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Old 04-08-2012, 06:49 PM
 
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I am interested what is was like going through the application process for the Nexus border pass.
Also, once you got it what is it like crossing the border both ways going through the Nexus lines.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:26 AM
 
Location: galaxy far far away
3,111 posts, read 4,557,699 times
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Yes - I've applied for it recently and got it.
The application (online) is quite extensive. You can also apply with a paper application, but you still need to set up an online account with GOES. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to fill out.

Once you fill it out, you need to keep watching your online account for an announcement that they've accepted your application. (You should also get an email, but keep checking just in case.) It took about 5 weeks for them to process mine. Once they've processed and accepted it, you need to schedule an appointment at one of the Canadian border crossings. Nexus only works with Canada, so a southern border office won't work. There's some cooperation with SENTRI (the Mexico card). If you have one, you can apply for the other. But they are two different systems.

For NEXUS You schedule your appointment online with the Canadian border office. Once you've been approved, there will be a button in your messages to click on - SCHEDULE APPT. This gives you all the options across the Northern US border where you can meet with the border agents. Some of them are 3 months out, so it may be worth it to fly to an outlying office with closer interview times.

The interview was pretty easy. The agents were pleasant and efficient where I went. They will look over your application, ask questions, and may ask to see proof of citizenship -- see the list online for the details of what you may want to bring with you, just in case (utility bill, mortgage or rent statement, etc.). The appointment takes 15-20 minutes. Then they fingerprint you, take a picture of you, take a photo of your iris - your eye - and you're on your way. Another week or so passes and you get your Nexus Card in the mail.

If you're in a hurry, get the application filled out right away. You can expect 2-3 months from start to finish. It may be sooner, but it's a good idea to plan for the longer time just in case they get a backlog.

Once you've got your card, remember it's set up mostly for Leisure travel. You can use it to travel on business, but cannot bring in items for sale or more than a couple of brochures or flyers with you. If you are going on business with products, get in the regular lanes because you still need to declare those. Even in the regular lanes, the NEXUS card will help you get through faster because you're pre-screened. But you can't go through the NEXUS fast lanes with declared items. (I'm repeating myself, because this is important...)

The NEXUS card covers flying, driving or crossing in a boat. When the lines are long at customs no matter how you are coming into the country, you can follow the Nexus lines, which go more quickly. The Trusted Traveler Program is supposed to be expanded so it may come in handy down the road if you travel a lot.

They were very clear about guarding your card and not misusing the privileges. You can have your card rescinded if you try and use the NEXUS lanes for unauthorized uses. If you have a NEXUS card and your traveling companion doesn't they tell you to both go through the regular lanes. If you aren't sure if you need to declare the goods you have with you, go through the regular lanes. So it's not always a guarantee. However, as I said, with the card, once you get to the agent in a regular lane, you can still show them the NEXUS card, declare your items, and be on your way faster.

This page has a lot more information: U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,593 posts, read 11,077,046 times
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The other perk that Cowgirl didn't mention, is that NEXUS is recognized as part of Global Entry for entering the US from points of origin other than Canada. You cannot overlook this benefit if you've ever tried to land at OHare on an international flight. Instead of 1hr ++, you're maybe 5 minutes.

You get the benefits of Global Entry, plus access to Canada for half the price of Global Entry (which is $100. NEXUS is $50). The iris scan is only used in Canada, not the States. The NEXUS card basically contains all of your passport information for entry to the US.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,241,716 times
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Also locally.. in Western New York you get an extra bridge to use when crossing.

Whirlpool bridge is Nexus only.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:26 PM
 
4,800 posts, read 10,578,685 times
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Thanks for the replies, especially R_cowgirl. very good information.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:53 PM
 
701 posts, read 896,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Cowgirl View Post
Yes - I've applied for it recently and got it.
The application (online) is quite extensive. You can also apply with a paper application, but you still need to set up an online account with GOES. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to fill out.

Once you fill it out, you need to keep watching your online account for an announcement that they've accepted your application. (You should also get an email, but keep checking just in case.) It took about 5 weeks for them to process mine. Once they've processed and accepted it, you need to schedule an appointment at one of the Canadian border crossings. Nexus only works with Canada, so a southern border office won't work. There's some cooperation with SENTRI (the Mexico card). If you have one, you can apply for the other. But they are two different systems.

For NEXUS You schedule your appointment online with the Canadian border office. Once you've been approved, there will be a button in your messages to click on - SCHEDULE APPT. This gives you all the options across the Northern US border where you can meet with the border agents. Some of them are 3 months out, so it may be worth it to fly to an outlying office with closer interview times.

The interview was pretty easy. The agents were pleasant and efficient where I went. They will look over your application, ask questions, and may ask to see proof of citizenship -- see the list online for the details of what you may want to bring with you, just in case (utility bill, mortgage or rent statement, etc.). The appointment takes 15-20 minutes. Then they fingerprint you, take a picture of you, take a photo of your iris - your eye - and you're on your way. Another week or so passes and you get your Nexus Card in the mail.

If you're in a hurry, get the application filled out right away. You can expect 2-3 months from start to finish. It may be sooner, but it's a good idea to plan for the longer time just in case they get a backlog.

Once you've got your card, remember it's set up mostly for Leisure travel. You can use it to travel on business, but cannot bring in items for sale or more than a couple of brochures or flyers with you. If you are going on business with products, get in the regular lanes because you still need to declare those. Even in the regular lanes, the NEXUS card will help you get through faster because you're pre-screened. But you can't go through the NEXUS fast lanes with declared items. (I'm repeating myself, because this is important...)

The NEXUS card covers flying, driving or crossing in a boat. When the lines are long at customs no matter how you are coming into the country, you can follow the Nexus lines, which go more quickly. The Trusted Traveler Program is supposed to be expanded so it may come in handy down the road if you travel a lot.

They were very clear about guarding your card and not misusing the privileges. You can have your card rescinded if you try and use the NEXUS lanes for unauthorized uses. If you have a NEXUS card and your traveling companion doesn't they tell you to both go through the regular lanes. If you aren't sure if you need to declare the goods you have with you, go through the regular lanes. So it's not always a guarantee. However, as I said, with the card, once you get to the agent in a regular lane, you can still show them the NEXUS card, declare your items, and be on your way faster.

This page has a lot more information: U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel
Great stuff - thanks!
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:18 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,463,489 times
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For me one of the best things about it.. They have my Amex on file so when I crossed back into Canada, I was given a booklet and I self declare my purchases, you drop it in a box, right before driving to the booth..
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:10 AM
 
18,273 posts, read 10,374,392 times
Reputation: 13335
Kenhawk; don't wish to hi-jak your posted question but I have one of my own to add if folks can answer it.

As "snowbirds", we own a property in Florida and have previously driven down each winter but now have a car registered and tagged down there and wish to fly down instead. Would this be of measurable benefit to us considering the following:

We do not transport any goods such as duty free booze tobacco and limit our carrying to a "notebook" computer and personal hygiene items with carry-on only.
We would very probably not check any luggage as all clothing, golf clubs etc., are duplicated down there anyway.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,593 posts, read 11,077,046 times
Reputation: 10306
Basically NEXUS allows you to jump the queue. There's a line for everyone, and there's a line for NEXUS, as being admitted to NEXUS you've been pre-screened. The benefit is up to you, but I don't see it as much of a burden for $50 per person for a decade. Beats standing in half hour + long lines waiting at the airport.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:10 PM
 
18,273 posts, read 10,374,392 times
Reputation: 13335
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
Basically NEXUS allows you to jump the queue. There's a line for everyone, and there's a line for NEXUS, as being admitted to NEXUS you've been pre-screened. The benefit is up to you, but I don't see it as much of a burden for $50 per person for a decade. Beats standing in half hour + long lines waiting at the airport.
Pre-screening is a good time saver, provided it foregoes that invasive TSA crud, otherwise I don't see the benefit. If so; $50 for TEN years; whoa nelly. Pity our passports couldn't be of the same longevity.

Methinks we'll get on the application process right away.

Thanks for the come-back.
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