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Verified Traveller Program (Beginning June 2023)

Old Jul 14, 2023, 12:27 pm
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Last edit by: Adam Smith
What is the Verified Traveller ("VT") program?
Verified Traveller gives priority security at certain Canadian airport checkpoints. Unlike the old NEXUS lanes (which only got you to the front of the line faster, with the same screening process once there), VT actually offers expedited screening

Verified Traveller is separate from the NEXUS program. Please visit the Trusted Traveler forum for information and discussion on NEXUS.

What is the VT expedited screening experience?
For domestic/international flights:
  • Leave permitted liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on
  • Leave laptops and electronics in your carry-on
  • Keep shoes, belts, light jackets and headwear on
  • Keep small items in your pockets

For transborder flights (to the US):
  • Leave permitted liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on
  • Keep shoes, belts, light jackets and headwear on
  • Keep small items in your pockets

Who is eligible?
  • NEXUS: holders of NEXUS cards
  • Global Entry: holders of Global Entry cards
  • Canadian / US military: Serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces and US military, including reservists, all with valid ID (no uniform required)
  • Air crew / RAIC holders: Canadian aircrew (in uniform), airport workers with Restricted Area Identification Cards and international aircrew (in uniform) with valid airline ID
  • RCMP / police: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers, Canadian police officers and constables with a badge and proper photo identification issued by their respective organizations

Do you have to register for this program?
No, everyone who qualifies, per the list above, is automatically eligible.

Do you have to be flying certain airlines to take advantage of this program?
No. As long as your airline is flying from an area that has the VT service, and you're eligible, that's all that matters.

How do you take advantage of VT lanes? Like TSA PreCheck in the US, do you have to provide an ID number in advance?
Eligibility for VT requires you to present the relevant identification at the checkpoint. There's no need to register any information in advance. Conversely, if you don't have your ID on you, you can't use the lanes

Can I bring other people with me who aren't eligible themselves?
  • Domestic / international: only co-travellers aged (a) 17 or under, or (b) aged 75 or over
  • Transborder: yes

Where are the VT checkpoints?
There are dedicated VT lanes at the following checkpoints (last updated July 14, 2023):
Domestic/international checkpoints:
  • YYC C gates
  • YVR C gates
  • YEG
  • YUL
  • YYZ T1 D gates (international flights depart from E, but it's possible to clear security at D and then walk airside to E)
  • YYZ T3 (need clarification on which checkpoints)
  • YWG
  • YOW
  • YHZ (pilot launching August 22)

Transborder checkpoints:
  • YUL
  • YYZ T1
  • YYZ T3
  • YVR

What if the airport/checkpoint I'm flying from isn't listed above?
Many checkpoints offer "front of the line service" - just like the old NEXUS lanes, there's a dedicated lane to get you to the screening faster, but the screening process is the same as in the regular lanes. These are listed below. If your airport isn't listed, there's no Verified Traveller benefit.
  • YYC A and D gates (domestic/international)
  • YYC E gates (transborder)
  • YVR A/B and D gates (domestic/international)
  • YEG (transborder)
  • YHZ (all, until domestic/international pilot starts - see above)
  • YWG (all)
  • YXE (all)
  • YTZ (all)
  • YQM (all)
  • YLW (all)
  • YQB (all)
  • YQR (all)
  • YYT (all)
  • YYJ (all)
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Verified Traveller Program (Beginning June 2023)

Old May 24, 2023, 3:24 am
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Verified Traveller Program (Beginning June 2023)

CBC is reporting on a new Verified Traveller Program due to begin on June 21.

With the aim of avoiding the travel chaos that gripped the country last summer, the federal government is rolling out a new Verified Traveller Program it says will streamline the airport security check-in process.

Beginning next month, eligible airline passengers will be able to keep their laptops, electronics and liquids in their carry-on bags and will be permitted to clear airport security without having to remove their shoes, belts and jackets.

The changes to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) security screening practices will affect six international airports across the country. They were announced by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra on Tuesday.



NEXUS and Global Entry members will qualify for the streamlined security stream, as will active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and U.S. military members, including reservists with valid identification.



The Verified Traveller program will also allow children 17 and under and Canadians 75 and older to pass through streamlined security with eligible passengers if they are on the same reservation.
The airports are: Toronto-Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Winnipeg International Airport and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

Of course some are expressing skepticism that this will really make a difference. But it seems like a step in the right direction.

Last edited by TheCanuckian; May 24, 2023 at 5:22 am
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Old May 24, 2023, 7:49 am
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The article didn't mention it but the government website says the only way to become a "Verified Traveller" is to apply for NEXUS.

Q: How do I apply to be a verified traveller?
A: CATSA recognizes NEXUS members as verified travellers. You can learn more about NEXUS membership by visiting the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Thanks to the pandemic forcing a change in my travel habits, I chose to let my NEXUS membership lapse and don't expect I'll go through the rigorous re-application process just to save a few minutes in line on rare occasions using this new program but those that kept their membership will I'm sure happily welcome it.

Will those travellers who fly often domestically bother go through the extensive screening required for NEXUS membership just to take advantage of this new program? That remains to be seen however the government has created a fast lane to reduce security wait times - something Canadian airport authorities have been wanting for years - for the roughly 1.7-million NEXUS members in Canada without having to build a new enrollment and approval process so could become a useful travel tool to some.
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Old May 24, 2023, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by tcook052
The article didn't mention it but the government website says the only way to become a "Verified Traveller" is to apply for NEXUS.
Some other stories add information like this: The government is working on an additional program that would allow membership without belonging to Nexus. That additional program may not help get into the US, but perhaps it will be useful for domestic and international.
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Old May 24, 2023, 10:13 am
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We shall see if it helps. At YUL the Nexus line gets awfully crowded with families.
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Old May 24, 2023, 10:28 am
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Yes, letting families with kids into these security lanes will surely speed things up....
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Old May 24, 2023, 11:39 am
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Just looked at the site...you'll still need to remove laptops and electronics from your carry-on for transborder flights. So TSA-Pre, I can leave it...but leaving Canada remove it. Always love the consistency.
https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/verified-travellers
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Old May 24, 2023, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by RockSmithington
Just looked at the site...you'll still need to remove laptops and electronics from your carry-on for transborder flights. So TSA-Pre, I can leave it...but leaving Canada remove it. Always love the consistency.
https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/verified-travellers
Agreed. One way to speed things up is to give people a consistent experience so they know how to perform their bits of the routine. As it stands, it seems to vary from day-to-day, airport-to-airline, line-to-line, and so on.
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Old May 25, 2023, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by RockSmithington
Just looked at the site...you'll still need to remove laptops and electronics from your carry-on for transborder flights. So TSA-Pre, I can leave it...but leaving Canada remove it. Always love the consistency.
https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/verified-travellers
Indeed...and it's the opposite with winter coats. Leaving YUL this March on the way home to DCA, I had to take my laptop out of the bag in the NEXUS line but CATSA let me keep my (rather thick) pea coat on while going through the line. TSA Pre ex-US only allows "light jackets" through the metal detector.
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Old May 25, 2023, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by wahooflyer
Indeed...and it's the opposite with winter coats. Leaving YUL this March on the way home to DCA, I had to take my laptop out of the bag in the NEXUS line but CATSA let me keep my (rather thick) pea coat on while going through the line. TSA Pre ex-US only allows "light jackets" through the metal detector.
Oh I know! I've had all sort of random experiences in the TSA-Pre line. I've had to remove a zip up because it had metal and wasn't a "jacket". I've had to remove shoes, belts while standing next to the sign that says "Keep your shoes on, Jacket on....etc". And god forbid you say "I thought the TSA-Pre didn't need to do this..." boom - full body scan. Zero consistency while at the mercy of whatever random employee is in the line that day.
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Old May 25, 2023, 6:06 pm
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If GE members "qualify," I wonder how they will register/if they need to register. If it's based on having a GE card then that rules out non-US members...
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Old May 26, 2023, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by plas
If GE members "qualify," I wonder how they will register/if they need to register. If it's based on having a GE card then that rules out non-US members...
They probably just need to flash their card like NEXUS holders do now when going through security.
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Old May 26, 2023, 4:41 pm
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Are Global Entry holders automatically enrolled in Nexus as well?

Last edited by SkyLich; May 26, 2023 at 6:02 pm
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Old May 26, 2023, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by TheCanuckian
CBC is reporting on a new Verified Traveller Program due to begin on June 21.



The airports are: Toronto-Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Winnipeg International Airport and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

Of course some are expressing skepticism that this will really make a difference. But it seems like a step in the right direction.
I doubt it will make any difference. The numbers who will be eligible and interested in taking advantage of this program will be too few to matter.

The vast majority of travelers who fly at peak times like summer, Christmas/New Year's and spring break are not the regular fliers or border-crossers who would be already enrolled in a program like NEXUS or even be interested in undergoing the rigorous application process. They're the folks who travel a few times a year. Very few of them are going to view it as worthwhile to pay the fee and undergo the NEXUS application, in order to save a bit of time at security screening. The people who want and need NEXUS and get the maximum benefit from it already have it. They're also not the ones who are gumming up airports on Labour Day weekend.

The other potential problem concerns Canadians who have police convictions for things like drugs. In Canada they can get pardons after a certain period and thus they can pass a background check. (A pardon only seals a criminal record, however, but does not expunge it.) But as the U.S. government has repeatedly stated, Washington does not recognize foreign pardons. Someone with a Canadian criminal conviction, even a pardoned one for a long-ago drug offence, will not qualify for NEXUS. So in this situation a Canadian with a pardoned record who wants to become a Verified Traveler under this program, even only to fly domestically, would be prevented from doing so by the fact that the associated NEXUS membership requirement would give the U.S. a veto.
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Old May 26, 2023, 9:22 pm
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i couldn't believe that Winnipeg made it on this list and not Ottawa.
but then I checked the Wikipedia page for 2022 Canada's busiest airports by passenger traffic, and I am surprised that they are indeed ahead, by ~39k. couldn't believe it.
I guess it's also surprising then that Halifax isn't on the list either.
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Old May 27, 2023, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by TravellingChris
The other potential problem concerns Canadians who have police convictions for things like drugs. In Canada they can get pardons after a certain period and thus they can pass a background check. (A pardon only seals a criminal record, however, but does not expunge it.) But as the U.S. government has repeatedly stated, Washington does not recognize foreign pardons. Someone with a Canadian criminal conviction, even a pardoned one for a long-ago drug offence, will not qualify for NEXUS. So in this situation a Canadian with a pardoned record who wants to become a Verified Traveler under this program, even only to fly domestically, would be prevented from doing so by the fact that the associated NEXUS membership requirement would give the U.S. a veto.
I agree, but they have said that there will soon be another way of becoming Verified without joining NEXUS. That wouldn't help them into the US, but perhaps domestic and international...
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