Back in March, I decided that I was tired of lining up to get across the border, and with the US dollar falling, I figured it was only going to get worse. Time to get a NEXUS pass!
The first surprise I got after printing off the application form, is that the cost is CAD$80 or USD$50. No matter that the loonie at that time was only about 10% less than a greenback. They won't accept US funds from Canadian applicants. I sucked it up and mailed in my application with the 40% surcharge on my CDN$.
Three months go by, and I decide it's time to call. Stay on permahold to see whose patience will break first. Nobody on the Canadian side has a record of my application (it hit my Visa card within days of me mailing it). "Call the US side". Do the permahold thing again. Finally reach a warm body who tells me...yup, you guessed it...they have no record of it..."try the Canadians". Because you're all busy and I don't like typing, I'll leave out all the back and forth calls, but finally Canada admits "they lost it in the computer". Will restart the process immediately.
Last week, 7 months after applying, a letter from NEXUS finally hits my mailbox. Excitedly, I call to book my appointment. Not so easy. The number is voice-mail and you must leave your number. I do, expecting nothing, but two days later a nice lady calls and says "we're taking bookings for January". You're kidding, I say. "No, we're bureaucrats, we have no sense of humour. As a big favour, I can fit you in if you show up in the afternoon on New Year's Eve". I'll take it!
I expect it will take at least a couple of weeks after I go through the interview (still an optimist) to get the card, so if all goes well, the process will have taken almost 11 months.
So for those of you who are planning to get a NEXUS card for next season, apply 3 months ago!