What happens if your NEXUS application is refused
If your NEXUS Card application is refused you have two choices if you still want a NEXUS Card:
Either choice may not get you a NEXUS Card. Of course, you can just accept that you are not eligible for a NEXUS Card as well.
Why NEXUS Card Applications are Refused
Usually, the reason for refusal is stated in your refusal letter (which you can access through the TTP website). However, the reason is not always stated and might be a vague statement such as you “don’t meet the program requirements.”
The main reason why a NEXUS Card application is refused is because of ineligibility. Canada (the Canada Border Services Agency or CBSA) and the US (US Customs and Border Protection or CBP) have slightly different standards for eligibility and you, the applicant, have to meet both. Many people apply without even knowing the eligibility standards. If you do not meet one or more of the criteria for eligibility, your application will be refused. Eligibility criteria cover the following areas:
- status in Canada and the United States
- admissibility to Canada and the United States
- criminal records and security issues
- customs infringements
If you do not meet one of these criteria, your application will be refused. But CBSA and CBP officers can also refuse your application at their discretion, if they believe you may not meet all the criteria.
Refusal for an Incomplete or Inconsistent Application
The next most common reason for a refusal is an incorrect application or inconsistencies between the application and the interview. You must not omit information on your application. If you accidentally or deliberately omit information on your application and you are caught, your application will be refused.
The same is true if there are inconsistencies between the information you provided in your application and the information you provide at the interview, including but not exclusive to
- discrepancies between your actual appearance and the appearance described in your application
- discrepancies between the documentation entered in your application (passport, driver’s license, birth certificate) and the documentation you bring to the interview
- discrepancies between the statements in your application and statements you make at the interview about your residence and employment history, including any proofs of residence or employment you bring to the interview
- discrepancies between your travel history listed in your application and statements you make about your travel history in the interview.
An inconsistency will not necessarily result in a refusal – for example, a typo in your driver’s license number may not automatically result in a refusal – but this is entirely at the discretion of the officer, meaning they have every right to reject your application because of a typo if they want to.
Other Reasons for Refusal
Your application may also be refused if you fail to comply with part of the application process. For example:
- If you fail to attend your interview or fail to even book an interview, your application will be refused.
- If you fail to provide the documentation listed on your application, your application will likely be refused.
- If your credit card cannot be charged successfully, your application will be refused.
These are just some examples.
Your application may be refused for an unknown reason as well.
Appealing the Refusal
Your country of residences determines which appeal process you lose. Note: There is no information publicly available on the success rates of appeals. Border Cards believes success rates for NEXUS Card appeals are very low.
Addressing Your Ineligibility
If you don’t want to appeal your refusal, you can address the reason(s) why you were refused.
|Area of ineligibility||What do to about it|
|Status in Canada and/or the US||If you are a temporary resident, you will need to become a permanent resident and reside in your country of permanent residence for at least three years
If you are a permanent resident who does not meet the residence requirements, you will either have to wait until you meet the residence requirements or become a citizen (which actually has a higher residence threshold)
If you are a citizen, but don't meet the residence requirement, you will have to move back to Canada or the USA in order to be eligible.
|Admissibility to Canada or the USA||You will have to resolve your inadmissibility. How you do this depends upon why you are inadmissible.
We recommend these Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants for help with inadmissibility to Canada.
|Criminal history||You will need to get a pardon (now called a 'record suspension' in Canada). Even with a pardon, you may not be approved.|
|Customs infringements||You will have to appeal the customs violation. If you cannot successfully appeal it, you may never be eligible for a NEXUS membership.|
|Discretionary refusal||If you are refused at the officer's discretion, and not because you clearly are ineligible, appealing the refusal is your only option.|