How to use NEXUS to enter Canada
Your NEXUS card gives you faster entry to Canada by air, land and boat. At 9 designated airports, you may use NEXUS kiosks and eGates. You may use dedicated NEXUS lanes at 21 land border crossings and NEXUS eGates at select locations. You can also report to the CBSA at over 400 marine reporting sites across Canada.
On this page
- Your membership card and other travel documents
- Declaring goods
- Air: How to use NEXUS kiosks and eGates
- Land: How to use the NEXUS lane
- Marine: Contact the Telephone Reporting Centre
Your membership card and other travel documents
Before you use your NEXUS card, make sure that your card is activated. To activate your card, sign in to the Trusted Traveller Programs System and follow the instructions provided.
You may use your NEXUS card to enter Canada using:
- the dedicated NEXUS lane at land border crossings
- NEXUS kiosks and eGates at designated airports
- Telephone Reporting Centres when travelling by boat
Remember to always travel with your passport and/or proof of permanent residence in case you are required to prove your citizenship or permanent residence status.
Travelling with non-members
If you are travelling with non-members, you can’t use dedicated NEXUS lanes or NEXUS reporting procedures for the Telephone Reporting Centre. A non-member can’t accompany you through a NEXUS kiosk or eGate.
To use NEXUS, everyone accompanying you must also be a member, regardless of their age. As the driver or operator, you are responsible for making sure everyone in your vehicle or boat is a NEXUS member and is carrying their NEXUS card.
Travelling with children
If you share custody, you must present:
- the child’s NEXUS card
- copies of the appropriate custody documents
- a letter of permission from the absent parent or guardian
If you are not the child’s custodial parent or guardian, you must carry the child’s identification and a letter of permission from the parents or guardians. The permission letter must include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardians may be reached.
Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad
Travelling with pets
Most domestic pets are allowed through dedicated NEXUS lanes and NEXUS kiosks or eGates. You must have the pet’s valid rabies vaccination certificate. The rabies certificate must:
- be signed and dated by a veterinarian
- identify the animal by breed, age, sex, colouring and any distinguishing marks
- include the vaccine’s name, serial number and expiry date
Pet birds, prohibited animals and animals being used for a commercial purpose, such as racing or breeding, are not allowed in NEXUS lanes.
Visit Travelling with animals for more information.
As a NEXUS member, it is your responsibility to declare all goods that you have purchased, received as a gift or acquired while outside Canada. This includes currency information. For information on how to declare personal goods, visit I Declare (Canadian residents) or Visitors to Canada.
Restrictions on goods
You may not use NEXUS if you have (in your possession or baggage) any:
- commercial goods
- goods that may be restricted, controlled or prohibited
- goods requiring a permit, such as firearms
- CAN$10,000 or more of currency and/or monetary instruments
Commercial goods are goods brought into Canada for sale or for any commercial, industrial, occupational, institutional or other similar use. This includes samples, tools and warranty repair parts. Personal computers and similar items for your personal use while on a business trip are not considered commercial goods.
Third party goods
If you are transporting goods that are owned by someone you are not travelling with, you must:
- have the owner’s written permission to transport them on their behalf
- make an oral declaration
- provide related documents, such as receipts and invoices
- pay all applicable duties and taxes for the goods
Air: How to use NEXUS kiosks and eGates
You may use facial verification NEXUS kiosks or eGates to enter Canada from anywhere in the world. You may use the NEXUS kiosk with up to 4 other members. The process for using a NEXUS eGate is the same as for the NEXUS kiosk, except eGates process travellers one at a time. You may only use the NEXUS eGate if you are 16 years of age or older.
When using the NEXUS kiosk or eGate, you will be prompted to:
- select your language of choice
- indicate the number of travellers in your party (kiosk only)
- scan or tap your NEXUS card
- confirm your identity and personal information
- have your photo taken to confirm your identity
- collect your receipt
After collecting your receipt, you may go to the baggage claim. If you have something to declare, you must declare it to an officer after using the kiosk or eGate.
If the NEXUS kiosk or eGate can’t verify your identity, the kiosk will direct you to see an officer to have your identity verified.
If the NEXUS kiosk or eGate is closed, you may use the special services counter or crew counter. If you have your passport, you may also use a primary inspection kiosk (arrival kiosk).
Before leaving the customs hall, you must present your receipt to a border services officer. The officer will either direct you to enter Canada or proceed to an inspection area.
Note If you are a Mexican national, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada by air.
Uploading your passport photo
When using the NEXUS kiosk or eGate for the first time, you will be prompted to upload your passport photo. If you do not have your passport on your first passage, you can’t use the NEXUS kiosk or eGate and must have your identity verified by an officer. Your passport photo will be stored in CBSA systems to be used by the NEXUS kiosks and eGates for identity verification.
Members younger than 16 will not be prompted to upload their passport photo for facial verification.
If you would prefer not to use the arrival kiosk or eGate, you may use the special services counter.
The CBSA protects your personal information in accordance with Canada’s Privacy Act. The NEXUS kiosks and eGates are provided by the airport authorities, but they are built to CBSA standards and must be certified before they can be activated. No personal information is stored on the kiosks or eGates. The only information retained is stored securely on CBSA systems, in accordance with government information, privacy and security policies.
Land: How to use the NEXUS lane
To use the dedicated NEXUS lane:
- stop in front of the proximity card reader and hold your membership card in front of the reader
- proceed to the inspection booth for a visual inspection
If you are using a lane with a NEXUS eGate, you won’t be processed by a border officer inside the inspection booth. Instead, you will be processed by an officer inside the CBSA office. The officer will use a video camera for the visual inspection and an intercom to communicate with you.
The officer will either direct you to enter Canada or proceed to an inspection area.
Note You must be a NEXUS member to use the Whirlpool-Rapids Bridge between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. Refer to the U.S. Niagara Falls Bridge Commission website for more information.
Marine: Contact the Telephone Reporting Centre
The boat operator (the person in charge of the boat) is responsible for calling the Telephone Reporting Centre (the centre) at 1-866-99-NEXUS (1-866-996-3987). The operator must call the centre between 30 minutes and 4 hours before arriving in Canada. The operator will tell the centre officer:
- the registration number and/or the name of the boat
- the name and location of the landing site of arrival
- the estimated time of arrival
The operator will also report to the CBSA on behalf of all of the NEXUS members on board. There can be up to 29 NEXUS members, including captain and crew, on board. The operator must ensure that all the passengers have any documents required to provide proof of citizenship, permanent resident status, and/or immigration status. The operator must tell the officer each of the passengers’:
- full names
- dates of birth
- country of citizenship and/or permanent resident status
- passport and visa details if required
- destination, purpose of travel and length of stay in Canada
The operator is also responsible for declaring all goods being imported, including currency information.
As proof of presentation, the Telephone Reporting Centre officer will give the operator a report number for their records. They must provide this number to border officers if asked.
If a border officer is not waiting at the landing site to meet the boat at the estimated time of arrival, you may continue to your final destination.
For any questions you may have about using your NEXUS card, please contact us.
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