It's about to get much easier for Canadians to travel to the United States
Practically all travel conditions have returned to normal since the height of cross-border restrictions in 2020, all except for one.
As of March 2023, a full three years after the first travel restrictions were imposed on Canadians, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have still yet to fully reinstate their joint NEXUS enrolment centres in Canadian airports.
That will all change in the coming weeks as the CBSA and U.S. CBP move forward with their commitment to reopen all airport NEXUS enrolment centres this spring.
The move is designed to not only expand the program's capacity, but also improve the delivery time of NEXUS cards for the thousands of travellers who request memberships every month.
A new two-step enrolment option for air travellers will involve the Canadian portion of the application completed at enrolment centres staffed with CBSA officers, and a second step where U.S. CBP officers interview NEXUS applicants at Canadian airport preclearance locations when they depart Canada to fly to the U.S.
Any NEXUS applicants conditionally approved or are renewing existing memberships, and who require an interview, will be able to book the Canadian portion of their interview at participating airports through the Trusted Traveller Programs scheduler.
Launched in 2000, the NEXUS program is designed to ease the headaches associated with U.S-Canada border crossings by fast-tracking frequent cross-border travellers through security.
Demand for NEXUS cards is very high since the lifting of travel restrictions, and there have been over 300,000 completed enrolments since October, cutting down on the peak backlog of 130,000 this past summer.
As of Monday March 20, travellers can book interviews at select Canadian airports starting on the following dates.
Marco Mendicino, MP and federal Minister of Public Safety, calls the expansion of NEXUS "a win-win for Canada and the United States," and hails the latest "new, flexible solutions to cut wait times and enlarge the program."
"The reopening of NEXUS airport enrolment centres in Canada is making a major difference – reducing the backlog, expanding capacity and helping more people get NEXUS cards," added Mendicino, citing the program's contribution to creating "billions in economic activity on both sides of the border."
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