The USA and Canada are neighboring countries, with millions of people passing through the borders from one country to the other every year. A lot of travelers want to explore beautiful sights and experience new cultures, while there are also those who travel for work and commercial purposes. Nonetheless, no matter what type of travels we’re talking about, one thing is a fact – waiting at the border is often a nightmare.
Despite how excited you may be for your upcoming journey, the reality is that you’re highly likely to be forced to wait in long lines, go through a range of background checks, and experience time-consuming processes. But is all of that necessary? Especially if you travel between these two countries frequently?
Well, not necessarily.
The USA and Canada have taken into consideration the sheer number of US and Canadian citizens passing through their borders. To make traveling between the two countries easier and less stressful, they’ve created two outstanding opportunities – the NEXUS Card and the FAST program.
Before you organize your next trip, you’ll definitely want to know about these and potentially exploit their benefits.
Let’s see what they’re all about.
What’s a NEXUS card?
A NEXUS card is a special identification card that allows people to travel between the United States and Canada more easily. It can also be used as a form of identification when traveling. In other words, your NEXUS card can substitute the need to present a passport at the border. Being part of the NEXUS Trusted Traveler program and owning a card is extremely suitable for individuals who frequently travel between the USA and Canada.
The NEXUS card allows border agencies in the USA and Canada to prioritize their efforts on checking higher-risk travelers and goods at borders. This makes border crossing simpler and faster for NEXUS card owners. To get a NEXUS card, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of either the United States or Canada and meet certain other requirements.
There are many benefits of having a NEXUS card, such as shorter lines at the border and faster processing times. Here are the main advantages that NEXUS card owners can enjoy:
- Access to special self-service kiosks when leaving specific international airports
- Access to special security lines at domestic airports
- Access to global entry kiosks at airports in the USA
- Designated NEXUS-only lanes at Niagara Falls
- Easier entry processes via specialized lanes at nearly 20 land border crossings
- Quicker clearance via airport security
While NEXUS cards are ideal for ordinary citizens, the FAST program is designed to cater to the needs of commercial travelers or commercial truck drivers.
What’s the FAST program?
A FAST program is a trusted traveler program that provides an expedited clearance process for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. A FAST program is useful for people businesses trading between the USA and Canada, as well as Mexico. The program is created specifically for commercial carriers who enter and exit the USA from Canada or Mexico.
The benefits of a FAST program include shorter wait times and fewer questions when crossing the border. This allows for the quicker transportation of goods into the United States by relying on specialized FAST lanes. The customs processing for Commercial Truck Drivers is also much easier and quicker when the professional is part of the FAST program.
To apply for a FAST program, applicants must provide personal information, such as their name, date of birth, and passport number. They must also answer questions about their criminal history and travel plans. Eligible travelers are then issued a FAST card, which allows them to bypass the regular border inspection process.
As you can see, traveling between these two countries doesn’t have to be centered around the standard, lengthy process of border control, checks, and questioning. If you’re a regular traveler between the USA and Canada and are a citizen of either country, you can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the NEXUS card and the FAST program. We hope we’ve managed to introduce you to these amazing options and have inspired you to do some further research on how to become part of the programs.
Enjoy quicker travels and zero stress!