You are currently viewing New NEXUS application approved in 2 days (and the illogical comment about the normal length)

Joining the NEXUS program is one of the best travel pro tricks — and one that most travelers simply don’t even know about, sadly. While it’s always worth applying even with the normal wait, I had to share this story about a Flytrippers reader who just got approved for NEXUS in less than 2 days!

At the end of this post, I will also address the illogical comment we get every week about the length of the application process to join the NEXUS program. Short version: the faster you apply, the faster you’ll get NEXUS… it makes no sense to wait!

But first, let’s talk about a Flytrippers reader’s incredible experience applying for NEXUS in late January, one that I still almost can’t believe myself honestly.

(Sign up for our free newsletter to get part 2 of our NEXUS guide soon, along with Flytrippers’ other co-founder’s experience doing his NEXUS interview in December and my experience renewing NEXUS in January!)


NEXUS application backlog

A Flytrippers reader reached out to share that getting approval for a first-ever NEXUS application took less than 2 days

That is simply incredible. The current wait time was literally months!

But it’s true that recently, the American and Canadian governments announced their efforts to get through the backlog caused by the pandemic the governments’ responses to the pandemic.

This includes reopening NEXUS centers in Canada soon, instead of you having to go to the U.S. land border as Flytrippers’ co-founder Kevin did in December (although even I went there 6 years ago as it’s often more convenient anyway).

You can read our January post about that NEXUS announcement for all the details (including the basics of the NEXUS program in text or video format if you don’t know them yet and my actual experience using NEXUS on my last trip to give you examples).

But if you had told me that anyone would ever get approved for NEXUS in less than 2 days, I frankly would never have believed you.

It’s the government we’re talking about. Not exactly known for their speed and efficiency (there’s a 2-year delay for air passenger compensation complaints, there was the whole passport debacle, etc.), to put it mildly.

Not to mention NEXUS is a “trusted traveler program” that requires multiple background checks. Heck, even way before the pandemic, over 5 years ago, my own application took a few months if I remember correctly!

The length of the process is obviously more than worth it to avoid almost all wait lines in Canadian and American airports… but it’s even better if it’s quick of course.

That said, to be completely honest, I think there was a glitch in their system.

It almost has to be that. Per the government itself, there’s a backlog of 100,000 applications. Most of them have been waiting for months. You might be part of them.

Yet this reader applied on January 23 and got approved on January 24. 

Come to think of it, maybe it’s very fitting that the government would not be able to do something very basic and simple and logical like processing the applications in the order they were received…


More details about the 2-day approval for NEXUS

Naturally, I politely asked our reader for proof.

Not because I didn’t believe the person (although I was pretty shocked that it was this fast). But rather because I knew if I wrote the post without proof, so many people simply wouldn’t believe us!

Because there have been long delays that have been well publicized and well mediatized. Since applications reopened after the pandemic, most people have needed to wait at least a few weeks for approval, or months! Those travelers in particular would not believe it took our reader just 2 days!

So here’s a screenshot of that reader’s NEXUS dashboard, where you can see in the right column, the payment date, which means the date of the NEXUS application: January 23rd.

The reader’s payment/application date (photo credit: provided to Flytrippers)


Then, if you look at the top, you can see the NEXUS approval came through on January 24.

Less than 48 hours for approval after applying! The reader said even the customs agent at the interview couldn’t believe it!

The reader’s approval date (photo credit: provided to Flytrippers)


This has to be some sort of world record in terms of applying for NEXUS for the first time and getting approval. So is this a blip? It’s quite possible that they completely messed up the processing order. Whatever it is, that reader is definitely very lucky.

Or maybe they’re just really fast at approving people who apply right now to try and get some positive PR and give the impression the whole thing is efficient. Who knows!

If so, it’s a great opportunity for you to finally get NEXUS, especially with the great welcome bonus offers worth hundreds of dollars on many of the cards that give you a NEXUS membership for free!

We’re doing a live video about the best deals of the month tomorrow night at 9 PM (Eastern).

That said, I would still manage my expectations and not necessarily expect that every approval now takes just 2 days. Again, it has to be a glitch. Until we get more testimonials from readers (that are very recent), that’s what I’d assume.

And just to finish our reader’s entire story, as a savvy Flytrippers reader, the person knew about our tip about how to get an appointment really fast.

That part is not that surprising. Everyone who has followed us knows you can find an appointment very quickly if you’re flexible and put in the time to find them, just like Flytrippers’ other co-founder Kevin did in December (he got his appointment in 3 days).

Our reader used our tip about the Twitter bot and found an appointment just one week later.

And so all in all, in about 1 week, that traveler applied to NEXUS, got approved, did the interview, and got final approval. Which again is absolutely mind-boggling in terms of speed!

The reader’s final approval date (photo credit: provided to Flytrippers)


Comment about the length of the NEXUS process

I feel like this is a good learning opportunity to maybe change some travelers’ perspectives, given how many comments we saw that are similar to this one (and another variant):

“The process is too long, I won’t get NEXUS!”

Frankly, that’s not really logical. 

They’re reopening fully now! The sooner you apply, the sooner you get approved. And the sooner you’ll be able to take advantage of the amazing benefits. If you had applied a year ago, you’d have it by now (or at the very least you would be very close to getting it). 

The same will be true a year from now, or 6 months from now.

The government doesn’t pay us to promote their program, we couldn’t care less if you prefer to wait in line like everyone else instead of being a savvy traveler who bypasses the whole wait.

(In fact, it would be even better for us, as there would be fewer of us in the NEXUS lanes 😂)

But we want to help travelers, it’s literally our mission here at Flytrippers!

And there really isn’t anything comparable to how much time NEXUS saves you when traveling and how amazing it is to bypass everyone else!

And the process might still be a bit long, but regardless: the faster you apply, the faster you’ll get it. You might not get it for a few months, but if you don’t apply, you’re guaranteed not to get it ever. Not particularly wise.

It’s the same for travel rewards, as so many people miss out on great deals (like the 2 new record-high TD offers right now for example) because it’s too late to use the rewards for their next trip… 

“The process is too long, I won’t get free travel!”

I say this respectfully, just as a learning opportunity again: that’s really not very wise.

Guess what happens for their next trip after that. They didn’t take the points, so they once again can’t use them for that trip either. Because they didn’t plan ahead again!

Take action and be prepared. Planning and preparation is really the key to traveling for less (it’s one of the top 7 most important tips in our free ebook with 100+ travel tips)!

Or in the case of NEXUS specifically, planning and preparation is the key to traveling so much more efficiently.


NEXUS content coming soon

As mentioned, in addition to the 1st part of our NEXUS program guide already published, we have more NEXUS content coming soon:

  • Kevin’s experience doing his 1st NEXUS interview in December
  • My experience renewing NEXUS in January
  • Our NEXUS guide (2nd part)
    • Logistics of using NEXUS at airport security
    • Logistics of using NEXUS at customs
    • And more!


Want to receive all the travel tricks, including on NEXUS?

Sign up for our free newsletter



Joining the NEXUS program is obviously well worth the wait, no matter the length of the process. But if our reader’s experience is an indication of the governments having finally turned a corner regarding the backlog, it will be much faster now. It could also just have been a glitch, a very lucky one.

What would you like to know about the NEXUS program? Tell us in the comments below.


See the deals we spot: Cheap flights

Explore awesome destinations: Travel inspiration

Learn pro tricks: Travel tips

Discover free travel: Travel rewards


Featured image: Sunset in Utah (photo credit: James Lee)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Dimples

    Ended up having to change my interview appointment from last week but luckily found a cancellation less than a week later in Niagara and got it done today.
    It was about 30 minutes of time there and already got the email that I’m approved. So glad I got this all done in less than 2 weeks from approval for interview and happy this 1.5 year saga is behind me!!
    Made my mother apply last week and now we’ll see how long it takes for her!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Awesome, thanks for the testimonial! And I’m sure you’ll enjoy the perks 🙂

    2. Christi

      I’m so jealous. Toddler and I are still waiting since March 2022 😂

      1. Dimples

        Well yeah I applied in December 2021. I feel your pain! My card arrived today so i know it iactually is real now! Took a whopping 17 months….
        No update on my mom and friends application. They both applied about 10-12 days ago. Since we know some people are getting rapid responses we were hoping for fast turn around time but no luck yet!

  2. Lucy Wharton

    I just quickly got onto the site was able to book 2 Interview appts together for April 28, I think I can do the US interview when we fly to Palm Springs in June.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Great, yeah the key is to go look back often, glad you could find some. They don’t specify how much time to plan for the USA interview so I would assume they’ll be pretty efficient.

      1. Dimples

        Woot woot! After waiting since December 2021 just got interview notification and found an apt for next Thursday at Niagara Falls… will make the 3 hour round trip and just finally get it done!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Awesome! Worth it, you’ll never want to go back to life without NEXUS haha 🙂

  3. Christi

    Applied in March 2022 still pending. My husband and baby applied in July 2022.. husband was approved for interview late September and received his card in November or December. Baby is in the same boat as me. Hoping it’s not a 3 year wait like someone else I know haha

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      They are working on the backlog now that everything has reopened so hopefully soon 🙂

    2. Lucy Wharton

      Hi Christi

      How did your hubby get asn interview? I’ve been approved for several months now, but the offices for interviews have never been open., Now they are but cant get an interview date at all.

  4. Jenny

    I hope the Nexus line gods smile upon me soon. I’ve been waiting for conditional approval for 6 months now. Once I finally get it and snag an open interview slot it will be totally worth it though.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      I hope they will! It’s definitely a worthwhile wait to avoid 5 years worth of waiting in lines in airports 😀

  5. S K Prasad

    Hello, love all your posts about Nexus. I had my interview in NY Enrollment center on March 27th. Both the officers who interviewed me let me know that it’s approved. But The online portal hasn’t updated to attended interview and approved. Also nothing in the mail so far. How long after the interview will the online portal change to approved ? Has the timeline to receive the card after interview been delayed recently ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Not that I know of, do you remember how long they said it could take when you did the interview?

      1. S K Prasad

        They didn’t say anything about how long it’ll take to get the cards. By reading posts here I understood that it may take 7-10 business days. Also nobody talks about the online status change after interview Does that happen or should I just wait for the card in the mail?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        The status online will definitely change, but there seems to be a slight delay in your case for some reason. I’d give it a bit of time, or you could always contact them to see if it’s normal, maybe they can fix it.

  6. Lucy Wharton

    Id like to book an appointment for my interview to get my Nexus card but I don’t know how to do that. The site only brings up the Calgary interview address but nowhere is there a place to click to make the appointment necessary. Can you walk me through that please?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Already full for Calgary it seems. Check back often if you don’t want to go to the land border.

      1. Lucia Wharton

        we’re flying to Palm Springs June 28, can we get it done there, how would we go about doing that?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, this post about the reopening of NEXUS centers in Canada lists all locations in the USA and Canada. There are none in Palm Springs because it’s not near the border, but if you’re flying from a Canadian airport with USA customs preclearance, you could do it there assuming you do the Canadian portion at the same airport before or the same day. Make sure to look very often to find an appointment slot that opens up.

      3. John

        Hey Andrew, I also received conditional approval only a week after applying. I applied April 14, 2023 and was approved April 22nd, 2023. Couldn’t believe it but apparently I’m not the only one to be so lucky!

      4. Andrew D'Amours

        Awesome, that’s really incredible! You’ll love NEXUS!

  7. Dimples

    I applied and paid for nexus in December 2021 and my file has been pending ever since. Is there anything to do to quicken this Process? Or anyone to reach out to? Super frustrated… I’ve travelled so much in 2022 and could’ve saved so much time

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, the governments can’t even do something as simple as processing applications in the order they were received. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to speed things up, although we’ll try to reach out to get an official response.

  8. Lucia Wharton

    I’ve been approved fir a long time for Nexus l just want to know when Calgary Airport will be open to book interviews. we have a couple trios planned to US and would like to finally use the card we paid for almost 2 years ago.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      By this spring according to the government. We’ll let you know as soon as more specific dates are announced.

  9. Stephanie

    My Nexus card expires in September 2023. I applied for renewal online in September 2022 and my application is still “pending review”.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, probably normal since they don’t need to prioritize you when you still have 7 months before expiry. Nothing to worry about.

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