Am I Eligible for a NEXUS Card?

In order to be eligible for a NEXUS Card you:

  • must be a citizen of Canada or the United States of America and must be resident in either country, OR
  • must be a Permanent Resident of either country who has lived in their country of permanent residence for at least 3 years.

Additionally, you must:

  • be admissible to both the US and Canada under current immigration regulations;
  • have never been convicted of a serious crime;
  • have never violated Canada or US customs regulations;
  • complete the application honestly and accurately;
  • meet any other requirements of the NEXUS program.

 

Index

Status Requirements

You must either be a citizen of Canada or the USA or a permanent resident of either country in order to get a NEXUS card. You must have one of these statuses in addition to meeting the other requirements in order to be eligible.

 

Citizens of Canada and the United States of America

Citizens of the US and Canada must be residents of either country to apply. (A card will not be mailed to a mailing address outside of either country.) There used to be a 3 year residence requirement, but now you are only obligated to live in Canada or the US when you apply. Residing in any of the territories of the United States does not count as residing in the US.

 

Permanent Residents of Canada and the USA

If you are a permanent resident of either country, you are eligible to apply for a NEXUS Card if you have lived continuously in either the US or Canada for at least 3 years. If you would normally need a visa to visit either Canada or the USA, you will also need a visa to be eligible.

There is an exemption of the residence requirement for Permanent Residents if you meet one of the following exceptions:

  • You work for the federal government of either Canada or the United States of America and this work causes you to live or spend a lot of time abroad, or
  • You are a spouse of a Canadian or American citizen travelling for work abroad.

Please note: Just because you meet one of the above exceptions does not mean you will be granted membership. It just means that your residence requirement might be waived.

 

Temporary Residents: Visa holders and Work and Study Permit holders

If you have a visitor visa, a work permit or a study permit to either country, you must still meet the above status requirement.

Admissibility Requirements

Regardless of citizenship, you must be admissible to both Canada and the USA in order to be eligible for NEXUS membership.The two countries have different laws that govern admissibility of visitors and immigrants.

 

Admissibility to the United States of America

Canadian citizens and permanent residents could be inadmissible to the US (i.e. ineligible for a NEXUS Card and ineligible to enter the US) for one of the following reasons:

  • Health Related Grounds:
    • Communicable diseases of public health significance. This currently includes Class A Tuberculosis, Chancroid, Gonorrhea, Granuloma inguinale, Lymphogranuloma venereum, Syphilis, Leprosy or any other communicable disease as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
    • Refusal of required vaccinations
    • Physical or Mental Disorders and Associated Harmful Behaviours
  • Criminal and Related Violations:
    • Crimes involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offence).
    • A controlled substance violation according to the laws and regulations of any country or U.S. state.
    • Two or more summary convictions not including DUIs, Dangerous Driving or General Assault, or 1 Indictable conviction.
    • Prostitution and commercialized vice.
    • A serious criminal activity for which immunity from prosecution has been received.
  • Security and Related Violations:
    • spies, saboteurs or terrorists
    • voluntary members of Communist or other totalitarian parties
    • Nazis
    • Persons inadmissible under Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act have:
      • been involved in a current or past terrorist group
      • contributed finances to a current or past terrorist group
      • relatives whom are or have been involved in a current or past terrorist group
      • provided medical assistance to a past or current terrorist
      • been child soldiers, sex slaves, or trafficked persons forced to contribute to a current or past terrorist group
      • been forced to aid a past or current terrorist group
  • Illegal Entrants and Immigration Violators
  • Miscellaneous grounds:
  • practicing polygamists
  • guardians accompanying helpless aliens
  • International child abductors and relatives supporting abductors
  • Former U.S. citizens found by the Attorney General to have renounced citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation (the currently-unenforced Reed Amendment)

 

Admissibility to Canada

In order to be admissible to Canada, American citizens and permanent residents must not

  • be a security risk,
  • have committed human or international rights violations,
  • have been convicted of a crime, or you have committed an act outside Canada that would be a crime (see below),
  • have ties to organized crime,
  • have a serious health problem,
  • have a serious financial problem,
  • lied on any Canadian immigration application or during a Canadian immigration interview,
    have otherwise violated Canada’s immigration law, or
  • have immediate family members who are not allowed into Canada.

Canadian law differs from American law in that Canadian law often does not list specific cases but leaves interpretation open to the government official.

Criminal Record Requirements

In addition to being ineligible to enter either Canada or the US due to criminal convictions for serious offences, you are also ineligible for NEXUS membership if you have a criminal record, no matter how minor the crime.

If you have been pardoned for your conviction(s), or you have received a Record Suspension, you may be eligible to apply for a NEXUS Card. However, it is entirely on you to prove to both the CBSA and US CBP that you have overcome your criminal past and membership is granted entirely at the discretion of the officers reviewing your application.

Unfortunately, the only way to discover whether or not these agencies are willing to grant you NEXUS membership is to apply and risk refusal.

Customs Requirements

In order to be eligible for NEXUS membership, you must not have violated any customs regulations of either Canada or the United States. What this means is that even a small fine years ago could make you ineligible.

The NEXUS Card Application

At the interview, you will be asked questions to verify the truthfulness of your statements on the application. If it is discovered that information on your application is inaccurate, your application will be refused.

Learn more about the application.

Other Requirements

The NEXUS Card program is a privilege, not a right. CBSA or US CBP can deny you membership for any reason whatsoever. If an officer suspects you have not met one or more of the requirements, your application will be refused.

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