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Canada and U.S. Reach Nexus Workaround On Border Security Dispute

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Cross Border Business

Canada and U.S. Reach Nexus Workaround On Border Security Dispute


The backlog of Nexus applications exceeds 330,000, the trusted-traveller program for Canadians and Americans to cross the border has disrupted travel plans and increased travel times for those who regularly cross the border. Canada and the United States announced on January 10, 2023, that they have reached a partial resolution and Nexus workaround after a years-long border security dispute. Nexus applicants are interviewed in person by a Canada Border Services Agency officer before crossing the border to sit down with an agent from US Customs and Border Protection and to be photographed and fingerprinted. The backlog was caused by the global pandemic, when the joint agency interviews were discontinued.

The current average wait time is 16.5 months for a Nexus application that requires any level of review.

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According to a report published in the Globe and Mail,

Canada and the U.S. remain at odds over legal protections for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, officers who worked in Nexus offices in Canada. The Americans want the same protection for them as is guaranteed to U.S. preclearance officers at Canadian land crossings and airports under a 2019 binational agreement.

A deal announced by the United States and Canada on Tuesday does not solve the dispute over legal protections but creates a workaround.

A key part of the application process is two interviews: one by Canadian customs officials and one by American CBP officers. These must be completed before a Nexus card is granted and were previously conducted at special offices across Canada that were located near Canadian airports.

The workaround will allow Canadian Nexus applicants to conduct their Canadian interview at a number of Canadian-based enrolment centres that will be reopened. Then applicants would head to U.S. customs preclearance offices at any of eight Canadian airports to conduct their American interview.

The Nexus fast-traveller program workaround has completed a pilot program at the Thousand Islands border crossing between Ontario and New York state, crossing between Alexandria Bay, NY, and the Ontario town of Landsdowne, about 50 km. east of Kingston.

The details of the workaround and when it will be implemented have not been announced and will be made available "later."


Do You Have Concerns About A Nexus Application?

Your Nexus application must be approved by both Canada and the United States customs and immigration departments. You may not be eligible for a Nexus card based on your background and security check.

Don't waste time or money and risk having your Nexus application delayed or denied due to an immigration issue, or because you forgot to renew it. An experienced immigration lawyer can help review your application and identify potential problems before they occur.

If you have questions about your Nexus status or need help with your application so you or your team to cross the U.S. / Canada border on business, contact Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452-9515 or email contact@ackahlaw.com.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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