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Old 11-29-2012, 07:43 PM
 
4,800 posts, read 10,571,630 times
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I thought I would share how to get a Nexus card and why it is a good thing to have when crossing the border, and for other things.
I am a US citizen but the Nexus card is a joint US-Canadian program for both US and Canadian citizens who want quick passage across the border with as little hassle as possible. The card allows you to use the Nexus lanes and bypass the sometimes very long lines at the border. While most people may wait up to 2 hours to cross the border, Nexus members usually can get through in a few minutes, even on very busy days.

I applied for the card on-line at the GOES website. You must fill out an application providing background information about yourself. Then, US and Canadian customs will do a background check on you that takes normally from 2-4 weeks. Mine took a little less than 3 weeks.
If you pass the check, you will receive a notice of conditional approval. Then you must go online again and set up an interview with US and Canadian customs agents. The next open interview slot may be many months away, but take it anyway, then go back to the site and try to reschedule as there are usually openings sooner as other people cancel appointments and you can get an earlier slot. I got my interview 3 1/2 months earlier by doing this.
At the interview you will first see a US agent who will verify your identity and take your fingerprints electronically. Then you will see the Canadian agent who will ask you some of the same questions then explain how the card works at the border. Both agents may ask why you want to join the program.
A few days later your Nexus card arrives in the mail and after you activate it, you are good to go.
Getting Nexus is also good for domestic US air travel because it makes you a "trusted traveler" which means you can use pre-check lanes at the airports which allow you through security without having to take your shoes off or open you lap tops. You just go through a metal detector just like before 9/11.
You also get enrolled in Global Entry, the US programs that allows you to bypass customs when you return from overseas trips and use a automated kiosk that may only take a minute or two while most other people wait in long lines to see the customs agents.
The card cost $50 US but I think it is worth it.
I filled out the online application in early September and received my card today.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Back & Forth
210 posts, read 634,684 times
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Thanks for the info. We haven't given much thought to the program, but maybe now we will go for it!
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:21 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,455,420 times
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the Canadian customs lady told me Canada treats cardholers with trust (hint.. unlike the yanks). she gave me a booklet where I self declare my purchases and gave me info on where to setup my credit card for automatic payments if customs are due on the self declared purchases. She also told me she did all her grocery shopping in the states (cheaper).

The US custioms guy's attitude was why would I want to live in Canada in the first place. He led me to beleive only an American married or engaged to a Canadian would do that. Oh well, jerks are everywhere

Since I was told I was trusted, I faithfully filled out the booklet anytime I made a purchase in the states. I did not want that trust revoked.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:24 AM
 
4,800 posts, read 10,571,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minibrings View Post
the Canadian customs lady told me Canada treats cardholers with trust (hint.. unlike the yanks). she gave me a booklet where I self declare my purchases and gave me info on where to setup my credit card for automatic payments if customs are due on the self declared purchases. She also told me she did all her grocery shopping in the states (cheaper).

The US custioms guy's attitude was why would I want to live in Canada in the first place. He led me to beleive only an American married or engaged to a Canadian would do that. Oh well, jerks are everywhere

Since I was told I was trusted, I faithfully filled out the booklet anytime I made a purchase in the states. I did not want that trust revoked.
My experience at the interview, which mirrors my experience in general was the Canadian custom agent was more pleasant to deal with. She had an actual real personality, while the US agent, while he wasn't rude or anything, was just very bureaucratic and didn't seem to really want to be there. I was going to ask him a couple of questions, but thought better of it. Best to just get the process over and get out, which only took about 15 minutes.
My motto in dealing with border agents is keep it really simple, short answers, and get through the process as quickly as possible, especially with US agents looking for the next Bin Laden.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:16 PM
 
1 posts, read 49,563 times
Reputation: 11
I just finished my interview, received my interview 2 weeks after my conditional approval ( i renewed 1 yr early which they didn't understand how it was possible) they swore i could only apply 3-6 mos before my original card expired. They were misinformed. They tried to take my old card till i explained it wasn't expired till 2015 then they said i would lose 8 mos cuz i renewed too early. The approval email said the new card expires in 2020 ( again they were misinformed) the interview was nice. The guy looked like Charlie Sheen (which apparently everyone tells him) new finger prints and picture was taken and i was done
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Niagara Region
1,321 posts, read 1,552,793 times
Reputation: 4504
I wouldn't survive without my Nexus card - highly recommended.

One caution - the fine print, which they do expect you to read, says that you must let them know when any of your supporting documents has changed/expired/been renewed. Eg. your passport and drivers license being renewed within your 5 yr nexus term.

Also, the renewal takes a while - try and get that process started a few months before your card expires. Mine is currently expired and as I wait for a new one, they seem to be ok with me still using the old one because their records show my new card is pending.

All in all, it's the best $50 you can spend.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,443,006 times
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I'm surprised that all this only costs $50. Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:30 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,151 times
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And enrolling in Global Entry via Nexus is a must have for all those who are traveling from international destinations (excluding Canada) into the U.S. It could save you hours of waiting time especially at high traffic airports like JFK, Newark, etc.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: The land where God created :)
230 posts, read 279,589 times
Reputation: 124
I just use my passport to cross the border... Few questions and then bienvenue !
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:41 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olivierad View Post
I just use my passport to cross the border... Few questions and then bienvenue !
If you do a lot of international travel, Nexus and Global Entry are a God send. In America, if you pre-check with Nexus, you are automatically exempt from long lines of TSA security screening and can whisk through the airport in fast lane. Same applies to land crossings - dedicated fast lane for NEXUS card holders:

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