September 20th, 2004
|tckma||07:34 pm - Nexus Interview...|
(cross-posted out the wazoo)
So here's how my Nexus interview went:
Enter the office, greeted by a receptionist, and I checked in for my appointment.
I sit down and wait for less than two minutes.
Customs Canada officer #1 calls me over. Asks to look at my passport, birth certificate, and car registration. Asks me if I still live at the same address. Takes my picture.
He Explains how to use the Nexus pass, both Canada-bound and US-bound (the procedures are slightly different depending on which direction you cross the border.)
While printing my pass, he asks:
"What is the nature of your visits to Canada?"
"My girlfriend lives in St. Catherine's."
"Well, if it ever goes further than that and you get married and decide you want to move to Canada, just tell the guy in the Nexus lane you want to speak to an immigration officer (points to huge "Canada" logo on his uniform) -- that's us -- and then we'll tell you where you need to go from there."
That's it for Customs Canada officer #1. I'm shuttled to the cubicle across the way to speak to Customs Canada officer #2, who explains THE RULES and has me sign a form saying that I understand THE RULES. He asks pretty much the same questions as CIC Officer #1. CIC Officer #2 hands me a bunch of Canadian literature.
I'm shuttled back to the waiting area. About 2 minutes later, I'm called by a US Customs officer.
He takes my picture, checks my address and documents, and scans my fingerprints. (Amusing note, the US system seems to require something to be filled in under "location of apprehension" [Buffalo, NY] and "amount of time illegally in the US" [N/A - Nexus Program Enrollment] )
US Customs guy hands me US literature and explains in dry, boring, excruciating detail exactly what fruits and vegetables from what provinces aren't allowed back in the states.
Total interview time was less than 20 minutes.
Going back across the border into the US after spending the weekend with my girlfriend was really fast. I zipped by all the people waiting in the normal lanes, and was only asked if I had anything to declare. The customs officer actually got into a conversation with me about my car (a Civic Hybrid, which he was apparently considering). It was weird. I'm used to US Customs people treating me gruffly. This guy was actually nice. Probably because no one was behind me in the lane. He told me that either my girlfriend needed to move here or I needed to move to Canada because "you're killing your cars" with the monthly drives.
All in all, a positive experience. I have yet to use the Nexus pass to go into Canada (given that my interview was in Canada), but I'm sure it will be just as easy. Definitely worth the money and the wait.
Current Mood: happy