The backlog of applications for Nexus membership in Canada has risen to hundreds of thousands, despite a sharp drop in the number of applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted at 9:36
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says more than 295,000 Nexus applications have yet to be processed due to office closures caused by the health crisis.
Applicants to the Nexus program, which allows pre-approved Canadians to pass separate, express lanes when traveling to the United States, must be evaluated by the Canada Border Services Agency and US border authorities.
The US agency reopened its Nexus registration centers on April 19 to assess candidates, but registration centers in Canada have yet to reopen after closing in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic.
The resulting backlog means that some Nexus members struggle to book appointments before their cards expire, as applications for Canadian residents wanting to renew their status can only be processed at fewer than a dozen border offices where availability is scarce.
Canada Border Services Agency says in an email that Canada and the United States have begun discussions about when to reopen Canadian registration centers.
Membership in the Nexus program is valid for five years. Typically, Nexus card holders can use automated entry kiosks at Canada’s nine international airports, and Global Entry kiosks to enter the United States, among other things.
As for reserved passes, owners can use them at 21 designated land border crossings.