Area of Law: Criminal Records
Answer # 2208
Does a criminal record affect NEXUS and FAST card applications?Region: Ontario Answer # 2208
Yes. NEXUS and FAST (Free and Secure Trade Program) card applications will likely be denied if the applicant is discovered to have a Canadian criminal record.
As part of their Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the American government has been promoting Trusted Traveler Programs. For Canadians, the NEXUS and FAST card applications are the most popular of these programs. The purpose of these programs is to allow frequent travellers to cross the border faster. The FAST card is for truckers while the NEXUS card is for others who travel frequently across the border. For example, truckers with a FAST card are permitted to use a specially designated lane when driving their load across the border, and those with a NEXUS card use special expedited lines at major airports.
In order to gain such privileges, these programs require the individual to complete an application and undergo a security screening. The applicants must become members by completing an online application, after which they will be interviewed and their relevant documents will be reviewed. The applications all have questions about criminal records. Those with Canadian criminal records will need to produce further documentation and their application will usually be denied.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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