NEXUS is a joint program between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that simplifies border crossings for its members and enhances border security. The program began in 2002 in highway mode and in 2006 expanded to air and marine.
Members are pre-approved, low risk travellers that are subject to the same rigorous security standards as all travellers. Through NEXUS, border officers can concentrate their efforts on unknown or higher-risk travellers and goods.
There are many advantages to being a NEXUS member, including:
- using self-service kiosks to clear customs and immigration for Canadian arrivals and U.S. departures;
- avoiding line-ups at primary inspection lines at some of Canada's busiest airports;
- expedited clearance through Trusted Traveller Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) Security Screening Lines at 14 major and mid-size international airports across Canada;
- expedited clearance through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre✓ lanes at over 100 participating U.S. airports;
- simplified entry using dedicated lanes at 19 land border crossings;
- reporting by phone to border officials, from 30 minutes and up to four hours prior to arrival at approximately 430 marine sites in Canada; and
- enrolling their children under the age of 18, free of charge.
Canada and the U.S. agreed to a number of enhancements to the Trusted Traveller Programs with a focus on NEXUS, as part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan.
Action Plan items implemented to date that reflect program effectiveness include:
- Conducting enrolment blitzes to assist with increasing application volumes;
- Streamlining the membership renewal process;
- Amending the three-year residency requirement for Canadian and U.S. citizens to apply to NEXUS;
- Expanding Trusted Traveller CATSA security screening lines in pre-clearance areas at major Canadian airports;
- Expediting clearance through the TSA Pre✓ lanes at over 100 participating U.S. airports for domestic, trans-border and select international flights; and
- Increasing the number of NEXUS lanes at land ports of entry across the country namely in Québec at Lacolle, in Southern Ontario at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie and the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, and in British Columbia at Abbottsford, Douglas, Pacific Highway and most recently, at Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge.
Since the Action Plan launched in 2011, applications for NEXUS have increased from 2,500 to 4,500 per week. The program surpassed a million members in April 2014, and is growing.
The future of the NEXUS program is bright, with the governments of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico exploring the possibility of a North American Trusted Traveller arrangement, starting with the mutual recognition of the NEXUS (binational Canada/U.S.), Global Entry (U.S.-lead), SENTRI (U.S.-lead) and Viajero Confiable (Mexico-lead) programs.
For more information, visit the NEXUS Web site.
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