The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are moving forward with a new option to increase the enrollment capacity for new and renewing NEXUS members. The binational NEXUS program benefits communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border by supporting economic growth and trade, reducing border congestion, and expediting the crossing of low-risk, pre-approved travelers.
Earlier this month, the Honorable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, and Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, announced measures that expand the program’s capacity and enroll the thousands of travelers who request NEXUS memberships each month.
This new enrollment option for air travelers should be available by Spring 2023. It will include CBSA interviews at reopened airport enrollment centers in Canada and separate CBP interviews at Canadian airport preclearance locations for applicants departing for the United States.
This new process has two steps:
- The process begins with the Canadian portion of the NEXUS interview conducted by CBSA officers at the Canadian airport enrollment centers. Applicants must book an appointment online for this step.
- The U.S. portion of the NEXUS interview will be conducted by CBP officers in the preclearance area of a Canadian airport before the applicant departs for the United States. Applicants will not need to schedule appointments for the U.S. interview but are encouraged to build in time to their travel plans to allow for this interview to take place before their departure. The CBP interview can occur only after the CBSA portion of the interview has been completed and the information has been shared with CBP.
This new process is in addition to the existing option for applicants to schedule joint interviews with CBP and CBSA officers at land border enrollment centers in the United States.
This new measure builds on others introduced by CBP and CBSA in 2022 to provide travelers with more options to obtain or renew their membership.
- Existing members who renew their membership prior to the expiry date will have their benefits extended for up to five years to allow for the scheduling and completion of interviews, as required (if they have not been auto-renewed).
- A new split interview process at two land ports of entry – where the Canadian interview is conducted at the Canadian enrollment center and the U.S. interview completed at the corresponding U.S. enrollment center located just across the border. This process is currently available at the Lansdowne, Ontario (Thousand Islands) and Fort Erie, Ontario (Peace Bridge) enrollment centers and we are looking to expand to additional sites.
- A new NEXUS enrollment center in Ogdensburg, New York, with CBSA and CBP officers conducting joint interviews.
- Increased interview appointments at enrollment centers in the United States through expanded staffing and enrollment activities.
These efforts are working. Since October 1, 2022, CBP and CBSA have completed over 200,000 NEXUS enrollments and reduced the net inventory of applicants by approximately 100,000 from its peak in summer 2022.
- The NEXUS program is designed to expedite the border clearance process for pre-approved, NEXUS members traveling between Canada and the United States. This allows both countries to focus their efforts on unknown and potentially higher-risk travelers and goods. NEXUS is jointly managed by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- Thirteen U.S. enrollment centers are open in the United States where applicants have the option to schedule same-day interviews with both CBSA and CBP Officers.
- An enrollment that begins with a CBSA interview at a Canadian Airport enrollment center must be completed with a CBP interview in the preclearance area of a Canadian airport before boarding a flight to the United States, likely on a subsequent trip. At this time, the CBP portion of the interview cannot be completed at a land border enrollment center.
- CBP Officers conducting trusted traveler program enrollment in the preclearance areas of Canadian airports for travelers departing for the United States will have the same legal authorities as when performing other preclearance functions, as both Canada and the United States agree that it constitutes a preclearance activity covered by the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance (LRMA). Therefore, in the future, should Canada conduct preclearance in the United States, CBSA officers performing NEXUS enrollment in those preclearance areas for travelers departing for Canada would similarly be covered by the provisions of the LRMA.