A BC family planned a 2,500-km journey in an attempt to renew their NEXUS card amid delays

Applying to enter the Fast Lane across the Canada-US border is a holdup for many Canadians.

The NEXUS Pass program is currently experiencing large backlogs, with more than 341,688 applications currently in the queue.

Vancouver resident Barbara Collins is so worried her daughter is about to lose her Nexus card that she’s booked a trip for the two of them across the U.S. border to Warroad, Minn.

Her daughter Evan’s card was due to expire in 2020, but was extended by two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since before the pandemic, Collins has been trying to schedule an interview for her daughter to complete the renewal.

Click to play video: 'Alliance offices still closed as standoff with US over guns'

Alliance offices are still closed because of a standoff with the US over guns.

Alliance offices are still closed because of a standoff with the US over guns.

The Canadian offices were closed in 2020 and have not reopened. The US offices have only recently reopened and it has become extremely difficult to find an appointment.

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“My daughter’s contract is ending in September 2022 and we don’t know what we’re going to do,” Collins said.

“The problem is that we cross the border several times a month to see our widowed mother across the border, and we don’t have to wait in line.”

Collins admits she’s lucky to have the means to travel halfway across the continent to access an available appointment.

There is very little information available on the NEXUS website about what happens two years after the original card expires.

Historically, once a card has expired, the individual must restart the application process.

“What I’m worried about is that they have two weeks to approve after the interview. What if they don’t approve it? That’s money down the drain?” Collins asked.

“We have no idea what’s going to happen when the two-year period is up. Whether they’re going to just cancel everybody, or continue.”

Click to play video: 'Over 295,000 Nexus applications stuck in system backlog'

More than 295,000 Nexus applications are stuck in the system backlog.

More than 295,000 Nexus applications stuck in system backlog – May 30, 2022

NEXUS is a joint program administered by both the Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection.

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Canada and the United States are negotiating the timing of reopening Canadian enrollment centers.

One of the holdups is over whether American officers will be allowed to carry guns while working at Canadian enrollment centers. Until the gap is closed, enrollment centers in Canada will remain closed.

Click to play video: 'Alert to Expiring NEXUS Cardholders as COVID-19 Testing Requirements End'

A warning to expiring NEXUS cardholders now that the COVID-19 testing requirements have been lifted.

Warning to Expired NEXUS Cardholders Now that COVID-19 Testing Requirements Have Ended – April 4, 2022

Existing NEXUS members who renew their membership before it expires will retain their benefits and allow them to continue using their membership privileges.

“There are legitimate concerns about labor, I understand that, but the controversy over it doesn’t make sense to me,” said Jill Wykes from Snowbirdadvisor.ca.

Patrick Ah-yu has been waiting for the renewal of NEXUS since 2019. He applied in 2019, before his card expired, and was informed that an interview was required for renewal.

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He had his first interview scheduled for April 2020 and it was canceled due to the pandemic.

When they started interviewing again, it rescheduled to September 2021 and was also cancelled.

Now she only has a few weeks until her card expires and no appointments are available in Canada or closed in the US.

“You’re just along for the ride,” Ah Yu said. “It’s out of my hands. I have to wait until they say, ‘We can do the interview, or you have to start over.’ It’s disappointing.”

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