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A few months ago, I deliberated as to whether the Nexus pass is worth it?
My answer is a resounding YES.
It is amazing.
And that is all.
Here are a few more benefits to the Nexus program
- You get treated differently: When I first went through the Nexus lane, I was a bit nervous. Honestly though, I didn't need to be because the way the customs officers treat you when you go through Nexus is completely completely different. The look in their eyes was more ambivalence versus interrogation. They know you are a trusted traveler and unless you flat out lie and they can tell, they usually go ahead and let you go. Which brings me to the next point:
- Make sure you don't lie! This is quite key, actually. If they catch you lying they will take away your Nexus pass and you will never be allowed to get it again. Ever. I recently went through the Nexus lane on the same day and brought back a $10 bottle of wine. I told them I came back with a $10 bottle of wine and they were okay with it. Another day I went through purchasing about $250 worth of clothing and shoes and coming back into Canada on the same day. I was happy to pay the duty/ taxes required, but they went ahead and let me through (score!). So, just like travelling through the regular lanes, make sure you don't lie!
- Bypassing lines at the airport This is especially pertinent for those who often leave very little time between check-in and the departure of the flight (lol… like yours truly). You can use the faster Nexus line during security and when you are going through customs. Thanks to Sandra K who pointed out this amazing feature of the Nexus Program for flyers.
- It is ridiculously fast- The line up to go into the states from Vancouver was about 40 minutes (this was on a non-long weekend day). The line up to go into the states from Vancouver through the Nexus line was 0 minutes. There was no line. AMAZING!
- For $50 every 5 years, this is a no brainer. Here's a little more information about the Nexus program from the Canada Border Services Agency
Here is a Step by Step Guide on How to Apply for the Nexus Program
- Apply Online through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES)
- Register for a GOES account (it's a good idea to jot down your password and user ID because you'll be using it a lot in the future)
- Apply online and have documents ready when applying. The documents accepted are listed here. You'll also need your car registration number. I had my resume on hand, which was very helpful because it asks a lot of detailed information like where you worked and where you lived for the past few years.
- Pay the $50 fee with your credit card
- You can check your status periodically or wait for the email! The email will ask you to book an appointment for an interview
- My earliest interview date was around five to six months after my application
- Go to the interview! Face a stern looking customs border security agent who will ask you a few questions verifying your information (which wasn't as detailed as I thought it would be- I brought my resume again in case they ask me specifically when I worked where). They will let you know then and there whether you have been approved.
- Get a retinal scan if you want to use your Nexus card at the airport
- Get your Nexus card in the mail in 4-6 weeks
- You must activate your Nexus card and do this within 30 days or else you'll have to start all over again- Being the smarty pants (not) that I am, I had difficulty activating my Nexus card. Go here to activate your card (hint: go to the lower right hand corner to activate your card, don't log into the GOES website because you won't find anything there).
Hopefully that was helpful and I highly recommend the Nexus pass!
Readers, what have been your Nexus application and Nexus card usage experiences? Good? Bad? Ugly?
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