The Complete Guide to the Verified Traveller Program


We have all been there – you arrive at the airport and see a huge line, waiting to get through security screening. After waiting for what feels like an eternity, you must take out your laptop, electronics, and liquids from carry-on bags and remove your shoes and other items of clothing. After all that, you scramble at the end of the security station to pack up all of your items because you are feeling rushed to get out of the way for the next traveler. 

It’s stressful just thinking about it, right? What if I told you there’s an easy way to bypass all of this stress, skip the lines, and get on your way to your vacation? The Verified Traveller program lets you feel like a VIP with a dedicated priority security lane and a streamlined screening process.

Let’s look at what the Verified Traveller program is and how we can get access to it for little to no cost!

What is the Verified Traveller Program?

verified traveller program logo

The Verified Traveller program provides a streamlined airport security screening experience that takes the waiting and stress out of the traditional process. Essentially the “TSA Precheck” of Canada, the program acts as a preclearance for security for those who have gone through a previous background check.

Depending on the airport you are traveling through and your final destination, eligible travelers will experience a variety of benefits by being part of the Verified Traveller Program:

Verified Traveller BenefitsVerified Traveller (U.S. bound flights) BenefitsVerified Traveller “Front-of-the-line” Benefits
Dedicated priority security lineDedicated priority security lineWill be brought to the front of the security line
Leaving laptops and other electronics in carry-on bagsLeaving laptops and other electronics in carry-on bagsAll co-travelers can accompany you
Leaving liquids, aerosols, and gels in carry-on bagsLeaving liquids, aerosols, and gels in carry-on bagsStandard security screening
Keep jackets, shoes, belts, and headwear on through metal detectorKeep jackets, shoes, belts, and headwear on through metal detectorAvailable at smaller regional airports, as well as larger airports where transborder and international Verified Traveller lines are unavailable. 

The full list can be found on this website.
Keep small items (e.g., change, jewelry) in your pocketsKeep small items (e.g., change, jewelry) in your pockets
Can be accompanied by those under 17 or over 75 years oldAll co-travelers can accompany you
Available at: YYZ, YYC, YEG, YVR, YUL, YOW, YHZ, YWGAvailable at: YYZ, YUL

While you will experience a streamlined security screening process, the same security measures for your carry-on bags still apply (e.g., no liquids over 100 mL, etc.) You may also have to go through random additional screening.

How to Qualify for the Verified Traveller Program

You can gain access to the Verified Travellers Program by belonging to one of the following seven categories:

  • Holding NEXUS membership
  • Holding Global Entry membership (only available to US citizens) 
  • Canadian and International Air Crew in uniform 
  • Airport workers with Restricted Area Identification Card
  • Active or reserved members of the Canadian Armed Forces or US Military (no uniform required) 
  • Royal Canadian Mountain Police Officers with RCMP ID
  • Canadian Police Officers with Badge and ID

Easiest Ways to Qualify for the Verified Travellers Program

The easiest way to get access to the Verified Travellers program is part of your work – if you are part of the military, RCMP, or police, or if you are airline personnel, you automatically qualify! Just head to the Verified Travellers line of your Canadian airport with your credentials and be on your way! 

For those of us whose jobs do not gain us these privileges, NEXUS (or Global Entry if you are a US citizen) is the easiest way to gain access to the program. Luckily for us, we have a few ways to get access to NEXUS as a Canadian!


If you are a Canadian or US citizen or permanent resident, you can enroll in NEXUS, which is a trusted traveler program operated jointly between Canada and the United States for low-risk travelers when crossing the border. 

You will have to fill out an application, online, with information such as your citizenship (or permanent resident information), addresses you have lived at, places traveled, and occupation. The cost of enrollment is $50 USD and once approved, membership is good for five years before requiring renewal.

nexus membership banner

Luckily for us, many credit cards on the Canadian market will cover your NEXUS enrolment fee, as long as you charge it to your card! These include: 

Although these credit cards list a CAD rebate, NEXUS costs $50 USD, which works up to upwards of $60 CAD. In my experience, even if a card lists a $50 CAD rebate, the full amount of the NEXUS application fee will be credited to your credit card account. 

In addition to these Canadian credit cards, if you have access to the US credit card market, you will find NEXUS rebates on the following cards, all from Chase: 

To learn more about NEXUS, check out our Definitive Guide on NEXUS Membership!

How to Access the Verified Traveller Line

edmonton international airport central security

At larger international airports (e.g., Toronto Pearson, Edmonton, Vancouver, etc.), there will be clear signage near the main security line that will point you in the direction of the Verified Traveller priority security line.

edmonton international airport priority security signage

For smaller, regional airports (e.g., Toronto Billy Bishop), you won’t have access to a dedicated Verified Traveller line. Instead, you will see signage near the beginning of the main security line labeled “Front-of-the-Line Services.” Follow the signage and you will be met with airport security staff that will escort you to the front of the line, bypassing everyone else!

A Quick Reminder on Co-Travellers

If you are traveling with companions who do not have NEXUS or other ways of accessing the Verified Traveller Program, there are still situations where they can enjoy the benefits of the program while traveling with you. 

If you are traveling domestically or internationally and at an airport that features the full Verified Traveller Program (i.e., YYZ, YYC, YEG, YVR, YUL, YOW, YHZ, YWG), co-travelers under the age of 17 or over 75 will be able to accompany you and enjoy the benefits of priority security and less stressful screening process. 

If you are traveling from Canada to the US (aka “transborder”) at an airport that features the full Verified Traveller Program, or using the Front-of-the-Line Services program, any co-traveler, regardless of age, can join you and experience the benefits!

My Experience with the Verified Traveller Program

Applying for the Verified Traveller Program

I gained access to the Verified Traveller program through NEXUS membership. To cover the NEXUS application fees for both myself and my partner, we used the American Express Platinum card and CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card, respectively.

American Express Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum card earns Membership Rewards and offers cardholders a variety of benefits including an annual $200 travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access, an annual $200 dining credit, and instant elite status with many hotel loyalty programs.

In 2024, we awarded this card as the Best Credit Card for Airport Lounge Access.

100,000 Membership Rewards
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card earns Aventura points and offers cardholders benefits including a $100 NEXUS statement credit and four complimentary airport lounge passes annually.

40,000 Aventura
$139 (FYF)

Our experience applying for NEXUS membership can be described in one word – long. We applied in March 2022 and waited until January 2023 for both of our conditional approvals. We were finally able to get interviews at the land enrolment center near us in December 2023. 

The NEXUS application queue was extremely backed up because of the pandemic, causing applications to take extremely long. We have heard reports that conditional approvals are as fast as a couple of months and the last I checked, there are plenty of appointments for the in-person interview component if you book far enough in advance. While waiting is inevitable, hopefully, your wait won’t be as long as ours!

Using the Verified Traveller Program

Toronto Pearson is my main airport and I was recently able to use my newly approved NEXUS card to participate in the full Verified Traveller program. As we always do during the Winter holidays, we flew from YYZ to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to see grandparents and extended family. 

The Verified Traveller line was not as well labeled as other priority security lines, like American Express Priority Security or EXPRESS (which we’ll talk about later in the article). Instead, we followed the NEXUS labeling in Terminal 1, which brought us nicely to the Verified Traveller Priority Security Lane.

NEXUS and Global Entry signage at toronto pearson airport

We were greeted by a staff member who asked to see our NEXUS cards and directed to the beginning of the security screen. While the regular security line looped 5 or 6 times, there was no one in the Verified Traveller line, which was awesome! 

The security staff member reminded us that we do not need to remove anything from our carry-on bags. I took off my winter coat and out of habit, put my phone into the security bin, but decided to keep my Garmin smartwatch and necklace on to test whether the detector would go off or not. Thankfully, the sensors did not activate and our bags were swiftly put through the X-ray machine. Words cannot express how happy I was to not have to frantically re-pack my carry-on bag! 

In total, we spent 3 minutes getting through security! Coincidentally, the speed through security helped us get a spot in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, which started to turn away guests because it was full shortly after we arrived. 

Alternatives to the Verified Travellers Program

We understand that getting NEXUS is a bit of a hassle and takes months between application submission and approval. If you don’t want to get NEXUS or are in the process of getting approval, there are still ways to reduce the stress of airport security lines in the meantime!


YEG Express Program Banner

The EXPRESS program allows you to reserve a time to access a designated priority security line. You can select the time up to 72 hours in advance of your flight. Simply fill in your flight details and select a time to pass through security for you and up to 10 other passengers. 

Express is available at Canada’s 5 largest and busiest airports! Each airport has a specific website, so make sure you click on the right one to make your reservation: 

Once you complete the form, the system will generate a QR code to use at the airport. When your reservation comes up, scan your QR code at the designated EXPRESS line (often the same line as other priority security programs), and you will skip to the front of the security line! 

Check out our comprehensive overview of the EXPRESS program for more information!

American Express Priority Security at Toronto Pearson (YYZ)

AMEX x Toronto Pearson logo

If you currently hold the American Express Platinum Card, Business Platinum, Aeroplan Reserve, or Aeroplan Business Reserve cards, you have access to their YYZ Priority Security Lane Access program. To take advantage, visit here, log into your account, and input how many passengers will be traveling with you.

AMEX QR code for priority security access at yyz

The site will generate QR codes for each passenger to use to gain access to the priority security line (same line as EXPRESS). Simply scan the QR code and this will allow you to bypass the regular security line and get to the front. Again, keep in mind, that you will still have to follow standard security screening procedures (e.g., take laptops and liquids out, etc.).

Unfortunately, as the name implies, this benefit is only available at Toronto Pearson International Airport. If YYZ isn’t your home hub, this program won’t make sense for you.


Understanding the ins and outs of the Verified Traveller program can help take a tremendous amount of stress off of your plate when flying, allowing you access to priority security lines and a more painless security screening experience. 

Getting access to the program might take a bit of time, as the full NEXUS approval can take a few months. We encourage you to take advantage of one of the many credit cards that provides a NEXUS rebate and apply as soon as possible!

Quentin Tsang

Quentin Tsang

Quentin dove into the world of travel credit cards in 2019 after being jealous of people going to airport lounges and wondering how he could do the same. Little did he know, this curiosity would lead him to become immersed in the world of points and miles. He loves to nerd out over all aspects of travel credit cards, loyalty programs and making the most of everyday spending, and can’t wait to share his journey with Frugal Flyer readers.


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