Canada immigration news: Nexus applications from travellers who crossed the border frequently and wanted to do so more easily are piling up three months after enrolment centres first closed in Canada.
And there’s as of yet no indication when those 13 enrolment centres in Canada will re-open.
Under the Nexus program, pre-screened travellers enjoy faster processing when entering the United States and Canada.
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“Program members use dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, Nexus kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian pre-clearance airports,” notes the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) website.
“Nexus members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.”
The program, jointly run by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and USCBP, is for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into both countries. The fee for the Nexus program is U.S.-$50 for a five-year membership with children under 18 years of age being free.
But those wanting to use the program have to apply – or renew their applications every five years.
And that’s harder to do now because all new applicants to the program whose initial submissions are approved have to go to an enrolment centre for an interview.
Even some of those who are only renewing their cards have to sit down for an interview.
The closure of the Canadian Nexus centres makes that more complicated.
“All applicants, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents, wishing to schedule interviews can do so at their nearest U.S. enrolment centre through the Trusted Traveller portal,” notes the CBSA website. “Please note that as there is a delay in processing applications, for an update on the status of your application, check your account on the Trusted Traveller program portal.”
Backlog Of Nexus Applications Hits 341,688
The CBSA has reportedly said the number of Nexus applications in the backlog has now hit 341,688.
That’s wreaking havoc on the summer vacation plans of many travellers.
“If you have more people with Nexus, they get through faster and they don’t clog up the other line,” Jill Wykes, editor of the online Snowbird Advisor resource for snowbirds, reportedly told Canadian Press.
“Many other government offices are open. I think it’s inexcusable.”
The fly in the ointment in the on-going talks between Canada and the U.S. is the list of security measures U.S. border officials can take in pre-clearance areas on Canadian soil – and the ones Canadian officials can take on American soil.
Under an agreement struck between Canada and the United States, American border officers are tried in U.S. courts for almost all offences when charged with on-duty crimes in Canada.
U.S. Customs Officers’ Right To Carry Guns In Canada A Bone Of Contention In Talks
But a big sticking point in re-opening the Canadian Nexus enrolment centres is the right of American customs officers to carry guns in places where CBSA officers can.
Until the Nexus enrolment centres are re-opened, pre-clearance procedures which allow Canadians travelling to the U.S. to be cleared by American customs and immigration officials while still in Canada will remain elusive for many frequent travellers to the U.S. from Canada.
Applications under the Nexus program, though, are still being accepted.
Those who want to apply for the Nexus program must first go to Login.gov, where they need to create an account.
That authentication platform shared by American government agencies allows the public to securely access personal information and federal government services.
After creating or logging into a Login.gov account, the applicant is then redirected to the Nexus website to fill out an application.
Once the application is sent in, it has to be processed and the applicant is sent an e-mail with details for the enrolment interview at the nearest enrolment centre.