Apply for NEXUS Card is not affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Processing times have increased a lot. There isn’t a single agency (private or government) that can expedite your application. Today, you must expect to wait 6-8 months before your application reaches the Conditional Approval stage.
First, the govt makes strict background checks on all applicants. This ensures that all members are low-risk. Canadian and U.S. government agencies carry our security checks on every applicant. This includes law enforcement, immigration, customs, the department of motor vehicles, etc. Each agency receives the personal details from your NEXUS form.
It takes time for each agency to check this information. Consequently, there’s no shortcut to the checks.
There are several stages that your application passes through on the way to membership approval:
‘Pending Review’: this is the status you receive when you have submitted your application and its up for background checks.
‘Conditional Approval’: is the stage in the application process where you can schedule your mandatory interview.
‘Denied’: if your application is denied you can reapply after 90 days. You’ll get a letter telling you why you’re denied and you need to put these things right before you try again.
‘Approved’: Once you have passed the interview your card will arrive in the mail within 10-14 days. NEXUS renewals may not need to go to an interview if all of their info is the same.
Once you are conditionally approved, you can schedule an interview at any enrollment center. Most centers are located along the US – Canada border. However, there are some in the major airports like Toronto Pearson. Some centers are so heavily subscribed that it’s impossible to schedule your interview early. And some locations will add another 6 months to your processing time. If you want to use your card for air travel, you must attend an interview at an enrollment center offering iris scanning.
The huge applications backlog applies to first time and renewal applications; both child applicants and adults are equally affected. The backlog has been caused by the COVID-19 virus issues. Some enrollment centers have been temporarily closed making appointment slots even more difficult to get.