Nexus Card Overview

For USA Canada Travel

What is a Nexus card? What is the Nexus program? What are the benefits of Nexus if you already have a passport?

As defined by the Canada Border Services Agency, "NEXUS is a bi-national, Canada-United States program for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering Canada or the United States (U.S.) at designated air, land and marine ports of entry. The program enables its members to enter either country more quickly and easily by using automated self-serve kiosks in the air mode of travel, dedicated lanes in the land mode of travel, and by calling Telephone Reporting Centres (TRCs) prior to arrival in the marine mode of travel."

It is also known as the frequent travelers program.

canada flag united states flag

The NEXUS program was established in 2002 as part of the Shared Border Accord, to create open channels of dialogue and working groups committed to the mutual goals of securing our shared border, while promoting the legitimate trade and travel that is vital to both economies.

A membership card is a valid document under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative when used at a NEXUS kiosk.

Nexus Benefits

Members of the Nexus program can avoid longer waits at border entry points by using self-serve kiosks to enter into Canada or the U.S. These self-service kiosks can be found at airports, in reserved lanes at land border crossings, or by phoning border officials when entering by water.

Currently only citizens and permanent residents of the United States or Canada are eligible. Applicants must have lived in the United States or Canada on a continuous basis for the last three years, and those 18 years of age and over must pay a fee for this.

How do you become a NEXUS member?

NEXUS is an integrated program with one application and fee submission providing expedited passage in the air, land and marine modes of travel.

The process to obtain a nexus status is straight forward. You submit an application and go through a registration process and satisfy the eligibility criteria. You must be admissible to Canada and the U.S.. And you must pass risk assessments by both countries.

Authorities run background checks, check applicants' documentation, take photographs, fingerprints, and digital iris photographs. Those who pass these checks are issued a NEXUS card, which is valid for five years from the applicant's birthday following the card being issued.

Highly technologically advanced, each approved member will receive a radio frequency identification card. However, individuals who are interested in air travel must undergo an iris capture to have their membership accepted at airports.

Things To Consider as a Nexus Card Holder

If you are a NEXUS cardholder you are still subject to standard border checks and procedures. When crossing Canada - US border in a vehicle, you can only use the NEXUS lane if everyone in the vehicle (including children) has a card. In addition, cardholders declaring certain items must use a regular lane, and are prohibited from taking certain items across the border.

When you travel to BC Canada by road, vehicles that use dedicated lanes at land border crossings are required to declare all items purchased using a Travelers Declaration Card (TDC). A TDC is linked to the NEXUS user's credit card, and taxes and duties are billed automatically. When passing through the border the TDC card is placed into a special mailbox which is located directly before the customs booth and gate, and amounts that a vehicle may declare on a TDC is limited.

The NEXUS card program is a partnership between the Canada and U.S. border services, but NEXUS cards are issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

To participate, both the United States and Canada must approve an individual's application.

For toll-free information (U.S and Canada) call
1-866- NEXUS 26 (1-866-639- 8726).

For a complete list of Nexus card eligibility requirements and locations, visit


The non-refundable application fee for NEXUS is 50 US that can be paid by direct debit from a U.S. bank account or credit card via the Global On-Line Enrollment System. There is a non-refundable $25 U.S. application fee to replace a NEXUS card that is damaged, lost or stolen.

The non-refundable application fee for NEXUS is 50 CN that can be paid by check, credit card, or money order to the Canada Border Services Agency for the processing of an application submitted by regular mail.

The information on this page is sourced from the Canadian Citizendship and Immigration website. The information provided here should not be considered as official representation of Canadian Government regulations. This is general information only, intended to provide awareness to those who wish to travel to Canada. Please consult the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Website for full Canada country entrance requirements.

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