Am I Eligible for a NEXUS Card?

Nexus Membership Eligibility

Basic Eligibility

  • Acitizen of Canada or the United States of America and you must be a resident of either country; non-resident citizens cannot get NEXUS Cards. OR
  • A Permanent Resident of Canada or the United States of American AND you must have lived in the country you are a permanent resident in for no less than 3 years.

Additional Requirements

In order to successfully apply for a NEXUS Card, you must meet more requirements than citizenship or permanent residence in one of the two participating countries.
You must also meet the below requirements.
  • You be "admissible" to both the US and Canada under current immigration regulations;
  • You must have never been convicted of a crime (an indictable offence in Canada, or a felony in the US);
  • You have never violated Canada or US customs regulations;
  • You must complete the application honestly and accurately - ommissions may result in a refusal;
  • You must meet any other requirements of the NEXUS program, which can change at any time.
For more details about these requirements, continue reading below.


Citizenship and Residence Requirements

To be eligible for a NEXUS Card, you must be a citizen of either Canada or the USA, or, if you are not a citizen, you may still be eligible if you are a permanent resident of either country. However, citizenship or permanent residence alone will not make you eligible, you must meet the other requirements of the program as well.

Citizens of Canada and the United States of America

Citizens must be residents. A Canadian citizen can live in either Canada or the USA and still be eligible and the same goes for an American citizen. Your NEXUS card will not be mailed to a mailing address outside of either country. You will also be unable to complete the address portion of the GOES application if your residence is outside of both countries.
Note: Territories of the United States do not count as residing in the US. This means you are not eligible for a NEXUS Card if you live in one of the following territories, regardless of citizenship:
  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Minor Outlying Islands

American or Canadian Permanent Residents

If you are a permanent resident the USA (a green card holder) or Canada (PR Card holder), you may be eligible to apply for a NEXUS Card. You must have lived continuously in the US or Canada (the country you are a permanent resident of) for at least 3 years.
If you are a national of a country that would normally require a visa to visit the country you are not a permanent resident of, then you will also need a visa to get your NEXUS Card. For Example: A permanent resident of Canada who is an Indian citizen and who has lived in Canada continuously for 3 years would still need a US non-immigrant visa to be eligible for a NEXUS Card.

There is an exception to the residence requirement. You may still be eligible if you do not meet the residence requirement if one of the following situations applies to you:
  • You work for the federal government of either Canada or the United States of America and this work causes you travel abroad to the extent that you do not live continuously in either country, OR
  • You are married to a Canadian or American citizen who is required by work to travel abroad and you accompany them; as a result you do not live continuously in either country.
Even if you meet one of the above conditions, this does not, in itself, mean you will be approved for a NEXUS Card.

Visa Holders and other Temporary Residents

You must have permanent resident status or citizenship in one or both countries to be eligible. No exceptions.

Download NEXUS Application

Admissibility Requirements

Even if you are eligible for a NEXUS Card because you are a citizen or permanent resident, you still must be admissible to both countries.

Admissibility to the United States of America

Canadian citizens and permanent residents must admissible to the USA in order to get a NEXUS Card. You could be inadmissible for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Health Related Reasons:
    • Communicable diseases deemed to be "of public health significance." As of July 2016, the list includes Class A Tuberculosis, Chancroid, Gonorrhea, Granuloma inguinale, Lymphogranuloma venereum, Syphilis, and Leprosy but could also include any other communicable disease as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, without prior notice.
    • Refusal to get required vaccinations
    • Physical or Mental Disorders and Associated Harmful Behaviors - this one is unfortunately discretionary.
  • Criminal Record and related reasons:
    • Crimes involving "moral turpitude" - "moral turpitude" is the US concept for particularly serious criminal offences.
    • A controlled substance (i.e. drug) violation according to the laws and regulations of any country or U.S. state.
    • Two or more summary convictions (i.e. misdemeanors) not including DUIs, Dangerous Driving or General Assault, or 1 Indictable (i.e. felony) conviction.
    • Prostitution or commercialized vice.
    • A serious criminal activity for which immunity from prosecution has been received.
  • Security and Related Reasons:
    • Spies, saboteurs or terrorists
    • Voluntary members of Communist or other totalitarian parties
    • Nazis
    • You may be inadmissible under Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act if you have:
      • been involved in a current or past terrorist group
      • contributed finances to a current or past terrorist group
      • relatives whom are or have been involved in a current or past terrorist group
      • provided medical assistance to a past or current terrorist
      • been child soldiers, sex slaves, or trafficked persons forced to contribute to a current or past terrorist group
      • been forced to aid a past or current terrorist group
  • Illegal Immigrations and other Violators of US Immigration Laws
  • Miscellaneous grounds:
  • Practicing polygamists
  • Guardians accompanying helpless aliens (i.e. a parent who kidnaps their child from the other parent)
  • International child abductors and relatives supporting abductors
  • Former U.S. citizens found by the Attorney General to have renounced citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation.

Admissibility to Canada

In order to be eligible for the NEXUS Card program, American citizens and permanent residents must be admissible to Canada. This means you must not
  • be a security risk,
  • have committed human or international rights violations,
  • have been convicted of a crime, or you have committed an act outside Canada that would be a crime (see below),
  • have ties to organized crime,
  • have a serious health problem,
  • have a serious financial problem,
  • lied on any Canadian immigration application or during a Canadian immigration interview, have otherwise violated Canada's immigration law, or
  • have immediate family members who are not allowed into Canada for one of the above reasons.
Canadian law is different from American law in that it sets general guidelines and allows government officials to make judgment calls, so there are no more specifics.

Download NEXUS Application

Criminal Record Requirements

In addition to being ineligible to enter either Canada or the US due to criminal convictions for certain types of offences and convictions, you are also generally ineligible for NEXUS membership if you have a criminal record at all, no matter how minor the crime or how long ago you were convicted.
If you have been pardoned for your conviction(s), or you have received a Record Suspension (the new name of a Pardon in Canada), you may be eligible for a NEXUS Card after all. However, the burden is on you to prove you are "rehabilitated" to the satisfaction of both the CBSA and US CBP. NEXUS membership is granted or denifed entirely at the discretion of the officers reviewing your application. There is an appeal process but it is a lot of hassle.
If the crime is minor enough, you might be approved without a pardon if the crime was far enough in the past.
Unfortunately, the only way to discover whether you will be granted NEXUS membership is to apply and risk refusal.

Download NEXUS Application

Customs Requirements

In order to be eligible for a NEXUS Card, you must have clean customs record when traveling into Canada or the United States. What this means is that even a small fine years ago could potentially make you ineligible.

Download NEXUS Application

The NEXUS Card Application

When you attend your interview, you will be asked questions to verify the truthfulness of your statements on the application. If it is discovered that information on your application is inaccurate, your application will be refused.
You will also be required to produce the documentation you listed in your application, and provide additional documentation to support your statements. If there is a discrepancy between your application and the documentation, your application may be refused.
Have a look at the application questions.

Download NEXUS Application

Other Requirements

The NEXUS Card program is a privilege, not a right. CBSA or US CBP can deny you membership for any reason whatsoever. If an officer even suspects you have not met one or more of the requirements, your application will be refused.


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