What To Do if your FAST application is rejected

If your Free And Secure Trade Card application is rejected you have two options:

Either route may not solve your problem but they are your only options.

The only other option is to


Why Free And Secure Trade Card applications are Rejected

Normally, the rejection reason will be stated in the rejection letter, which you view on the TTP website. Sometimes, though the reason for the rejection is not stated. Or, alternatively, it could be something vague, for example, a statement indicating you “do not meet the program requirements.”

Whether or not the letter states the reason, the most likely reason why a FAST Card application is rejected is because of your ineligibility. However, the United States’ Customs and Border Protection service and the Canada Border Services agency have different standards for eligibility. As the applicant, you have to meet both sets of eligibility criteria. Lots of people actually apply for FAST Cards without knowing the full eligibility requirements. If you do not meet any of the stated criteria for eligibility, your FAST application will be rejected. The criteria for eligibility can be divided into four fields:

If you cannot meet any of these eligibility criteria, your FAST application will be rejected.

However, agents of either border agency can also reject your application at the officer’s discretion, if the officer reviewing your application believes you don’t meet all of the criteria.


Rejection Due to an Inconsistent FAST Card Application or an Application with Missing Information

The second most common cause of a rejection is if you submitted an incorrect FAST application or there are inconsistencies between your statements on the application and your statements at the interview. You cannot leave out required information on your application. Don’t leave out information on your application (either by accident or on purpose) or your application may be rejected.

Your application will likely be rejected if the CBSA or CBP agent detects inconsistencies between the statements you provided online and the statements you make and the documentation you produce at the interview, including but hardly exclusive to the following issues

  • inconsistencies between your physical appearance and the physical attributes described in your application (eye colour, hair colour, height, weight)
  • inconsistencies between the documentation listed in your online application (your commercial driver’s license, and your birth certificate or passport, whichever you provided) and the actual documentation you bring with you to the interview
  • inconsistencies between any statements in your online application and answers to questions you give at the interview regarding your place of residence or your employment history, including any discrepancies with any proofs of your residence or your employment you bring with you to the interview
  • inconsistencies between the countries you travelled to listed in your online application and answers to questions in the interview regarding your travel history.

Note: Questions at the interview about your residence, employment history and travel history should be confined to the last five years. But questions about your criminal record and your customs and immigration history will be regarding your adult life as a whole.

A discrepancy will not necessarily cause a rejection but whether or not it does is entirely at the discretion of the border official who catches the discrepancy, meaning the officer has the right to reject your FAST Card application because of a typo if they want to. Please note: that’s not a normal occurrence, just a possibility.


Other Reasons for a FAST Card Application Rejection

Your FAST Card application could also be rejected if you do not comply with any particular aspect of the application process. Here are some examples:

  • If you fail to attend your FAST interview at the appointed time or merely fail to book successfully your interview, your FAST Card application will be rejected.
  • If you cannot provide the documentation which you listed in your online application at the interview, your application may be rejected (at the discretion of the officer).
  • If, at the time of payment within the TTP application process, your credit card cannot be charged, your application will not be accepted.

These are just a few examples; other mistakes within the application process could also result in a rejected application. You may not learn why the application is rejected.

Appealing the Rejection

Usually, you need to appeal based upon your country of residence determines which appeal process you need to utilize. Unfortunately, nobody knows what the success rates of appeals is, as this information is not publicly available. Border Cards estimates that the success rate for FAST Card appeals is very low.


Learn more about appealing a FAST Card application rejection.


Addressing Your Free And Secure Trade Program Ineligibility

If you don’t want to appeal your rejection, you can wait until you are eligible to re-apply, or you can attempt to deal with your ineligibility.