The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have come to an agreement that will allow all NEXUS trusted traveller enrolment centres in Canadian airports to reopen before the end of APR, 2023.
The news comes following months of delays after the borders themselves reopened, as Open Jaw has reported, apparently due to the U.S. requiring that its customs officers who work in NEXUS centres in Canada be permitted to carry sidearms and also be protected from prosecution. American border guards in Canadian airport pre-clearance facilities are already permitted both.
NEXUS enrollment centres reopened in the U.S. in the spring of 2022, with additional centres opening at border crossing locations in the U.S., but centres in airports in Canada have not followed suit.
However, a release by the CBSA 21MAR, 2023 indicates that the two countries have found a way past the stumbling block.
With new enrolment options and processes outside of Canada's airports put in place over the past few months, CBSA says that, since 01OCT, 2022, CBSA and CBP have already reduced the backlog of applicants by approximately 130,000 from its peak in summer 2022.
Reopened airport NEXUS centres, according to the release, "will both expand the program’s capacity and help the thousands of travellers who request NEXUS memberships each month get their cards faster."
Beginning 21MAR, travellers can book interviews at the following airports, with interview start dates listed below:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)
- Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
- Calgary International Airport (YYC)
- Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
- Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
- Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
This new enrolment option for air travellers has two steps:
Canadian airport enrolment centres will be staffed with CBSA officers who will complete the Canadian portion of the NEXUS interview, and the U.S. interviews are completed by CBP at Canadian airport preclearance locations when applicants depart Canada to fly to the U.S.
Conditionally-approved NEXUS applicants and renewing members who require an interview will be able to book the Canadian portion of their interview at one of these airports through the Trusted Traveller Programs scheduler as interview times become available.
Applicants can now choose from among three options for their NEXUS interviews:
- A joint U.S. - Canada interview at a land enrolment centre (14 locations) in the U.S.
- A split interview at a Canadian land enrolment centre (2 locations) followed by an interview at a U.S. land enrolment centre (Canadian interview is conducted at the Canadian enrolment centre and the U.S. interview completed at the corresponding U.S. enrolment centre located just across the border at the port of entry).
- A two-step interview at a Canadian airport enrolment centre (8 locations), followed by an interview at a U.S. pre-clearance location in a Canadian airport. Once the Canadian interview is complete, applicants can complete the U.S. interview before their subsequent flight to the U.S. at a preclearance location. No appointment is required for this U.S. interview but applicants should give themselves extra time before their flight. Applicants should refer to the CBP NEXUS enrolment centre website to confirm operating hours: Preclearance | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (cbp.gov)
Applicants must complete their two NEXUS interviews in the same mode – either land or air – but not a combination of the two.
Existing members who renew their membership prior to the expiry date will have their benefits extended for up to five years to allow for the scheduling and completion of interviews, as required (if they have not been auto-renewed).