United States Announces ‘Trusted Traveler’ Trilateral Agreement with Canada and Mexico
This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has joined Public Safety Canada and the Secretariat of Governance of Mexico in a trilateral agreement to expand “trusted traveler” programs. The new agreement, signed on July 10, 2015, outlines the first steps toward the creation of a North American Trusted Traveler network. The agreement is expected to make it easier for eligible travelers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada to apply for expedited screening programs.
As part of the agreement, Mexican nationals who are members of Mexico’s Viajero Confiable program will be able to apply for the U.S.-Canada NEXUS trusted traveler program, making them eligible for expedited screening benefits upon arrival at international airports in the United States and Canada. The arrangement will also allow Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS to apply for Viajero Confiable, making them eligible for expedited screening benefits upon arrival at select international airports in Mexico. U.S. citizens are currently eligible to apply for the NEXUS and Viajero Confiable trusted traveler programs through existing partnerships between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Public Safety Canada, and Mexico’s National Institute of Migration. Eligible travelers will be able to apply for each program beginning in 2016.
At the 2014 North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico, the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico committed to the development of a trilateral trusted traveler network to facilitate air travel in North America. Facilitating secure air travel within North America is also a goal of the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border initiative, the U.S.-Mexico 21st Century Border Management Initiative, and the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue.