On October 25, 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced the next step in the modernization of the way NEXUS members are processed at airports, including the introduction and utilization of facial-recognition technology.
Established in 2000 as a joint effort by CBP and CBSA, NEXUS is a trusted traveller program designed to reduce congestion at the border by streamlining the entry procedures for low-risk, pre-approved travellers. To qualify, in addition to being admissible to Canada or the US under applicable immigration laws and meeting all other NEXUS program requirements, an individual must be a US citizen or permanent resident, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or a Mexican national who is also a member of the Viajero Confiable program.
Under the new facial-recognition pilot-program, existing NEXUS kiosks that use iris recognition technology will be replaced with new, modernized NEXUS kiosks that use facial verification technology.
Vancouver International Airport will be the first to launch this new process in fall 2019, with Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport following in the ensuing months.
To facilitate the transition to facial biometrics, Nexus members should remember to bring their passports with them the first time they use the new kiosks. Members who do not have a passport with them will be referred to an officer for identity verification. It is also important to note that customs declarations will not be completed at the new kiosks and must be made verbally to an officer in a designated area of the respective customs hall.
Our firm will continue to monitor developments on this issue and report on updates as they occur.