Canadian Electronic Passports
Beginning July 1, 2013, Canada will start issuing electronic passports that will contain an electronic chip embedded in the back cover. The chip will store the passport holder’s personal information for increased security. The new ePassport will also be expanded to 36 pages that will benefit frequent travelers.
The new fee schedule for Canadian passports can be found at Passport Canada.
In related news, Nexus card holders will now have a dedicated inspection lane and booth on the Canadian plaza of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing by United States and Canadian officials at dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, at NEXUS kiosks at Canadian Pre-clearance airports, and at marine reporting locations. Nexus travelers have been asking for a Canada-bound Nexus only lane at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge for years. Now, for the first time this Nexus lane joins the U.S.-bound Nexus land, which has been in existence for several years.
The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and The Whirlpool Bridge in Niagara Falls, are both operated by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. For the past decade, the Whirlpool Bridge is only been open to Nexus card holders. The Bridge Commission General Manager, Lew Holloway, stated, “The (Niagara Falls Bridge) commission is constantly exploring and implementing operational tweaks throughout our facilities in order to improve the overall border travel experience. And, the new Lewiston-Queenston Bridge lane designation for Nexus card holders is a perfect example of that ongoing focus.”
The Canada-bound Nexus lane will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m and the U.S.-bound Nexus lane is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Berardi Immigration Law recommends frequent travelers who cross the U.S. and Canadian border to obtain a Nexus card. Not only is expedited passage at dedicated lanes or areas a benefit for Nexus travelers but they also cross the border with a minimum of customs and immigration questioning (since the person has already been cleared by their pre-screen).
If you have any questions regarding crossing the border, please contact Berardi Immigration Law today.
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