Ontario snowbirds who have been frustrated for several years in their attempts to be interviewed for their Nexus cards can now take advantage of a pilot project that has opened enrollment centres on both sides of the Thousand Islands bridge east of Kingston - and now, both sides of the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie and Buffalo, according to multiple news reports.
Nexus enrollment centres have been closed for over three years, first due to the pandemic and more recently due to a political dispute between the U.S. and Canada about sovereignty rights for the U.S. workers at the Canadian-side enrollment centres – including, but not restricted to, immunity from prosecution while working in Canada and the right to carry guns.
There is a huge backlog in excess of 300,000 applicants waiting for Nexus cards. Canadians who already had Nexus cards have been able to renew their cards electronically but new applicants - as well as those who allowed their NEXUS cards to expire - have to apply through the normal lengthy process.
The pilot project requires applicants to visit one enrollment centre on the Canadian side of the border and then another on the U.S. side for their interviews.
Hopefully, a more widespread, practical and permanent solution for processing NEXUS applications is on the horizon. The pilot project is far from ideal as it only services individuals in Ontario living in close proximity to the border crossings where pilot project enrollment centres are located.