Trusted Traveller Programs- Which one is right for you?

October 24th, 2014 by Asher Frankel

What is a trusted traveller program? A trusted traveller program provides expedited cross-border travel for pre-screened, low risk travellers through dedicated lanes and kiosks. The two programs for travel between Canada and the U.S. are Global Entry and NEXUS. This article shall compare both.

Global entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) voluntary program that allows for expedited clearance upon arrival at select U.S. airports and at certain airports outside of the U.S. with preclearance facilities, such as Toronto Pearson. All applicants must go through a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment. Although the program is most beneficial for frequent travellers, there is no minimum number of trips required.hat is a trusted traveller program? A trusted traveller program provides expedited cross-border travel for pre-screened, low risk travellers through dedicated lanes and kiosks. The two programs for travel between Canada and the U.S. are Global Entry and NEXUS. This article shall compare both.

Participants proceed to the Global Entry Kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for verification, and make a customs declaration electronically. Any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and revocation of the membership’s privileges.

Global Entry Eligibility

  • All U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;
  • Citizens of certain countries with their own trusted traveller programs, such as South Korea, the Netherlands and Mexico;
  • Canadian citizens are not eligible to join, but may enjoy Global Entry benefits through membership in the NEXUS program, described below.

Global Entry Benefits

  • No processing lines;
  • No paperwork; and
  • Access to expedited entry benefits at U.S. preclearance facilities abroad, e.g., Dublin, Guam, San Juan.

NEXUS is a joint CBP and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) program in which members have crossing privileges at air, land, and marine ports of entry. Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative a NEXUS card is approved as an alternative to the passport for travel into the U.S. by U.S. and Canadian Citizens.

The program allows pre-screened travellers expedited processing by U.S. and Canadian officials at designated car lanes and airport kiosks. Approved applicants are issued a photo-ID card with, radio frequency identification (RFID). Participants in the program can use any of the three modes of passage, where they present their NEXUS card and make a declaration.

NEXUS Eligibility

  • Canadian and U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • Canadian and U.S. citizens living outside of Canada or the U.S., who recently returned to either country, are now eligible;
  • Children under 18 require the consent of a parent or guardian and can be enrolled in the program even if their parents or guardians are not members.
  • Applicants may not qualify if they:

♦     Are inadmissible to Canada or the U.S. under applicable immigration laws;

♦     Intentionally provided false or incomplete information on their application;

♦     Have been convicted of a serious criminal offence in any country for which a pardon            has not been obtained; or

♦     Have a recorded violation of customs, immigration or agriculture law.

Applicants only need to submit a one time application with a one time fee and the membership is valid for five years. There is no fee for applicants under 18. Qualified applicants are required to travel to a NEXUS enrollment centre for an interview.

Nexus Benefits 

  • Receive expedited passage at NEXUS dedicated lanes, airport kiosks, and by a calling marine telephone reporting centers to report arrival into the U.S. and Canada;
  • Cross the border with minimum customs and immigration questioning;
  • Members can enjoy the benefits of Global Entry at no additional cost using the automated kiosks. However, they must submit to CBP fingerprints in order to access the Global Entry kiosks.

Comparison

  • Canadians are not eligible to join Global Entry but may have the benefits and privileges of both programs through NEXUS;
  • An enrollment fee of $50 for Nexus provides the benefits of both programs, however, the $100 cost of Global Entry provides no Nexus benefits;
  • Global Entry only works for entry into the U.S., and not for entry into Canada.

Conclusion

Although CBP continues to promote a significant country-by-country expansion of the Global Entry program, presently, it makes little sense for travellers eligible for NEXUS.

Finally, if an application is denied or membership revoked legal advice should be sought as reconsideration may be obtained.


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