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AC No Longer Allowing Nexus as Sole Basis to Enter Canada?

AC No Longer Allowing Nexus as Sole Basis to Enter Canada?

Old Jan 22, 17, 7:00 pm
  #106  
 
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A lot of misinformation in this thread.

For CBSA immigration purposes when physically entering Canada, only your Nexus card is required if you are a citizen of the US or Canada. You can, however, be asked by an officer for your passport at any time. This does not make it de facto required. It is always best practice to carry your passport during foreign travel. A Canadian citizen can lawfully enter Canada with no documentation, after satisfying an officer of their citizenship; on the other hand, airlines are not offered the same discretionary authority nor are they compelled by your right to enter Canada (as the right exists between you and the government -- not you and transport companies).

Notwithstanding CBSA entry requirements, airlines are legally permitted to have more strict requirements, and can decide to require a passport even if the CBSA do not. Airlines are legally liable for failing to properly determine citizenship and subject to fines for failing to do so. If you want to fly with just your Nexus and not your passport, you should research the airline's ID requirements before booking.

Coinciding with the introduction of ETAs becoming mandatory last November, airlines are now required to provide more Advanced Passenger Information, with stiffer penalties for non-compliance. It is possible some airlines who have previously accepted just Nexus cards have decided to become more conservative or that airline staff have been poorly trained during the rollout. Just call the airline or always carry your passport with you.

Some overzealous users in this thread believe they have legal action against an airline who enforces its own Tariff. The airline is only legally required to accept passports.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 6:24 am
  #107  
 
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Lots of misinformation here. Airlines or check-in companies have no say whatsoever in anything - they're meant to go by what Timatic says, because that's what it's there for.

All conformists on here with the "just bring the passport for the convenience of idiot agents" mindset are the exact reason why these agents will never learn.

As a Swedish citizen I'm allowed to visit the country of Georgia with an ID card instead of a passport. Some officers don't know this and insist on a passport. I'll tell them I don't have one and don't need one, and show a government website printout in Georgian pointing it out.

Does it cause delays? Sometimes. But I'm not obliged to adjust to their ignorance, on the other hand they're obliged to follow the law. And if I have to be the one to teach them the laws they're supposed to know by heart, so be it!
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Old Mar 16, 18, 6:34 am
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by RatherBeInYOW View Post
the UA gate agent loudly said "no, I need your passport ... EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE THEIR PASSPORT OPEN TO THE PHOTO PAGE" and decided to refuse to let me board until I dug out my passport..
Had that been me in that situation, I would've requested the supervisor and shamed that agent in front of everyone for breaking international policies by not following the rules as pointed out in Timatic. Then I would've got his name and sent a burning complaint to the airline headquarters.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 6:47 am
  #109  
 
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Originally Posted by Crazydre View Post
Does it cause delays? Sometimes. But I'm not obliged to adjust to their ignorance, on the other hand they're obliged to follow the law. And if I have to be the one to teach them the laws they're supposed to know by heart, so be it!
I'm not obliged to adjust to your need to "teach them the laws" and won't patiently wait behind you as you lecture some hapless gate agent. Do it on your own time not mine.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 7:23 am
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
I'm not obliged to adjust to your need to "teach them the laws" and won't patiently wait behind you as you lecture some hapless gate agent. Do it on your own time not mine.
But he is at the front of the line and it is his time. Your complaint is directed to the wrong person. The airline staff / policy is the problem.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 7:33 am
  #111  
 
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Originally Posted by Crazydre View Post
Had that been me in that situation, I would've requested the supervisor and shamed that agent in front of everyone for breaking international policies by not following the rules as pointed out in Timatic. Then I would've got his name and sent a burning complaint to the airline headquarters.
Yeah, publicly shaming an airline agent in an airport will always end well for a passenger. Just show your passport and be on your way.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 7:41 am
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by ffsim View Post
I had read years ago that Canada does not allow its citizens to hold two valid Canadian passports simultaneously but that there were a handful of exceptions specifically for the reason you mention. Apparently if you can demonstrate that you need to conduct business both in Israel and other countries in the Middle East, there was some way to get a second passport. Can't find anything further on that today... I wonder if it's still a possibility. Anyone have further details?
There is no information on the Passport Canada website about this, but it is possible. I travel a lot, and often to places for which a visa is required. As a result, a five year passport lasts me 2-3 years only. I will not buy a 10-yr passport because it's not worth it.
I tried to get a second passport two years ago and was refused. I was told by the passport clerk in person that it would be approved if I could demonstrate that my first passport was "busy" or unavailable by showing a receipt that it was at an embassy waiting for a visa application AND that I had another trip starting before my passport would be returned. I suppose a flight reservation for Israel would serve the same purpose.
--
13F
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Old Mar 16, 18, 8:04 am
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Crazydre View Post
Lots of misinformation here. Airlines or check-in companies have no say whatsoever in anything - they're meant to go by what Timatic says, because that's what it's there for.
I'm not sure why you dredged up this thread to post misinformation of your own. Airlines are obliged to comply with the laws in the jurisdictions in which they operate. Those laws require passengers to have the necessary documentation to enter the country(ies) to which they're travelling and typically require airlines to return passengers to their origin, if inadmissible, at the airline's cost.

Timatic is a tool built by IATA to help airlines identify required documentation. It is not official. Canadian laws do not tell border agents to admit someone if Timatic says they're permitted to enter, it spells out the specific documentation that's required for entry.

If AC transports a passenger who doesn't have the necessary documentation, it can't say to CBSA "not our fault, Timatic said this guy was admissible!"

All conformists on here with the "just bring the passport for the convenience of idiot agents" mindset are the exact reason why these agents will never learn.
No, those are people offering practical advice. Some of us are busy people travelling on tight schedules who would rather not have to spend time arguing with/educating MOLAs at the airport. I have had had to go through this with a check-in agent (WestJet at JFK) about the very subject of this thread, but only bothered to spend the 10 minutes or so to discuss it with her, get her supervisor involved, and get them to get clearance by phone from someone back in YYC or YYZ, but that was because I had forgotten my passport at the hotel and using my NEXUS card was the only way I was going to get back home that night.

As a Swedish citizen I'm allowed to visit the country of Georgia with an ID card instead of a passport. Some officers don't know this and insist on a passport. I'll tell them I don't have one and don't need one, and show a government website printout in Georgian pointing it out.

Does it cause delays? Sometimes. But I'm not obliged to adjust to their ignorance, on the other hand they're obliged to follow the law. And if I have to be the one to teach them the laws they're supposed to know by heart, so be it!
You would be wise to ensure that you actually know the laws. For instance, in Canada:

Originally Posted by Nazdoom View Post
Notwithstanding CBSA entry requirements, airlines are legally permitted to have more strict requirements, and can decide to require a passport even if the CBSA do not. Airlines are legally liable for failing to properly determine citizenship and subject to fines for failing to do so. If you want to fly with just your Nexus and not your passport, you should research the airline's ID requirements before booking.
I don't know what the laws in Sweden or Georgia are, and that's really not very relevant to this thread in the Air Canada forum. What's relevant is CBSA's rules; the post I quoted above was from a CBSA officer. But if an airline flying you to Canada demanded a passport when you thought the law entitled you to travel for less, you wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, no matter how much huffing and puffing you did.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 8:21 am
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Airlines are obliged to comply with the laws in the jurisdictions in which they operate. Those laws require passengers to have the necessary documentation to enter the country(ies) to which they're travelling and typically require airlines to return passengers to their origin, if inadmissible, at the airline's cost.

Timatic is a tool built by IATA to help airlines identify required documentation. It is not official. Canadian laws do not tell border agents to admit someone if Timatic says they're permitted to enter, it spells out the specific documentation that's required for entry.
Of course admission at the border is subject to local law, but as you said yourself Timatic is there for check-in/gate staff not to have to make assumptions of their own, but to have a manual to conveniently rely on (both for better and worse)

Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
If AC transports a passenger who doesn't have the necessary documentation, it can't say to CBSA "not our fault, Timatic said this guy was admissible!"
Surely the carrier wouldn't be fined in that case (Timatic being outdated), now would they?

Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
No, those are people offering practical advice. Some of us are busy people travelling on tight schedules who would rather not have to spend time arguing with/educating MOLAs at the airport. I have had had to go through this with a check-in agent (WestJet at JFK) about the very subject of this thread, but only bothered to spend the 10 minutes or so to discuss it with her, get her supervisor involved, and get them to get clearance by phone from someone back in YYC or YYZ, but that was because I had forgotten my passport at the hotel and using my NEXUS card was the only way I was going to get back home that night.
It's a shame agents are so ignorant, and people in situations such as yours back then would endure much better customer service and less stress if check-in agents actually knew the entry requirements and actually checked Timatic whenever in doubt. Unusual situations are bound to occur with the huge amount of passengers travelling, and they too should be properly accommodated just like the rest.

The only way for that to happen is for agents to learn, and the way I see it, for that to happen they have to face situations where they realise "oh, turns out I was wrong here". Because if they keep thinking they're invariably in the right, then how should they come to the realisation that they sometimes aren't, given that the higher-ups clearly don't care much about educating their staff in verifying travel documentation.



Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
I don't know what the laws in Sweden or Georgia are, and that's really not very relevant to this thread in the Air Canada forum. What's relevant is CBSA's rules; the post I quoted above was from a CBSA officer. But if an airline flying you to Canada demanded a passport when you thought the law entitled you to travel for less, you wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, no matter how much huffing and puffing you did.
I just mentioned it as a parallel example of how it'd be beneficial to everyone, officers and pax alike, if the officers learned the full extent of the entry conditions rather than holding up someone with perfectly valid documentation just because they're not used to it.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 9:54 am
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Crazydre View Post
Of course admission at the border is subject to local law, but as you said yourself Timatic is there for check-in/gate staff not to have to make assumptions of their own, but to have a manual to conveniently rely on (both for better and worse)
That doesn't mean that Timatic is always correct or reflects an airline's own internal requirements, which may differ from official requirements.

Surely the carrier wouldn't be fined in that case (Timatic being outdated), now would they?
I can't speak to how often CBSA fines airlines versus simply forcing the airline to return the passenger to their point of origin, but ignorance of the law, including reliance on the opinion of a 3rd party, is no defence.

It's a shame agents are so ignorant, and people in situations such as yours back then would endure much better customer service and less stress if check-in agents actually knew the entry requirements and actually checked Timatic whenever in doubt. Unusual situations are bound to occur with the huge amount of passengers travelling, and they too should be properly accommodated just like the rest.
I don't know whether WestJet uses Timatic or not, or whether Timatic gave her the wrong answer. As far as I'm concerned, the agent did nothing wrong in talking to a supervisor and then calling someone back in Canada. She didn't argue with me or give me incorrect information, she simply went about making sure that what I was telling her was legit. It would have been nice if she knew the rules herself, but I can't fault a contract agent for following procedure.

The only way for that to happen is for agents to learn, and the way I see it, for that to happen they have to face situations where they realise "oh, turns out I was wrong here". Because if they keep thinking they're invariably in the right, then how should they come to the realisation that they sometimes aren't, given that the higher-ups clearly don't care much about educating their staff in verifying travel documentation.
Again, this is nice in theory, and when I have the time or the need, I may spend time educating an agent, but I'm not going to hold up the boarding process (e.g. when a GA insists on seeing a passport even though I'm travelling on my NEXUS card), or risk missing a flight by arguing with someone at check-in if I don't have to. FT is not just about people arguing on their high horses about principles, it's also about reality and practicality. Those do not always permit making a stand on principle just for the sake of it.
​​​
​​​​And should one encounter a MOLA at the airport, one can always take the expedient solution and report that agent later.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 10:32 am
  #116  
 
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Pure speculation - I think the need for passport is more with permanent residents w NEXUS.
Technically permanent residents can be denied entry or require supporting visa when entering Canada/US.

I can say for data point - having travelled with GHT Jr - they've been requiring my passport in both direction and the US side has been stamping every single entry.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 11:12 am
  #117  
 
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I think @Adam Smith is correct with real world advice for air travel.
I do not seem to have any problems anymore using Nexus only from US to Canada other than some smaller stations. In fact UA seems to demand a passport more often. In all cases I have my passport anyway specially since I need it for the Global Entry machines leaving Canada to US.
International to Canada is a whole new discussion as several countries track only passport and visa for entry and exit. They do not care what your home country accepts, they need a passport. Examples in my recent travel include India and Taiwan and they both track you with fingerprint and exit stamps.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 11:25 am
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by Crazydre View Post
Lots of misinformation here. Airlines or check-in companies have no say whatsoever in anything - they're meant to go by what Timatic says, because that's what it's there for.

All conformists on here with the "just bring the passport for the convenience of idiot agents" mindset are the exact reason why these agents will never learn.

As a Swedish citizen I'm allowed to visit the country of Georgia with an ID card instead of a passport. Some officers don't know this and insist on a passport. I'll tell them I don't have one and don't need one, and show a government website printout in Georgian pointing it out.

Does it cause delays? Sometimes. But I'm not obliged to adjust to their ignorance, on the other hand they're obliged to follow the law. And if I have to be the one to teach them the laws they're supposed to know by heart, so be it!
Which has nothing to do with the topic AC No Longer Allowing Nexus as Sole Basis to Enter Canada? . Your Swedish issues in Georgia have nothing to do with this, so why resuscitate a thread over a year old?
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Old Mar 16, 18, 12:05 pm
  #119  
 
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Your Swedish issues in Georgia have nothing to do with this, so why resuscitate a thread over a year old?
Not disagreeing with you, but Iím happy he did because of the awesome answer @Seat13F_AC_CRJ provided to my inquiry
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Old Mar 16, 18, 12:11 pm
  #120  
 
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
I think @Adam SmithIn all cases I have my passport anyway specially since I need it for the Global Entry machines leaving Canada to US.
I have been wondering about this, and a few weeks ago at YUL pre-clearance, I just put my Nexus card on the passport reader of the US Global Entry machine.... and it worked!

Still carrying my passport anyways but I guess that technically, I could have done without it - showed the border agent only my Nexus card with the printout from the machine.
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