A NEXUS card is an electronically equipped piece of ID designed to speed up border crossings from Canada to the U.S. and vice versa. The program is jointly run by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Members of the NEXUS program typically avoid the long waits that can frequently occur at border entry points because of the handy self-serve kiosks at airports, reserved lanes at land crossings and when entering by water; a simple phone call to the relevant officials can expedite entry. The NEXUS card can also be used like a passport to cross back and forth into the United States or Canada.
I Have a Criminal Record, How do I Apply for a NEXUS Card?
Generally, applying and receiving a NEXUS card is no problem for low-risk, pre-approved travelers, but trying to get a NEXUS card with a criminal record can create a range of unexpected issues.
If you have a criminal record or were charged with a criminal offence that has been:
- Conditionally or absolutely discharged
You may not be able to obtain a NEXUS card.
Steps to Follow if You’re Refused Entry at the Border
In the past, you could pass through the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) by just answering a few questions about your citizenship and the purpose of your trip to the States, but 9-11 and the war on terror changed all that. U.S. immigration officers frequently ask for ID now as criminal record searches are commonplace.
Once your record is discovered, the immigration officer can quickly download your criminal record into the U.S. computer system. You will now have an FBI record and will be turned away from the border.
Pardons Canada can help you obtain a U.S. Entry Waiver. We can also take further steps to remove your criminal record from the Canadian database for good.
Steps to Follow if you Require a Waiver
At Pardons Canada, we understand the spot you are in. We are a resource for over 5,400 different government and community agencies and we have given hope and dignity to thousands of men and women who have made regrettable mistakes but are committed to turning their lives around. We also understand that sometimes – be it work or family commitments – you just have to cross that border. We can help you through the process of submitting fingerprints for law enforcement certification, preparing the application and gathering all other supporting documents that are needed.
The granting of waivers is entirely subjective. To put it bluntly, the better your application package is, the more likely your waiver will be approved. Why take the chance of guessing what should go in and what should be left out? Give us a call at 1 (877) 929-6011 to find out how we can help.
Approval from Both Governments
When you apply for a NEXUS card, both the Canadian and American governments must approve the application. Aside from having a criminal record that still shows up during a criminal record check, there are several reasons either government might deny your NEXUS application. These include issues with immigration laws, or including false information in your application. If you are unsure about what might come up when you are thoroughly checked out, do yourself a favour and allow Pardons Canada to help you through the process.
The Benefits of a Pardon / Record Suspension
It’s no secret that being part of the NEXUS program is convenient and will help with your travels to and from the United States. If you truly want peace of mind when filling out your application and you know there is something on your record that could prevent your approval, a pardon, now called a record suspension, is your best option.
At Pardons Canada, we specialize in helping people through the record suspension process. Receiving a record suspension from past charges means your criminal past won’t be available to American border officers when they run a check for your NEXUS application. A record suspension will help you find employment, rent an apartment, volunteer, and travel freely between Canada and the United States. Contact us today to learn more.