WATCH: After languishing during the pandemic, the NEXUS program is getting a reboot with an all-new application process that is already being criticized for being too complicated. Paul Johnson reports. – Jan 12, 2023
Starting Monday, March 20, NEXUS applicants can book interviews at most major Canadian airports.
The enrolment centres have been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but were extended because of a diplomatic dispute over legal protections for American customs officers.
NEXUS enrolment centres will be reopening at the following airports and dates:
Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
A pril 12
Calgary International Airport (YYC) Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
Travellers who want the streamlined border-crossing benefits of a Nexus card need to go in for an enrolment centre interview held by both Canadian and U.S. officials before being granted one. Thousands of travellers request NEXUS memberships each month, CBSA said in a news release.
The 13 Canadian enrolment centres have been closed for about one year because of a dispute over legal protections for American customs officers.
Anyone hoping to apply for or renew their card has had to try at the dozen centres on the U.S. side of the border where there have been long wait times for an appointment.
The U.S. reopened its 13 Nexus centres in April to allow that joint interview process to continue as normal. But CBP insisted Canada grant its agents the same legal protections they enjoy on U.S. soil before returning to Canadian Nexus centres, which Ottawa refused to entertain.
As a workaround, Canada and the U.S. began allowing Canadian applicants to be jointly interviewed at American land border crossings late last year, in order to begin addressing a backlog that reached as high as 350,000 applicants by early fall 2022.
CBSA said since Oct. 1, 2022, CBSA and CBP have completed more than 300,000 NEXUS enrolments and reduced the net inventory of applicants by approximately 130,000 from its peak in summer 2022.
On the U.S. side, where enrolment centres have been open since April 2022, what had been a 16-month wait between making an application and receiving a Nexus card was down to between 12 and 14 months as of January 2023.
CBSA says the new enrolment option for air travellers has two steps:
- Canadian airport enrolment centres will be staffed with CBSA officers who will complete the Canadian portion of the NEXUS interview;
- The U.S. interviews are completed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Canadian airport preclearance locations when applicants depart Canada to fly to the U.S.
International airports in Canada that offer preclearance services include those in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg, as well as Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
Conditionally-approved NEXUS applicants and renewing members who require an interview will be able to book the Canadian portion of their interview at one of these airports through the Trusted Traveller Programs scheduler as interview times become available.
Applicants have three options for their NEXUS interviews:
- A joint U.S.–Canada interview at a land enrolment centre (14 locations) in the U.S.
- A split interview at a Canadian land enrolment centre (two locations) followed by an interview at a U.S. land enrolment centre
- A two-step interview at a Canadian airport enrolment centre (eight locations), followed by an interview at a U.S. preclearance location in a Canadian airport.
Existing members who renew their membership prior to the expiry date will have it extended for up to five years to allow for the scheduling and completion of interviews, as required.
CBSACanada Border Services AgencyNexusCanadian airportsCBPus customs and border protectionCanada US travelNeXus enrolment centresNEXUS interviewnorth america travel
Journalistic standards Report an error
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.