The NEXUS Card

July 25, 2010

We get regular questions related to the NEXUS card. We decided to dedicate a post to explaining what the NEXUS program and card are about.

If you’ve ever crossed the American/Canadian border, you’ve probably seen the lane for NEXUS card holders. You may have also seen NEXUS terminals at an airport. The NEXUS card is an alternative method of crossing the border – also fulfilling the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. It’s ideal for those of us who regularly travel between nations or for those who commute between the United States and Canada for work. 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). The program was created to streamline customs and immigration clearance for pre-screened, low-risk, frequent travelers. The card proves identity and citizenship and thereby acts as a substitute for a passport for entry into Canada for U.S. citizens (and vice versa). Anyone can apply for a NEXUS card, however, you must be interviewed and need to qualify.

NEXUS card holders are identified at land border crossings by presenting their cards for scanning and at airport kiosks by undergoing a biometric securtiy check – a retinal recognition scan. With that said, not all airports accommodate NEXUS card holders.

The NEXUS card is NOT meant to replace a Canadian passport. It is also NOT a replacement for your passport. It grants you no special privileges. Technically, even if you carry a NEXUS card – even though you won’t be asked for your passport at a U.S. border –  you still need to have it with you. You cannot travel internationally with a NEXUS card. It is meant only to facilitate entry and reentry between the United States and Canada.

Questions? Let us know…contact us or email us at info AT passport.local

8 Replies to “The NEXUS Card”

  1. am a canadian citizen living in usa, permant residence status. i came to usa when it was open door policy. my mother is very ill, needing me to come home before she does pass away. passport so old and really no time to wait on new one. im not understanding the nexus card and would like to know the fees and length of time to get one to me. i will only be in canada 8 days then need to return to usa to my job and will apply for new passport. i hope you can help me with this situation, thank you. sincerely, debbie richardson

  2. i am a canadian citizen living in the usa but a permanent resident, i came when it was a open door policy. my mother is very ill i need to go to toronto. shes needing me to come home before she passes away. my passport is so old and really have no time to wait on a new one.im not understanding the nexus card when it comes to fees and length of time to get a person. i plan to be in canada 8 days, return to my job and apply for my new passport. i hope you will be able to help me in this situation, thank you debbie richardson

  3. i think that ive lost my nexus card I live in Toronto what should I do can I travel across the border. I have the paper with the id number on it

  4. You need a valid passport to get the Nexus card. If your passport expires, you can’t fly into or out of Canada with just a Nexus card.
    But you can drive into and out of Canada with only a Nexus card.

    My passport expired about 4 years ago, I’ve used the Nexus card to go into the US many times per year ever since.

    The Nexus card lets you use the quicker lane.

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