The answer is “Yes”, and it happens on a regular
basis. Quite frankly, we have received more calls about NEXUS
confiscations at Toronto Pearson Airport Pre-Clearance recently
– and, it makes one wonder if a US CBP policy directive has
changed. The issues that arise at U.S. Pre-Clearance at
Toronto Pearson Airport are different than the issues we see at
Canadian border crossings.
In 2014/2015, the NEXUS issues we saw most frequently at U.S.
Pre-Clearance involved muffins, cookies and bananas in
individual’s carry-on luggage. We would see an
occasional Cuban cigar.
However, in the last few months, we are seeing more decisions by
US CBP at Toronto Pearson Pre-Clearance to confiscate NEXUS
Memberships of Canadian travelers for (1) immigration matters and
(2) suggestions that answers where untruthful.
For example, a client had a valid visa and was legally working
in the United States. She was flying to the United States and
arrived early to apply for a renewal of her Visa ahead of the
expiration date. US CBP at Toronto Pearson Airport refused to
process the new Visa application and cancelled the NEXUS
Another client was sent to secondary clearance and was asked the
usual questions. When the US CBP officer did not like the
answers provided, he confiscated the person’s NEXUS
Membership on the basis that answers were untruthful.
Another client (an entire family) had their NEXUS memberships
cancelled because the nanny did not have a NEXUS membership.
The nanny helped push the children’s strollers to the US
primary desk and was asked for her identification, She was not
permitted to get into the line up and the family was informed that
it was too late as the “nanny had crossed the
It is important to look at 8 CFR §235.12, which are the US rules
relating to the Global Entry (NEXUS ) Program. 8 CFR
§235.12(j)(2) provides for the suspension of a Global Entry
participant as follows.
(2) A Global Entry participant may be suspended or removed from
the program for any of the following reasons:
(i) CBP, at its sole discretion,
determines that the participant has engaged in any disqualifying
activities under the Global Entry program as outlined in §
(ii) CBP, at its sole discretion, determines that the participant
provided false information in the application and/or during the
(iii) CBP, at its sole discretion, determines that the participant
failed to follow the terms, conditions and requirements of the
(iv) CBP, at its sole discretion, determines that the participant
has been arrested or convicted of a crime or other-wise no longer
meets the program eligibility criteria; or
(v) CBP, at its sole discretion, determines that such action is
In short, the US CBP officers have wide latitude to cancel NEXUS
There is also an interesting article about the use of discretion
by US CBP officers on the West Coast. Jeff Nagel of the
Abbottsford News reports that one US CBP officer has boasted that
he has denied more Canadians entry into the Untied States than any
The issue is not that bad people get their NEXUS passes
confiscated. The issue is that some good people get their
NEXUS passes confiscated. Canadians used their NEXUS
memberships to expedite the customs clearance process. There
is a business cost to the confication of a NEXUS pass. For
that reason, discretion should be used properly.
If US CBP confiscates your NEXUS membership, redress may be made
to the US CBP Ombudsman. Currently, it takes 7-8 months to
hear back from the US CBP Ombudsman after a letter is filed.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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