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NEXUS Interview

The NEXUS interview varies between enrollment centers and the nature of the border guard conducting the interview. Many applicants have likened it to clearing customs at the airport. NEXUS interviews last 30 minutes; they take place at the NEXUS Enrollment Center of your choice. Applicants are interviewed by a Canada Border Services Agency officer and again by a Customs and Border Protection officer from the United States. When attending your NEXUS interview, make sure you have clear directions to the Enrollment Center and leave enough time to find the building where the interview will take place; some NEXUS offices are not very well marked.

Supporting Documents

The documents you actually need to present at the NEXUS interview really do vary between interview locations and the NEXUS officer conducting the interview. Some NEXUS applicants had to show all documents whilst others were only asked for a Driver license and passport; some have reported that the officer in the NEXUS interview kiosk next to them asked for different documents to his colleague.

You should take the following supporting documents to your NEXUS interview:

Passport, Birth Certificate, Permanent Resident Card, US or Canadian Visas – any document listed on your application, which were used
  to verify that you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
Vehicle title registration papers for all vehicles you intend to use to cross the border – the make and license plate numbers will be
  entered onto your NEXUS file and you will not be able to cross in any other vehicle
Utility bills, etc proving your current address
Driver license
NEXUS conditional approval letter. NCS will send this with confirmation of your interview date and time.

NEXUS Family Interviews

The Canadian and American border authorities are very concerned about minimizing child abductions. If you are applying as a family it is vital that you all attend on the same day and time. If you schedule your interview online you will have to make a separate interview appointment for every member of the family, even though you will all be seen together. If you are applying for a child NEXUS application only, both parents should attend the interview with the child or if only one parent attends, he / she must have a letter from the other parent authorizing travel with only one parent. Even infant NEXUS applicants have to attend an interview.

NEXUS Interview Questions

At your NEXUS interview you will be asked many of the questions that you have answered on your NEXUS application form. Whilst this is frustrating you should answer the NEXUS interview questions politely and truthfully. The questions asked at the NEXUS interview are straightforward. Frequently asked questions at the NEXUS interview are:

“Why do you want the Nexus card?” 
“How often do you plan to use the NEXUS pass?”
“Where do you think you will travel to in Canada /the States?”
“Do you still live at this address?”
“Were you always known as [your name]?”
“Do you realize there are restrictions to holding the NEXUS card?” You can answer “No” because the NEXUS program will be explained to you.
“Have there been any changes since your application?” This means things like a new address or recent criminal charges; there is no point in lying because both countries’ customs officials have access to your criminal record.

More obscure questions which have been asked revolve around criminal records and behavior:

“Have you ever taken drugs?” This means that you may not have a criminal record for drug taking but by answering “Yes”’ you will be denied; One Nexus applicant was denied NEXUS because she was asked about her pot smoking habits and she said she had smoked pot 17 times. 

Rules of the NEXUS Program

After the questions, the interviewing officer will explain the rules of the NEXUS program and give each NEXUS card member a booklet that explains you what you can and can’t bring into each country under the Canada Nexus program. Traveling with forbidden goods like fruit and meat will lead to immediate confiscation of your NEXUS card if you are caught. You will be unable to re-apply for NEXUS because your status as a trusted traveler will have been jeopardized.

NEXUS interviewing officers specifically warn you that everyone traveling in the car must have a Nexus card. You will also be warned that if you have non-Nexus passengers in the car and you drop them off at the border to walk across, you will have your Canada Nexus card revoked on the spot; border service officials on both sides do not want pedestrians walking through the traffic approaching the border.

NEXUS Biometric Data

Your biometric data will be taken for storage on your Canada NEXUS pass; you will be fingerprinted and photographed using a low quality web cam. If you want to use your NEXUS pass for air travel you must have an iris scan; only the following NEXUS interview locations in Canada have the iris scanning facility:

Vancouver Downtown
Vancouver International Airport
Fort Erie, Ontario
Woodstock, New Brunswick
Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport
Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Toronto Pearson International Airport
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
Calgary International Airport
Edmonton International Airport

Nexus Card Final Approval

Final approval for your Canada NEXUS card will be given at the interview. Most people who make it to the conditional approval stage qualify for their NEXUS card, but this is not guaranteed. You will receive your NEXUS card in the mail 7 to 10 days later; they are sent out from the NEXUS HQ in Vermont. Some NEXUS cards get lost in the mail whilst others are simply not sent out because the Nexus officer forgot to forward your application to NEXUS HQ. Your NEXUS card will arrive with a set of instructions explaining how to activate it online. The card is then valid for 5 years.

NCS does not guarantee approval for any Trusted Traveler program. Inaccurate or incomplete NEXUS pass application forms are automatically denied access to the NEXUS cards program.

Questions about NEXUS Card? Read our FAQs