NEXUS enrollment opens on the internet

Published on Thu, Jun 6, 2002 by Meg Olson

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NEXUS enrollment opens on the internet

By Meg Olson

This week NEXUS application forms became available on the internet and a series of meetings unveiling the new commuter lane got rolling.

On June 3 Canada Customs and Revenue Agency posted the NEXUS application forms at Applicants can download the forms and either fax them or mail them with a US$50 or CDN$80 payment to Canada Customs at Pacific Highway where the joint U.S. Canada processing will begin. Interviews, fingerprints and photos will be at the U.S. enrollment center at Pacific Highway, where staff training will start June 16, according to U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) head of inspections Ron Hays.

The first of the NEXUS meetings was held in Canada May 30 at the British Columbia Institute for Studies in International Trade, and was open to the public. The first local meeting won’t be. On June 6 at Resort Semiahmoo an invitation only lunch meeting costing $25 a plate.

Bellingham attorney Greg Boos, one of the organizers of the meeting, said the sixty invitees were selected as potential facilitators for the enrollment process. “The criteria was we were trying to look to people who would be interested in distributing the application forms and helping check them before they’re sent in,” Boos said. He added that excluding the media and the public could make for a more open discussion with INS representatives about last minute details of the program. “We want to facilitate a give and take in an open, uninhibited forum,” he said. “We are all stakeholders but this meeting is more about who can help us promote this program.”

The public will get their introduction to NEXUS at a June 8 meeting at the Point Roberts community center for Point Roberts residents only and a June 11 meeting open to everyone in Blaine. These meetings are about how the NEXUS enrollment process will work and how to apply, rather than promoting the program. “By those meetings we hope to have application forms available and the purpose is to start getting enrollees,” Boos said.

Hays said plans were to open NEXUS lanes simultaneously at Pacific Highway and the Peace Arch ports of entry by the end of June. A lane in Point Roberts would follow.

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