Nexus application fee increasing to $120 US at beginning of October

The cost to apply for the Nexus trusted-traveller program will increase from $50 US to $120 US on Oct. 1 of this year, the federal government announced Tuesday.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says the current $50 fee was set two decades ago and no longer covers the cost of the program.

“The new fee would reflect more accurately the cost of administrating the program and the investment required for future program improvements, including technology and infrastructure enhancements,” the agency said in a press release.

The Nexus program, which eases the flow of people across the Canada-U.S. border, fully reopened in Canada last year following a year-long standoff between Ottawa and Washington over U.S. agents’ right to carry guns on Canadian soil.

A compromise was reached that allowed Canadian border agents to interview Nexus applicants separately from U.S. agents at eight Canadian airports, rather than together as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the CBSA says it has received over half a million applications and noted that the fee increase will help the agency keep up with that demand.

The CBSA said it anticipates a rise in applications ahead of the Oct. 1 fee increase and is encouraging applicants to book an interview as soon as possible.

U.S. has been calling for a fee increase

The current $50 Nexus fee is significantly lower than fees for two other pre-clearance traveller programs operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The U.S. signalled in 2020 that it would be making regulatory changes to harmonize the application fees of all three programs.

The CBP echoed the CBSA’s comments about the need for a Nexus fee increase in its own press release on Tuesday.

“As these programs have matured and expanded, updating the fee structures is critical to the continuation and management of the programs,” the statement said.

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