Nexus Pass

Last modified on March 16th, 2009

About a week ago I went through the formal interview process for my Nexus Border pass. Other than when my friend Dan has been working at YVR, I can’t really remember many times I’ve crossed the border where I didn’t feel the border guard was excessively rude. Maybe it’s because I always cross the border alone, or maybe there’s something weird flagged on my account, but I always seem to get the nth degree.

The interview process was fairly straightforward, until of course they asked if I wanted the card for business or pleasure. I said that while it was primarily for pleasure, I would probably do the odd business trip to meet clients and what not (something I’ve done with every company I’ve ever worked with, especially down in the Bay Area). Of course, that response raised a bunch of flags, and before I knew it I was knee deep in providing BraveNewCode information. The guy made me produce business cards, incorporation information, and seemed to consistently go back to questioning about how I got paid (he couldn’t seem to accept that I could simply write myself cheques).

The guy then asked for me to prove that I lived at my current (Chilliwack) address, so I showed him my driver’s license, which wasn’t good enough for him (apparently they can be faked). I then rummaged through my laptop bag, eventually finding a Roger’s bill addressed to my Chilliwack address. When I showed it to him, he got upset that I didn’t produce it originally, even though I really had no idea I was to bring something of that nature.

The second part of the interview was with a Canadian official, and by comparison, was far more relaxed (she actually smiled and, you know, said please and thank you and stuff). I had my retina scan, and eventually left to go have a few beers with Jay.

My physical Nexus card arrived in the mail today, and unfortunately for me, it seems to have the wrong address associated with it (thank Canada Post for somehow rerouting it to my correct address). Ultimately that means I have to somehow get in touch with US Customs and try to change my address with them, which is something I’m not looking forward to in the least.

8 responses to “Nexus Pass”

  1. I always find it entertaining how a drivers license can be faked but a paper bill from a random company couldn’t be.

  2. Damon says:

    I got a Nexus pass and find that everytime I travel on business, I don’t get hassled. This is in contrast to before I had it and would consistently be pulled into the back room for further questioning, which is not the most pleasant experience!

  3. Margaret says:

    I have a Nexus Pass too and it works great both ways. Updating your info is really easy. You can drop by YVR, head over to the US Nexus office, put your name on the list as an “update”, and then wait to be called on a first-come first-serve basis. It usually doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes.

  4. Dalton says:

    After reading the original story, I wonder what it’s going to be like for me. I am getting a NEXUS soon since now they are quickly replacing a passport, are cheaper than a passport by like 35 bucks and speed things up at the border. A number of my family and friends now have theirs, and they all said they had no problems with the interviews with Customs officials. Maybe now with the passport deadline looming, they have relaxed their stance on people using NEXUS for pleasure.

  5. Margaret says:

    Dalton: Canada and US Customs still need to see your valid passport to give you a Nexus card – and you have to travel with both (your passport and Nexus card) when you cross the border. Good luck!

  6. Bob says:

    Unfortunately, the NEXUS lineup’s into the USA, are now often much longer than the regular lineups. US customs has obviously changed their approach. The Peace Arch crossing is especially bad and is only a problem going into the USA. Nexus into Canada works as it should…

  7. Duane Storey says:

    Wow, if that’s the case I’m going to be mighty choked.

  8. Jill says:

    I recently took my 3 month old son for his interview at YVR. The US agent asked if he’d been in trouble with the law or if he’d had any involvement in illicit drugs such as crack cocaine or marijuana. I replied, “No, sir,” and kind of smiled thinking to myself surely he’s kidding…until he stared me down and asked if I thought it was funny. I sat up straight, stopped smiling and replied, “No, sir.” Yikes! Talk about no sense of humour!

    (If you’re interested in my first visit to the YVR NEXUS with my little one, check out my blog, the entry was in the beginning of June. That was a gong show).

    Also, regarding the passport rules…entry into the US is permitted with a NEXUS card and FOR NOW you don’t need a passport but this is likely to change. When you come back to Canada, though, you must have proof of citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate.

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