US government shutdown causing delays in Nexus apps


Greg Dunlop, his wife and two grown children organized a time when everyone could get off work and make appointments to buy their new Nexus cards.

On Monday afternoon, the four fought against Langley transit in Canada, where they live, found expensive parking at Richmond International Airport in Richmond, and waited for their appointments to pass through the necessary administrative levels.

It was not until check-in at the front desk that they learned from the Canadian authorities that they would have to do it all again sometime in the future after the partial shutdown of the US government ended and border protection agents worked through the requests from backlog to Nexus cards.

The cards are administered by Canadian and American officials and are intended to expedite international visits to "low-risk" travelers who have been pre-approved.

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials are still halfway through, but their southern border counterparts are absent – the US government shutdown halted non-core services and Nexus applications fall into this category .

"We wait a long time to do this," Dunlop said outside the Nexus office at YVR. "We have to go back and do this again."

"It's a little frustrating for me because you know it's not like I live in Richmond or somewhere. I'm getting an hour out of my way to get here," he said, adding that the agent with whom he spoke said that they were not. t alert anyone who has consulted.

Nexus administration is not considered an essential service by US government employees. (Rafferty Baker / CBC)

Dunlop remarked that if the commitments were canceled, the workers probably would not have much to do, and then they would be stuck with the same delay as the Americans once business was back to normal.

The CBSA posted about the disruption in social media, and the Main Street office in Vancouver received a sign greeting customers with the bad news – but similar signs have not been posted on the YVR.

The CBSA did not respond to a request from CBC News about delays except to confirm that it had received the request for additional information.

Orders filed with US Customs and Border Protection on Monday were not answered. However, a major general alert about the government shutdown is posted on its website.

"This site was last updated on December 21, 2018 and will not be updated until the funding is approved," he read in part.

A man checks the status of his Nexus renewal application on his phone. There is no sense of when the partial closure of the US federal government will be resolved, as Democrats and the president continue to discuss border funding. (Rafferty Baker / CBC)

For Dunlops and others in their situation, there is no end in sight, and it is unclear when they will finally get Nexus cards. The political battle over the US budget – and President Donald Trump's demand that billions of dollars be set aside to build a wall along the Mexican border is now its third week, with no sign of resolution.

"We'll be ready to go and that's when it's up and running," said Greg Dunlop's son Evan, adding that the Canadian team was doing a good job.

"We are thinking, perhaps, it may take up to a year," he said. "Maybe it could be longer, but you never know, right, because it's a backlog. So think you have no idea."

Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker


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