Nexus











August 17, 2007


U.S. Customs & Border Protection now has an online application process for NEXUS enrollment.  For more information - see Online Application at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/goes/


Similarly, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) indicates that aplicants can now apply for a membership electronically, through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) by visiting the NEXUS website at www.nexus.gc.ca and clicking on Application - thence apply on line.


NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, approved travelers into Canada and the United States. In December 2006, the NEXUS program was harmonized and integrated into a single program. NEXUS members now have crossing privileges at any air, land, and marine ports of entry that supports the program by paying one fee.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are cooperating in this joint venture to simplify border crossings for members, while enhancing security.

 

To read a 9/15/07 news article from the Vancouver Sun - please click here.


To read a 10/3/07 news article from the Northern Light - please click here.


To read a 10/17/07 news article from the All Point Bulletin - please click here.


NEXUS  FEEDBACK  SECTION


NEXUS is a program that can serve to substantially alleviate border congestion and substantially reduce wait times and yet in the evolution of this project, it has not achieved anywhere near its volume potential in terms of participation. This can be attributed to a number of unknown factors for which additional information is required. One of the problems is the absence of an official appeal process for declined applications. We are interested in assembling input – the good, the bad and the ugly – and your participation is invited on a protected anonymous basis.


By clicking on the nexus feedback button below your detailed comments will be extracted – with your identify deleted – and your anonymous input will be circulated to a list-serve participation with the view that it will evolve into a public forum for official response and evaluation.


pace@pacebordertrade.org.


January 2, 2008


Cross Border Organization Supports Public Pressure to Improve NEXUS.


The Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council (PACE) was formed in 1989 as a non-profit, business organization to promote cross-border transactions and advocate the removal of barriers that impede the legitimate flow of people, goods and services across the Canada/USA border.


With the recent flood of NEXUS applications, both new and renewals, the bi-nationally managed low risk border crossing program has shown areas for improvement.


1. NEXUS needs an appeals process. The Blaine district used to have an ad hoc appeals process operated by local senior DHS officers. The procedure worked and was an example of local solutions to a national program. This has been discontinued in favor of a CBP Trusted Traveler Ombudsman US Customs and Border Protection at distant Williston, Vermont. The CBP Ombudsman office has no appeals mandate.


2. NEXUS needs a very clear set of rules. NEXUS is clear about its zero tolerance policy, however, zero tolerance without clear rules is arbitrary and unfair.


PACE dedicated a portion of its website to NEXUS issues including a forum for NEXUS aggrieved parties to share information. The intent of PACE is to advance the cause of improvements to NEXUS via forums and panel discussions with subsequent advocacy to responsible government officials.



Frequently Asked Questions about Nexus Integration


(08/21/2007)


Q: What is the new Web-based enrollment system for NEXUS?
A: The new online enrollment system allows NEXUS applicants to apply online from home, the office or any public-access computer, rather than presenting a hard copy of the application to an enrollment center. The Web-based enrollment system also is available for renewals effective August 13, 2007.
Q: How does the online application or renewal work?
A: An applicant logs onto an application system located on the Customs and Border Protection Web site at www.cbp.gov and navigates to the Global Online Enrollment System by clicking the “Trusted Traveler Program” icon under the “Travel” tab. A link is provided to the online NEXUS application. There is also a link, “On-Line Application for NEXUS and SENTRI” on the homepage on the right-hand side under “Quicklinks.” Once an applicant submits a completed application, CBP reviews it and sends a notification to the applicant’s account alerting the user of their conditional approval. The applicant is instructed to contact the nearest enrollment center for a final interview. Step-by-step instructions for the online application are included below. If the application is denied, the enrollment office will generate a letter outlining the reasons.
Q: What is the cost to apply to the NEXUS program?
A: The NEXUS fee is $50 for a new or renewal application, which can be paid by check, credit card or money order.
Q: What is the cost to replace a NEXUS card that is damaged, lost, or stolen?
A: The cost to replace a NEXUS card that is damaged, lost, or stolen is $25.
Q: What is the cost to replace a NEXUS card that is not working at the dedicated lanes?
A: There is no cost to replace a NEXUS card that is not working at the lane. The NEXUS member should contact the enrollment center to report that the card is not working. The enrollment center will ensure that card is replaced.
Q: At what age will an applicant be charged to apply to NEXUS?
A: All applicants 18 years of age and older are required to submit the non-refundable $50 fee to participate in the NEXUS program. Children 17 years and younger are required to submit an application at no cost.
Q: What are the benefits of this new Web-based enrollment system?
A:

The new Web-based enrollment system is fast, easy, accurate and eliminates filling out and presenting paperwork. It streamlines the application process and allows applicants to review the status of their application online, pay their fee online, and schedule an appointment at an enrollment center of their choice.


After admission to NEXUS, individuals will still be able to review their information, make any necessary changes and renew their membership. This system helps CBP officers accomplish their dual mission of securing the borders while facilitating trade and travel. CBP is constantly seeking cutting edge technologies to accomplish our border management needs, and leveraging the Internet is one method of streamlining the vetting and processing.


The system will pave the way for all trusted traveler programs to eventually have an online application process. In addition, it makes more consistent the various programs under the Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Q: Is online re-enrollment available for existing members when they re-apply?
A: Yes, this online enrollment system was designed for both new applicants and those reapplying for membership.
Q: What if I’ve already mailed in my paper application to the Canada Border Services Agency?
A: Because you have submitted the fee with your paper application, you will need to continue with the current processing of receiving a letter by mail to contact an enrollment center of your choice to schedule your appointment. Upon renewal, you will be able to apply online, submit your fee, and schedule an appointment.
Q: What if I don’t have a computer, or access to a computer?
A: Cyber cafes and public libraries typically offer online access for free, or a nominal fee. Check your local directory for information on libraries with computer access, or computer-service business close to you.
Q: How do I know the online payment site is legitimate?
A: CBP assures that all safeguards are in place to assure the safety and integrity of the payment site before the payment function becomes part of the online application. The payment function will run through an existing secure government Web payment system: Pay.gov. This site is used by many government agencies and commercial enterprises to help ensure a safe and secure payment method for multiple programs and purposes.
Q: When is the online enrollment system going into affect? When can I enroll?
A: The new Web-based system will be available August 13, and will be available to all new applicants, as well as those seeking to renew their NEXUS membership.
Q: What privacy protections are in place?
A: When an applicant logs onto the NEXUS Web site an identity manager software system will ask a series of identifying questions. This process is very similar to the cues given for any online banking or any Web site that utilizes payment services. CBP is using software developed by IBM that is accepted as the industry standard for computer database security. CBP is committed to ensuring the highest level of privacy protections are in place.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the NEXUS program?
A: Criteria for Eligibility: Individuals may qualify to participate in NEXUS if they are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada, residing in either country, or if they are a citizen of a country other than Canada or the United States who plan to temporarily reside lawfully in Canada or the United States for the term of their NEXUS membership and who pass an Interpol criminal history check. However, individuals may not qualify if they:
  • Are inadmissible to the United States or Canada under applicable immigration laws;
  • Provide false or incomplete information on their application;
  • Have been convicted of a criminal offense in any country for which they have not received a pardon;
  • Have been found in violation of customs or immigration law;
  • Will not lawfully reside in either Canada or the United States for the term of their NEXUS membership; or
  • Fail to meet other requirements of the NEXUS program.
To participate, both the United States and Canada must approve an individual's application. Denial of an application by either country will keep an individual from participating in the NEXUS program.
Q: Where can I go for more information?
A: Location of Enrollment Centers can be found on the NEXUS Program Description page. ( NEXUS Program Description )
Q: I made a mistake on my application and didn't notice until I had already submitted it. What should I do?
A:

Checking a wrong box or inadvertently filling in inaccurate information on your NEXUS application will not affect the status of your application. In most cases, these corrections can be made at the time of your appointment.


In some situations re-vetting may be necessary, but in most instances (for example, an incorrect email address) this will not affect your application.

Q: Where do I pay the NEXUS membership fee?
A: Fee payment will occur at the time you submit your on-line application. You will be prompted to make payment by credit card or through your checking account. If you submit a paper application to Canada Border Services Agency, a payment is required at the time the application is mail. After you've been conditionally approved, an update will be noted in your GOES account or a letter will be sent by mail instructing you to contact your local enrollment center for an appointment.
Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about my NEXUS application?
A: An applicant can either call the CBP Help Desk at 1-800-927-8729; Press 0 then Press 1. French-speaking applicants can call the CBSA Help Desk at 1-888-281-5778 or email CBSA at SGIL-AIDE@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Q: I received an error message when I sent an email to the GOES support email address. Did it go through?
A: The correct email address for GOES support help is goes.support@dhs.gov. Emails are getting through but be sure to send questions not answered above to goes.support@dhs.gov.
Q: What Is IBIS?
A: IBIS is the acronym for the Interagency Border Inspection System.
Q: Who Uses IBIS?
A: In addition to CBP, law enforcement and regulatory personnel from 20 other federal agencies or bureaus use IBIS. Some of these agencies are the FBI, Interpol, DEA, ATF, the IRS, the Coast Guard, the FAA, Secret Service and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, just to name a few. Also, information from IBIS is shared with the Department of State for use by Consular Officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
Q: What Does IBIS Provide?
A: IBIS assists the majority of the traveling public with the expeditious clearance at ports of entry while allowing the border enforcement agencies to focus their limited resources on those potential non-compliant travelers. IBIS provides the law enforcement community with access to computer-based enforcement files of common interest. It also provides access to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and allows its users to interface with all fifty states via the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems (NLETS).
Q: Where Is IBIS?
A: IBIS resides on the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS) at the CBP Data Center. Field level access is provided by an IBIS network with more than 24,000 computer terminals. These terminals are located at air, land, and sea ports of entry.
Q: What Information Is in IBIS?
A: IBIS keeps track of information on suspect individuals, businesses, vehicles, aircraft, and vessels. IBIS terminals can also be used to access NCIC records on wanted persons, stolen vehicles, vessels or firearms, license information, criminal histories, and previous Federal inspections. The information is used to assist law enforcement and regulatory personnel.
Q: Additional Questions?
A: Any concerns you may have as an international traveler or importer about the use or application of IBIS may be addressed to:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Freedom of Information Act/
Customer Satisfaction Unit
Room 5.5 C
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20229

How To Renew Your NEXUS Membership


(08/15/2007) NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, approved travelers into Canada and the United States. In December 2006, the NEXUS program was harmonized and integrated into a single program. NEXUS members now have crossing privileges at any air, land, and marine ports of entry that supports the program by paying one fee.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are cooperating in this joint venture to simplify border crossings for members, while enhancing security.


Many NEXUS member’s enrollment will begin expiring in June 2007. CBP and CBSA are asking that the NEXUS members begin their application renewal 90 days prior to the expiration date. To continue their membership in the program, he or she must:

  • Submit an application and go through a registration process;
  • Satisfy the eligibility criteria;
  • Be admissible in Canada and the United States; and
  • Pass risk assessments by both countries.

A member may apply using the on-line application in the Global On-Line Enrollment System (GOES) at www.cbp.gov, Travel, Trusted Traveler Programs, or submit their application to one of the Canadian Processing Centers (CPC), along with photocopies of their supporting documentation and the application-processing fee. The CPCs are as follow:


NEXUS Program
28 176th Street
Surrey, BC V3S 9R9
CANADA


NEXUS Program
P.O. Box 126
Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6T1
CANADA


NEXUS Program
400 Place Youville
Montreal, QC H2Y 2C2
CANADA


The application-processing fee of US$50 or CAN$80 is non-refundable per applicant. The membership will be valid for another five years. Children under the age of 18 must also apply but, if eligible, are admitted to the program free of charge. For more information regarding the program requirements, please visit the CBP website. ( NEXUS Program )


When the applicant receives a letter by mail or in their GOES account advising them of their conditional approval, he or she will have 30 days to schedule an interview at an enrollment center of their choice to finalize enrollment. To use NEXUS in the Canadian airports, an applicant must travel to an enrollment center to have their iris captured giving him or her access to the airport kiosks to report their arrival into the US or Canada. To have your iris captured, you can travel to the Canadian airports in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, or Halifax. To contact an airport enrollment center, please visit the CBP website. ( NEXUS Program Description ) NEXUS will be expanded to Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg by September 2007.


Subject: GOES Help Line


1-800-927-8729


All older nexus enrollees will need to phone the above # because they need to get their nexus member # (which is not on the back of older nexus cards) contrary to Goes enrollment information


Trusted Traveler Program Denials


(07/11/2007) To qualify for one of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Programs, all applicants must voluntarily undergo a thorough background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, agriculture, and terrorist indices to include biometric fingerprint checks, and a personal interview with a CBP Officer.


In the event you are denied or revoked from the SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST programs, you will be provided information in writing detailing the reason for this action. The letter will also contain guidance on how to seek additional information, if necessary.


Although there is no formal appeals process to contest this decision, if you feel the decision was based upon inaccurate information, you may contact the local trusted traveler Enrollment Center to schedule an appointment to speak with a supervisor. A list of locations can be found on the Frequent Traveler Programs web site. (Trusted Traveler Programs )


If necessary, you may also write to the CBP Trusted Traveler Ombudsman at:


US Customs and Border Protection
300 Interstate Corporate Center
Suite 303
Williston, VT 05495
Attention: CBP Ombudsman


Calls to the Enrollment Centers or correspondence to the Trusted Traveler Ombudsman should contain supporting information that can demonstrate the denial or revocation was based on inaccurate information. Having a criminal record or past violation of CBP laws/regulations/policies will render you ineligible for participation in the NEXUS and SENTRI programs. These programs have strict criteria for participation. For further information on qualifications please see the Frequent Traveler Programs web site, or contact your nearest local Enrollment Center. ( Trusted Traveler Programs )


You also have a right to view records that CBP may have on you. You may seek copies pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), by writing to:


U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office of Field Operations
FOIA/Customer Satisfaction Unit, Room 5.5-C
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20229


You should not use the FOIA address to seek an appeal, explanation or review of your application. This address must only to be used to request copies of the information CBP may have on file.


Please be advised that CBP often relies on data from other agencies (i.e. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Agency) and your denial or revocation may have been based upon those records. In order to view records that may be on file with another agency, you will need to contact them directly.


There are exemptions that regulate CBP from divulging another agency’s records. These exemptions include: Inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums of letters which would not be available by law to a party in litigation with the agency, investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, records or information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, information that may reveal a confidential source, or information that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, and records that would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.


For additional information on the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS), please refer to the IBIS Fact Sheet. ( Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) Fact Sheet )