Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How to apply for a nexus card: Easy Ways

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

As a seasoned Nexus card holder, I can affirm that the privileges and conveniences I have received are incredibly beneficial, especially for someone who travels frequently between the United States and Canada. The Nexus card has made international travel a lot smoother for me, and in this article, I will share with you detailed steps on how to apply for your Nexus card and the manifold advantages it brings.

What is the Nexus Card?

The Nexus card is essentially a trusted traveler document issued jointly by the U.S. and Canadian governments. It allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing through customs and immigration when traveling between the U.S. and Canada by air, land, or sea.

Why Should You Apply for a Nexus Card?

As a Nexus cardholder, the advantages I’ve enjoyed have significantly improved my travel experiences. Here’s why you should consider applying:

1. Expedited Processing Through Customs and Immigration: The most significant benefit of the Nexus card is the expedited processing it provides at the borders. This results in shorter wait times, less hassle, and a quicker, more seamless travel experience.

2. Access to Pre-Check and Global Entry Programs: In the United States, a Nexus card automatically qualifies you for the TSA Pre-Check program and CBP’s Global Entry program, all without any additional fees. This results in expedited security screenings at airports and quicker border crossings.

3. Cost-Effective: At $50 for a five-year membership for adults and free for applicants under 18, the Nexus card is significantly cheaper than other trusted traveler programs.

4. Environmental Friendly: Using a Nexus card for land travel means fewer idling times at the border, reducing your carbon footprint.

How to Apply for a Nexus Card

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying for a Nexus card, ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada, pass criminal history and law enforcement checks, and satisfy other requirements set by both governments.

Step 2: Complete the Online Application

Applications for the Nexus card can be made through the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) website run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After creating an account, select NEXUS as the desired program, and complete the application form.

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Step 3: Pay the Application Fee

Upon completing your application, you’ll need to pay the application fee of $50 for adults. Remember, applicants under 18 years are exempted from the fee. Payment can be made using a credit or debit card.

Step 4: Schedule an Interview

If your application is conditionally approved, you will receive a message in your TTP account with instructions to schedule an interview at a Nexus Enrollment Center. The interview is a vital part of the application process, as it allows officials to verify your information and determine if you’re a low-risk traveler.

Step 5: Attend the Interview

On the day of your interview, bring your valid passport and another form of identification, such as a driver’s license. If you are a lawful permanent resident, bring your permanent resident card.

Step 6: Final Approval and Receiving the Card

If your interview is successful, you will be approved for the Nexus program. Your Nexus card will be mailed to you and should arrive within 10 business days.

As a Nexus card holder myself, I can affirm that the process is relatively straightforward and the benefits are certainly worth the effort. My travel between the U.S. and Canada has never been more convenient. There’s no need to queue for hours to cross the border or clear airport security. The Nexus card has saved me valuable time and made my travel experiences more enjoyable.

Nexus Card Usage Tips

Having owned a Nexus card for years, I would like to share some essential tips that would help new Nexus cardholders to use it effectively.

1. Always Carry Your Nexus Card: Regardless of how you’re traveling (air, land, or sea), always carry your Nexus card. It will allow you to take advantage of Nexus lanes at land border crossings and kiosks at airport terminals.

2. Update Your Information: If any of your information changes, like your address or passport number, remember to update it in your TTP account. Failure to keep your information updated could lead to issues when crossing the border.

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3. Follow the Rules: Make sure you’re familiar with the Nexus program rules, as non-compliance can result in suspension or revocation of your Nexus privileges.

The Nexus Card in the Real World

Let me share a couple of examples from my own experience on how having a Nexus card has been a game changer.

Example 1: A couple of years ago, I had to travel to Vancouver from Seattle for a business meeting. The border crossing via Interstate 5 can be notoriously unpredictable. In the past, it had taken me upwards of two hours to get through customs. However, with my Nexus card, I was able to use the Nexus-dedicated lane and crossed the border within 15 minutes. It saved my day, and I reached my meeting on time.

Example 2: In another instance, I was traveling back to the U.S. from Toronto. At the airport, the regular security screening lines were lengthy and time-consuming. But with my Nexus card, I was able to use the Global Entry kiosk and breezed through U.S. customs in no time.

These experiences have reinforced my belief in the Nexus program’s utility. Not only does it simplify my travel, but it also provides a sense of assurance, knowing that I can navigate international travel with less stress.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the fastest way to get a Nexus card?

The fastest way to get a Nexus card is by applying online via the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) website. After your application has been conditionally approved, schedule an interview as soon as possible at a Nexus Enrollment Center. Ensure that you attend the interview with all required documents to facilitate a smooth and quick process.

2. Who is eligible for a Nexus card?

Nexus card eligibility includes citizens and permanent residents of the United States and Canada who have lived in their respective countries for the last three years. Applicants must pass criminal history and law enforcement checks in both countries. Furthermore, they should not have violated any customs, immigration, or agricultural laws.

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3. How to get a Nexus card online?

To apply for a Nexus card online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) website.
  2. Create an account if you don’t already have one.
  3. Select NEXUS as the desired program and complete the application form.
  4. Pay the application fee. Adults pay $50, while applicants under 18 are exempted.
  5. If your application is conditionally approved, you’ll receive a message in your TTP account with instructions to schedule an interview.
  6. Attend the interview at a Nexus Enrollment Center. Ensure to bring your valid passport and another form of identification, such as a driver’s license.
  7. If your interview is successful, you will be approved for the Nexus program. Your Nexus card will then be mailed to you.

4. Does it cost to get a Nexus card?

Yes, there is a cost associated with obtaining a Nexus card. The application fee is $50 for adults, but the card is free for applicants under 18. The fee covers a five-year membership.

5. Is the Nexus Card Worth It?

Looking at the advantages of the Nexus card and my personal experiences, I can confidently say that applying for the Nexus card is worth it, especially for frequent travelers between the U.S. and Canada.

For a relatively small fee, the Nexus card provides substantial value, saving time at border crossings, providing access to expedited security screenings, and offering a more seamless and less stressful travel experience. This convenience, coupled with the fact that it’s a one-time effort that pays off over several years, makes the Nexus card a great investment.


In conclusion, obtaining a Nexus card isn’t a complicated process, and the benefits far outweigh the initial effort and cost involved. From my own experience, I can assure you that it is a valuable asset that considerably enhances the quality of your travel. If you frequent between the U.S. and Canada, a Nexus card is certainly a worthy addition to your wallet.

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