Nexus (was: Flying to Europe from Canada via US airports)
Posted on Jul 02, 2013 by
I Love Our Nexus Cards. We travel quite a bit, usually overseas but sometimes to the states, and it makes customs a breeze. If you are traveling to the US from Canada you simply use the iris scanner, answer a couple of questions on the screen and bang you are through. When returning to Canada, from anywhere in the world, same thing back here. I am assuming the same program and procedures are available in the US.
The application process is fairly easy. You complete and mail the application (when we applied online submission wasn`t available). After a few weeks, after they have done all the FBI etc checks, you will receive a call for an interview, at one of the Nexus offices, and provided you pass the interview your picture, finger prints and iris scan are taken. Having said that the interview wouldn`t happen unless you were pretty much cleared.
Couple of notes on the Nexus program for those considering it. They, the `they` being customs, take this program very seriously and so should you. If anything changes, your address, passport number, drivers license renews etc. you MUST report the change before you use your nexus card again. They have a zero tolerance system and your first `side step` will be your last as they will immediately expel you from the program on your first offense. I also learned that if you don`t volunteer dual citizenship they do not request your other passport information however as soon as you tell them you carry two passports (my second is EU) they require you to register it and the same renewal reporting rules apply.
Second, that I unfortunately learned last month, when your information does change make sure you update it at least a week before you are to travel next. I went to the airport the night before traveling to Florida, to update my passport information, and the next day I was pulled into US immigration where we waited for about an hour (note to traveling partners - if your partner gets pulled over KEEP walking, provided you have separate declarations - my bf `volunteered` that he was with me and he earned himself a full luggage search LOL - I got off with nothing because they confirmed that I had in fact updated my data). I was lucky with the stop at immigration because we still made our flight even after a stop by duty free; many in the room had already missed their flights.
Third item to note; this program does not exempt you from random checks, just the same as any other traveler, so don`t take silly risks with over limit imports, drugs or anything else because you have the same chances of a random search and you will be pulled from the program if you are found guilty of any offense. Many people think that the Nexus card exempts you from the normal customs procedure however it does not. The only thing it does is fast track you through the customs officer section.
The card isn`t for everyone, really only those who travel quite a bit however for frequent traveler it makes getting through the airport a lot easier and if you are fortunate to have your baggage through quickly you can be gate to taxi in Toronto in less than 30 minutes.