Border agencies ready to start NEXUS renewals
U.S. and Canadian border agencies are ready to start the renewal process for the avalanche of NEXUS memberships due to expire this summer, and they are encouraging cardholders to start now.
“We’re expecting a busy summer and we’re hoping to make it as painless as possible,” said James Rector, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assistant port director for the Blaine area.
CBP and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials announced April 12 that they were ready to start accepting renewal applications, and they recommend program participants get the process rolling 90 days before their card is due to expire.
NEXUS opened in June 2002 to a flood of applications. Today there are more than 120,000 participants, and 28,000 of those memberships will expire between June and August this year.
“Unfortunately the expiry date isn’t printed on most cards but if you remember getting your card around June or July five years ago, it’s good to be getting it in now,” Rector said.
Integration of the NEXUS air, highway and marine programs in late 2006 is also increasing new interest in the program and putting additional pressure on the enrollment system, Rector said.
“NEXUS marine is in its second summer and we’re anticipating a push from boaters, as well as generally with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).”
It is anticipated a NEXUS card will be an acceptable alternative to a passport when WHTI requirements go into effect at land borders as early as next year, and secure travel documents will be mandatory for everyone crossing the border. The same application and supporting documentation is needed for a renewal as for a new NEXUS application: documents establishing citizenship, admissibility and residence status, address and employment history, custodial documents and a copy of a drivers license if applicable.
The application is submitted to a Canadian processing center and after a background check the applicant will be notified by mail of conditional approval. They will then have 180 days to schedule an interview at the U.S. NEXUS office, which will issue final approval and a new card to successful applicants.The fee for NEXUS remains $50 or $80 CDN for five years for participants over 18. Children can participate in NEXUS for free.
Rector said it was not yet known if current program participants would have their memberships extended if processing delays took them past their expiry date.