Travel to Canada with NEXUS

A NEXUS membership is available to low risk frequent travellers between the USA and Canada and serves to expedite their wait times when crossing the border. However, past criminality may affect your ability to apply for or maintain a NEXUS card.

A NEXUS membership is available to low risk frequent travellers between the USA and Canada and serves to expedite their wait times when crossing the border. However, past criminality may affect your ability to apply for or maintain a NEXUS card.

Travellers with NEXUS cards have access to priority lanes and faster security processing at airports and priority car lanes at land crossings. As such, NEXUS is very popular for business travellers or frequent travellers.

According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), to be eligible to apply for a NEXUS card, an individual must submit an application and undergo registration, satisfy eligibility criteria, be admissible to both Canada and the United States, and pass risk assessments by both countries.

In order to be eligible, you must be a permanent resident or citizen of Canada or the United States. No longer however, do you need to have spent three years actually living in one of these nations. Both Canada and the United States must approve your application in order to obtain a NEXUS card.

However, you may not qualify if you are criminally or otherwise inadmissible to one of the nations. If you are an American with a criminal history including drinking and driving (DUI or DWI) you may be unable to get a NEXUS card. This is especially the case if the charge is less than 10 years old. Additionally, two or more DUIs will also make you more likely to be ineligible.   If you are arrested while holding a NEXUS card it is possible that your card may be revoked, and it is likely that you may be denied a renewal.

If you apply and are denied a NEXUS card, it is likely that you will also be turned away at the Canadian border. The application process itself will bring to light any past indiscretions and bring them to the attention of border officers. There is always the possibility of being turned away due to criminal inadmissibility but this likelihood is heightened if you have also failed to acquire a NEXUS card.

Children under the age of 18 need parental consent to get a NEXUS card, but their parents themselves do not need to be NEXUS members.

If you are criminally inadmissible to Canada, you will need either a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation to enter. Note that if you get Criminal Rehabilitation, this may help you to apply for a NEXUS card even if you were previously ineligible.  For more information on these options or to learn more about NEXUS and travelling to Canada, please fill out our free online assessment form here.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on FacebookTwitter, and Linkedin.

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