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Canadian traveling to Alaska will a Nexus card do..


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Any fellow Canadians travelled to Alaska with just a Nexus card.. Will that do or do we need passport also. We live on the border of Canada /USA (Ontario/Michigan) and always cross with just Nexus..They even have faster crossing Nexus lines..thanks

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I think there was a thread recently about a woman from Canada who HAS a passport, decided to NOT bring it with her and her mom for a cruise ... and she was denied boarding. Her mother had all the correct documentation, but she wouldn't sail, understandably, without her daughter.

 

I 'think' she had the Nexus card you're referring to. SO, IMHO, if you HAVE a passport ... BRING it and Nexus and any other ID you might deem necessary. Better safe than sorry.

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JUst off the Star northbound on Saturday. You absolutely need your passport at the Port of Vancouver to clear US customs. There is a line for Nexus which was helpful as the regular line was huge but they still required your passport.

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I also would bring it now to be safe. We drove to Seattle last summer (crossed border with Nexus) and got on the ship no problem (no customs at ship embarkation and used Nexus number in Princess Cruise Personalizer). However when we got back to Seattle (closed loop 7 day cruise) when we walked off the ship and passed US customs at the port they almost didn’t let us ‘in’ with only our Nexus cards. It was ridiculous, as the previous poster’s link shows, and I fully believe this particular guard was mistaken, but I will always being the passport that goes with the Nexus Card now just to be safe. We them drove home and crossed the border into Canada again with Nexus.

 

We have previously boarded in Vancouver and passed US Customs to get on the ship using only Nexus and they had no problem with it at all. In fact there’s a separate line for people that have Nexus at the Vancouver port.

 

All in all it’s a good idea to have as much documentation as possible so you can take advantage of a faster (pre-cleared) service if it’s available and avoid possible long delays for any confusion along the way.

 

 

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I am a dual US/Canadian citizen with a Nexus Card. I always carry a Passport for Customs and Immigration when crossing either way. The Nexus is great for shorter lines but not a substitute for your Passport, which they told you when you applied.

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I can't imagine wanting to travel internationally and not simply getting and carrying a passport. To me it's a no-brainer. Always carry a passport and there will never be an issue.

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I don’t understand why people find excuses to NOT travel with a Passport. International travel requires Identification.

 

 

 

No one is trying to travel without identification. NEXUS is a WHTI compliant document which means it’s valid for customs identification when traveling to or through the US within the Western Hemisphere. You can’t get one without a valid passport and you go through an extensive security prescreening to get one. An argument can be made they are ‘better’ than a passport (for Canada/US travel) in this regard.

 

 

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Man, there's so much confusion about NEXUS! first, you do NOT need a passport to get one (citizenship of US or Canada plus background check means folks who don't have a passport can get NEXUS - US & Canadian permanent residents can also get one, who might have let their country of origin passports expire and obviously by definition do not have a US or Canadian passport). Eligibility criteria are found here.

 

If you DO have a passport, you can OPTIONALLY have NEXUS/Global Entry status added to that - this involves getting your iris scanned to use the special airport kiosks (I had to come back a second time to get this done as the machine to take the iris scans was busted - as it was again the next two times I came back - so I had my physical NEXUS card before I actually got the passport/iris scan done).

 

Second, it does 100% supplant a passport for land or sea crossings, despite many border agents being utterly clueless about anything that they don't see every day. Folks on land borders always know them - dedicated lanes or no they are relatively common among folks who live in border states/provinces - but ports? Especially Vancouver/Seattle who only work part of the year? Yes, of course you get the occasional agent who does not recognize and understand the non-passport WHTI docs. Calling in a supervisor will get this kind of thing resolved, but cause delays.

 

Back to OP - since you have passports, take the dang things! Even ignoring potentially ignorant border monkeys, if you get sick or injured and want to fly back home for medical treatment that won't bankrupt them, Alaskan airports almost certainly require a passport book to fly into Canada (you can fly NEXUS only, but only between airports with kiosks on certain airlines and I'm 99% certain that air travel from any minor US airport won't allow this option).

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Man, there's so much confusion about NEXUS! first, you do NOT need a passport to get one (citizenship of US or Canada plus background check means folks who don't have a passport can get NEXUS - US & Canadian permanent residents can also get one, who might have let their country of origin passports expire and obviously by definition do not have a US or Canadian passport). Eligibility criteria are found here.

 

If you DO have a passport, you can OPTIONALLY have NEXUS/Global Entry status added to that - this involves getting your iris scanned to use the special airport kiosks (I had to come back a second time to get this done as the machine to take the iris scans was busted - as it was again the next two times I came back - so I had my physical NEXUS card before I actually got the passport/iris scan done).

 

Second, it does 100% supplant a passport for land or sea crossings, despite many border agents being utterly clueless about anything that they don't see every day. Folks on land borders always know them - dedicated lanes or no they are relatively common among folks who live in border states/provinces - but ports? Especially Vancouver/Seattle who only work part of the year? Yes, of course you get the occasional agent who does not recognize and understand the non-passport WHTI docs. Calling in a supervisor will get this kind of thing resolved, but cause delays.

 

Back to OP - since you have passports, take the dang things! Even ignoring potentially ignorant border monkeys, if you get sick or injured and want to fly back home for medical treatment that won't bankrupt them, Alaskan airports almost certainly require a passport book to fly into Canada (you can fly NEXUS only, but only between airports with kiosks on certain airlines and I'm 99% certain that air travel from any minor US airport won't allow this option).

 

 

 

I stand corrected on the ‘have to have passport’ part to apply. We used ours as our ‘proof of citizenship’ because that was simplest & I guess I forgot there were other options....or that iris scanner melted a small part of my brain. ;)

 

NEXUS air is available at the major airports across Canada and the airline doesn’t matter. That’s where you clear customs, not when you board the plane, so the OP should be fine using NEXUS as long as they are going to one of them. Again...airline agents at check in may not understand the rules or may never have seen them & so may refuse you, even though you shouldn’t be.

 

If it doubt however, bring the passports and use whatever service gets you where you need to go quicker. It’s good to have options.

 

 

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NEXUS air is available at the major airports across Canada and the airline doesn’t matter.

It certainly shouldn't matter, but unfortunately the airline does matter. Just like with cruising, any transportation company can demand anything they like in the way of ID - as long as it's not LESS then what is required legally. Don't like their terms? Don't fly with them. On many fancy lines no passport = no cruise, even for itineraries that are RT a US port and don't need a passport at all legally.

 

Offhand I think the airlines I've checked if my NEXUS alone is good and been rejected by have been American, United, and Delta - even on a WJ codeshare using WJ planes they refused me boarding and pointed me to their terms & conditions of carriage where 'must have a passport' is the wording for flights to Canada, not 'must have WHTI-compliant identification.' In fact I think it's just Air Canada I've ever been allowed to do it with.

 

Given we do have passports, it's not an issue worth fighting with CEOs and corporate lawyers about to demand change - we can get back from PDX in an emergency with just NEXUS on AC flights should we ever need to do so faster than the ~6 hour drive, so we don't bother with passports when we're heading to the cottage but otherwise we take both, show NEXUS first and if we get pushback pull out our passports and suggest they go study up on the CBP website what NEXUS is for the future (e.g. domestic air travel in the US, where many gate agents have never seen a NEXUS card!)

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It should be a no-brainer that you bring your passports, even if you have NEXUS. NEXUS is NOT a substitute for passports. When traveling internationally, just bring the passports.

 

 

 

Don't put yourself into any risk of delays, arguments, denials, when traveling internationally.

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I was just filling in some of the forms on my Cruise Personalizer and in the Travel Documents sections it asks what document you will bring. The options are Enhanced Driver's License, Enhanced Non-Driver Identification, Fast Card, Nexus Card, Passport Book or Sentri Card and you can only choose one. I supposed that is just for clearance from the cruise line but you would think border agents, especially in border provinces/states would be very familiar with a Nexus card. I do have Nexus but only use it crossing the border on my weekly grocery shopping excursions or overnighting nearby but take my passport when actually travelling.

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  • 2 years later...
Posted (edited)

The NEXUS Card provides premium travel across the US-Canada border and gives you expedited entry back to Canada and the United States when you travel by air, land, or sea. You don't have to stand in line, show your passport, or answer a stream of questions from customs officers. https://nexus-card.com/apply-for-a-nexus-card.php valid for 5 years and available to Canadian and American citizens, as well as permanent residents of both countries. This is a very cool opportunity and I'm taking it. I visited many cities and got an incredible travel experience.

Edited by PippaScott
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bingobunny14 said:

I love my nexus. It will expire this year hopefully I can renew before oct

Last September I got an email about this - since enrolment centres are closed and won't reopen until the US-Canadian border does, obviously this impacts anyone renewing their card if they are required to do an interview. It explicitly said if you file for renewal you'll get up to 18 months added onto the current card to allow time for you to schedule an interview - and if the border closure continues I'd be surprised if they didn't further extend that timeframe.

 

If you aren't asked for an interview, your new card will come in the mail pretty quickly - with no new applicants being processed for any of the joint programs, and a general drop in travel, anecdotally it seems that processing times are actually faster than usual.

 

If you haven't been getting emails from CBSA and CBP, check your online profile to ensure your email account is up-to-date and then rootle through your spam folder! If there's no sign of any, the email Sender accounts I always see are:

 

donotreply@cbp.dhs.gov & ttppost-pvfpostes@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

 

Manually adding both of those to your address book should hopefully keep them from being flagged as Spam.

Edited by martincath
To avoid line-break in email address listed
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ty so much for this info. i am due in october and since it's my first time renewing i don't know if they will want an interview or not..when i went for this first one i got asked one question..do you normally wear glasses..i was in and out so fast..i think i have to start the renewal about 6 months before it expires do you know if i should apply now or is it too soon

 

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1 hour ago, bingobunny14 said:

ty so much for this info. i am due in october and since it's my first time renewing i don't know if they will want an interview or not..when i went for this first one i got asked one question..do you normally wear glasses..i was in and out so fast..i think i have to start the renewal about 6 months before it expires do you know if i should apply now or is it too soon

 

No worries - we've only renewed once ourselves so had similar concerns about timing, re-interview or not! If you're at the 6-months-to-expiry point I'd file the renewal right now - and the good news is that if you have not altered your circumstances or travel behaviour toward 'higher risk' the odds of an interview being needed are lower than they used to be. Of course they don't say how many folks are randomly selected for re-interview - but they did specify at least a year ago they were reducing the frequency of re-interviews for existing members who have maintained low risk behaviour.

 

If you had such a smooth experience applying, you obviously were not marginal candidates - as dual citizens of the UK, with a fair bit of foreign travel including some dodgy regimes by US standards, both my wife and I spent 10-15 minutes being grilled about our prior travels when we first applied. Obviously what we told them was good enough because we were accepted! Come renewal time we didn't get asked to come back in, our cards just arrived in the mail which was a very pleasant surprise.

 

Long story short, if you haven't been naughty in the last 5 years there should be a very slim chance of a truly random 'must get interviewed before renewal' situation occurring - but if you guys are near Windsor you're close to an office, so at least there's minimal logistical inconvenience for you. And whatever the increase in the typical delay for interviews caused by the border closure should be reflected in how much extra time your current cards get extended for.

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