, which includes the other two programs and is also less expensive.

Tsa Nexus Global Entry Fr

Indeed, for US$50 – paid for by credit cards such as the TD Visa Infinite* Aeroplan® or the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* – the card is valid for five years. You will only have to meet a few Global Entry requirements, such as fingerprinting, in order to use the terminals in the United States.

Now, let’s explore the benefits of the NEXUS and Global Entry traveler programs and their enrollment process.

Global Entry

The benefits of NEXUS programs

NEXUS by air

Of course, to save time and avoid queues in airports. So how do we proceed?

  • First, by using the NEXUS automated kiosks installed at nine Canadian international airports.
  • And Global Entry with the NEXUS card, to enter the United States.

Equipped with an IRIS reader, these terminals recognize you and link your biometric data to the security database. You then answer a few questions via the touch screen, and that’s it.

  • Secondly, by accessing the expedited clearance halls that exist at many Canadian airports and getting through security checkpoints more quickly.
  • And finally, by taking advantage of the TSA (Transport Security Administration) pre-check lines in the United States.
Scan Iris Et Empreintes Global Entry Et Nexus

NEXUS by land and sea

The same can indeed be done by land.

Because there are reserved lanes for travellers who are members of the NEXUS and Global Entry programmes. That’s right! At 21 Canadian border crossings.

Finally, the NEXUS program is also used by sea.

It’s very easy; one phone call to one of the Marine Reporting Centres located in over 450 Canadian ports.

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How to apply for a NEXUS card

Eligibility for the NEXUS program

You can find all the eligibility criteria on the Government of Canada website.

However, you must have been a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the United States for at least three years. Mexican nationals participating in the Viajero Confiable program are also eligible.

In addition, you will need to have a clean criminal history.

Documents required for your NEXUS application

You will need to provide evidence of your citizenship or permanent residence such as:

  • valid passport,
  • birth certificate and photo ID,
  • permanent resident card, or
  • work or study permit.

Then other documents proving your place of residence such as :

  • a driver’s license, or
  • or bank statement with your address on it.

Sending and paying the NEXUS application

The application for NEXUS membership is made online through the Trusted Traveler Programs System (TTP). It takes place in eight steps and ends with the payment of US$50.

Pull out your no-conversion-fee credit card like the HSBC World EliteMD MastercardMD or those that offer to pay for the expense (see end of article).

Have your documents ready. In addition to the information in your passport and driver’s license, you will need the address and telephone number of your employer(s) for the last five years.

And that’s not forgetting the countries you have travelled to and your last home addresses.

After sending the form, the authorities will reply within five working days. If your application is accepted, you will be invited to the final stage: the interview.

The Interview

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, the interview offices are currently closed. However, when you are summoned, they will ask to see some of your proof of citizenship or permanent residence.

A digital photograph of your iris will be taken and used to identify you at the NEXUS station each time you enter Canada and the United States by air (except for children).

A second digital photo, this time of your face, will be used for your NEXUS card.

Finally, you will be ready to take the fast track corridor by taking a look at the lines.

Demande Nexus

Credit cards and NEXUS

Be aware that some credit cards offer, among other benefits, reimbursement of the NEXUS membership fee (for the whole family).

This is the case for two popular credit cards in the Milesopedia community:

Otherwise, you should know that this expense is in American dollars. It will then be useful to use a credit card with no conversion fees, of which here are the 3 best in Canada:

Frequently asked questions about NEXUS

What is the Nexus program?

The NEXUS program is a “fast track” through customs, making it easier for Canadian and U.S. travellers to cross the Canada-U.S. border by sea, land or air.

How much does it cost to apply for the Nexus program?

To register for the Nexus program, you will need to pay $50 USD online. This amount is non-refundable. Your application may be denied if you do not meet the eligibility criteria.

How long does it take to register for the Nexus program?

Allow time before you pick up your ticket. The process takes approximately one month from the time you send in your application documents to the time you receive your Nexus card.

The delay may be longer because of COVID-19.

Which credit cards cover the Nexus membership fee?

Many credit cards in Canada cover the NEXUS membership fee. This includes the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card and the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card.

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