After three years of closures, the Canadian government announced that the CBSA will reopen all NEXUS enrolment centres at Canadian airports over the next month or so.
This is welcome news for travellers who have been waiting to proceed with their NEXUS applications, but have been unable to do so with fewer locations available than prior to the pandemic.
Canadian Airport NEXUS Enrolment Centres to Reopen
Over the next month or so, all NEXUS enrolment centres will gradually reopen. Eligible applicants can already book interviews at the eight airport locations, with the start dates for each as follows:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ): March 27, 2023
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG): March 27, 2023
- Vancouver International Airport (YVR): April 3, 2023
- Calgary International Airport (YYC): April 12, 2023
- Edmonton International Airport (YEG): April 12, 2023
- Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL): April 17, 2023
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ): April 24, 2023
- Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW): April 24, 2023
Until now, applicants have either been required to complete a joint interview at one of 14 US land enrolment centres or go through a split interview at one of two land enrolment centre pairs, with one interview one the Canadian side and the other across the border on the US side.
Both of the above options will continue to be available to travellers, and the reopening of the Canadian airport enrolment centres will give applicants a third option to choose from.
Once the centres reopen, there will be a new interview process, which was announced earlier this year.
The Canadian airport enrolment centres will be staffed by CBSA officers, who are tasked with completing the Canadian portion of the NEXUS interview. The US portion of the interview is conducted by CBP officers in the US pre-clearance area of the Canadian airport.
It’s important to note that the US interview at Canadian airports requires applicants to be departing Canada for the United States by air.
The Canadian and American interviews neither need to be completed on the same day nor at the same airport; however, to gain access to a pre-clearance location where the US interview is conducted, applicants must have a valid same-day ticket bound for the US.
Furthermore, once the Canadian portion of the interview is complete, passengers don’t need to book an appointment time in the US pre-clearance location. However, you’ll just want to give yourself enough time to go through the interview in the pre-clearance area and catch your flight.
Lastly, applicants must complete their two NEXUS interviews in the same mode. For example, you must do both either at a land enrolment centre or at an airport enrolment centre, but it can’t be a combination of the two.
How to Apply for NEXUS
As a reminder, the NEXUS application process can take a while to go through. While the CBSA and CBP work through the pandemic backlog of applicants, you may want to start your application now, as there’s likely going to be a bit of a wait before you can actually get a card, if you’re approved.
To begin, you must submit an application online through the Trusted Traveler Program website.
After creating an account and selecting “NEXUS” for your application, you’ll need to provide some personal information that requires documentation, such as your proof of citizenship and residency. You’ll also need to fill in your employment history, travel history, and answer background questions related to potential previous criminal activity.
Once the application is complete, you need to confirm that everything is true, and then pay the $50 (USD) application fee. Applicants under the age of 18 may apply for free.
Of course, many credit cards offer NEXUS rebates as one of the perks, so you’ll want to make sure to pay using one to offset the cost of the application.
115,000 Aeroplan points
Up to 125,000 Aeroplan points
120,000 Aeroplan points
70,000 MR points
90,000 MR points
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points
Up to 70,000 Aeroplan points
40,000 CIBC Aventura points
Up to 80,000 CIBC Aventura points
Once the payment is confirmed, your application will be set to “Pending Review” as you await conditional approval. This process could take up to a year, which is why you’ll want to get started sooner rather than later.
Once you’ve been conditionally approved, you have to schedule and complete an interview. With the reopening of the Canadian airport enrolment centres, you can hopefully time your interview with a planned trip to the United States.
During the interview, you’ll be asked about your previous travel history and why you want a NEXUS card. They’ll also explain the benefits of the program, take your fingerprints, and take your photo for the card.
After the interview, applications can theoretically be approved in approximately one or two business days; however, it can take up to two weeks for travellers to receive their NEXUS card in the mail.
Once you have a card, you can enjoy expedited entry to Canada and the US by air, land, and sea.
NEXUS enrolment centres at Canadian airports are set to reopen over the next month. Applicants can already schedule their interviews at any of the eight locations across Canada.
This is welcome news to Canadian travellers who have been patiently waiting for the centres to reopen after being shuttered for the past three years. Applicants now have three interview options to choose from, depending on which is most suited to their origin and travel patterns.
Hopefully, the reopening of the eight Canadian enrolment centres speeds up the clearing of the pandemic-related application backlog. If you’ve been sitting on a conditional approval for a few years now, be sure to sign up for an interview before time slots get booked up in the coming days and weeks.