Each day we get a number of calls or emails from people who are shocked to find out that the Americans know about their criminal charges even though in most cases, the charges were either withdrawn, dismissed, stayed, absolute or conditionally discharged.
A criminal check done by NEXUS will indeed turn up any criminal activity regardless of whether you have been found guilty or not. So long as you have been fingerprinted for a criminal charge, your NEXUS application will be rejected.
If your NEXUS application has been rejected, then you will need to provide the Americans with sufficient evidence that the criminal charges were dismissed, withdrawn, stayed, conditional or absolute discharged and then they may consider allowing the application in certain situations.
The best idea is to apply for a file destruction prior to applying for your NEXUS so that the Americans will not see that you have been in trouble with the police in the past.
If you have been denied entry to the US, then you will need a US Entry Waiver (I-194) to return to the US.
Here is a recent article highlighting the challenges of NEXUS, entitle “Fast lane NEXUS users pulling fast ones at Canada-US Border:
WINDSOR, Ont. — Every six days, on average, someone enrolled in Nexus is kicked out of the program after being caught trying to smuggle goods into Windsor, Ont., according to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Last year, 78 violations were recorded among cardholders entering Windsor at the bridge or tunnel, and 62 members were ejected from the Nexus program following seizures of undeclared goods. The binational program is designed to speed border crossings for “low-risk” travellers.
Nationwide, 250 Nexus violations were registered in 2010, said CBSA spokeswoman Esme Bailey. That means almost one-third of the detected Nexus violators were nabbed in Windsor.
Nexus cardholders, approved for expedited customs procedures, were caught in 2010 trying to illegally cross the border with everything from a boat and expensive jewelry to a mounted set of new tires, shoes, cigarettes and bottles of beer.
For some, the Nexus program is seen as “a licence to smuggle,” said Bill Anderson, Ontario research chairman of cross-border transportation border policy at the University of Windsor. The “very unfortunate” consequence that he’s hearing from Nexus members is that they’re being subjected more often to closer inspections, he added.
“Obviously, the only way they’re getting caught is because of secondary inspection . . . it’s a shame, because it’s going to devalue (the program) a little bit,” said Anderson.
Authorities on both sides of the border emphasize that only a tiny proportion of members breaks the rules.
Bailey said in an email that the 250 violations represent only 0.007 per cent of the nearly four million Nexus entries into Canada by air and land in 2010.
There were 683,309 such Nexus passages via the Windsor bridge and tunnel in 2010, Bailey said.
Mitch Jula, a systems analyst who commutes daily from his Windsor-area home to his job at Diadem Precision Technology in Troy, Michigan, estimates it takes him about half the time to cross the bridge using a Nexus lane. He said he’s pulled over three or four times a year for random secondary inspection while using Nexus.
Begun a decade ago by the Canadian and U.S. governments, the Nexus program has more than 500,000 members with the aim of increasing that to more than 800,000 by 2015.
Applicants must undergo background checks, including proof of a clean criminal record, a face-to-face interview and fingerprinting. Chief Ron Smith of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said member information is constantly updated through government criminal, customs and immigration computer databases.
“We gave you a way to expedite your crossing and you failed to obey the rules,” he said of those who lost the “privilege” of Nexus membership.
“We’ve even had a couple instances of (Nexus members) smuggling people and drugs,” said Smith.
Because of the low number of transgressions, Smith said the issue is “not something real hard on our radar” and that Nexus users can continue to expect “minimal” random inspections.
But for those who are caught and lose their Nexus cards, expect to be “looked at a little more carefully” in future border crossings using the regular lanes, he said.
The average interaction with a customs officer at the border is about a minute in the regular lanes and half that in the Nexus lanes, said Smith. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it quickly adds up when multiplied by all the vehicles in front of you during busy times, he said.
Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Fast+lane+Nexus+users+pulling+fast+ones+Canada+border/5127664/story.html#ixzz1SrG59ZuL