Global Entry and NEXUS are not the same but provide similar benefits.
Whereas Global Entry is broader and caters to United States citizens traveling to various countries, NEXUS caters to people who frequently travel between the US and Canada.
We'll go through the benefits and differences of both Global Entry and NEXUS programs and share how you can apply for both.
Key Differences Between Global Entry and NEXUS
Besides the difference in benefits, there are a few other differences in the details about who's eligible and the application process:
|Eligibility||Available for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as citizens of certain other countries||Available for citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States and Canada|
|Program Purpose||Expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers entering the United States||Expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers between the United States and Canada|
|Enrollment Fee||$100 for a 5-year membership||$50 for a 5-year membership|
|Application Process||Online application, followed by an in-person interview at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enrollment center||Online application, followed by an in-person interview at a NEXUS enrollment center or a Canadian Processing Center|
|Application Availability||Open to applicants from various countries||Open to applicants from the United States and Canada|
|Benefits||- Expedited entry at U.S. airports using automated kiosks
- TSA PreCheck eligibility for domestic flights
- Access to expedited entry benefits in other countries through reciprocal agreements
|- Expedited entry at U.S.-Canada land border crossings using dedicated lanes
- Expedited entry benefits for air travel
- TSA PreCheck eligibility for domestic flights
|Program Coverage||Valid at all major U.S. airports and select international airports with Global Entry kiosks||Valid at U.S.-Canada land border crossings, select U.S. airports, and Canadian pre-clearance airports|
|Program Expansion||Eligible for participation in other trusted traveler programs such as SENTRI (for expedited entry at U.S.-Mexico land border crossings) and FAST (for commercial truck drivers)||Limited expansion options beyond NEXUS (e.g., participation in Global Entry for U.S. airports)|
|Family Benefits||Children under 18 can be included in the same application for no additional fee||Family members must each submit a separate application and pay the individual fee|
|Renewal Process||Online application and renewal every 5 years||Online application and renewal every 5 years|
Global Entry: Hassle-Free International Travel
Global Entry membership is a game-changer for frequent international travelers. Don't spend any more time waiting in long customs lines. Breeze through customs after your flight and go straight to where you need to be.
Global Entry also comes with TSA PreCheck so you can expedite the security process when checking in too.
How to Apply for Global Entry
The Global Entry application process is very straightforward.
Go to the CBP Trusted Travelers Program website and select Global Entry. Complete the application and pay the application fee. Once your application is reviewed by a CBP officer and approved, you'll need to schedule an interview at a Global Entry enrollment center.
Depending on the enrollment center you're looking at, interview slots can be very difficult to get because there are tens of thousands of applicants every month.
Note that you may not be eligible for Global Entry if you:
- Have been convicted of a crime
- Have been charged with a crime
- Are being criminally investigated
- Have been denied the purchase of a firearm
NEXUS: Expedited Travel Between US and Canada
The NEXUS program allows members to use dedicated lines when traveling between the US and Canada to avoid long waits at the border. This benefit applies to both air and land travel.
How to Apply for NEXUS
The NEXUS application is very similar to the Global Entry Application but requires a $50 application fee. Where the process differs is the interview process.
You'll need to do interviews with both the US Customers and Border Patrol (CBP) and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
You have three options to complete these interviews:
- Joint U.S. and Canada interviews at a land enrollment center in the U.S.
- Split interview at a Canadian land enrollment center followed by an interview at a U.S. land enrollment center
- Two-step interview at a Canadian airport enrollment center followed by an interview at a U.S. preclearance location in a Canadian airport
If you're having trouble booking an interview, use AppointmentScanner to get notified whenever interview appointment slots open up at your chosen enrollment center.
How to Choose Between Global Entry and NEXUS
We'll make this simple: Choose Global Entry if you travel internationally outside of Canada. If you mostly travel between Canada and the US, go with NEXUS.
If you apply for Global Entry, you can add NEXUS on later. I did this for when I take road trips to Montreal because Global Entry doesn't account for land travel.