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UBC Alumni get expert advice on crossing the border

Pursuing employment in the United States can be a daunting and intimidating task, especially for a new or soon-to-be new Canadian graduate. Recently, Alex Stojicevic, of Maynard Kischer Stojicevic Immigration and Citizenship Law, joined a panel of experts to help answer questions about this process as part of Alumni UBC’s Your Next Step series.


Your Next Step helps students and alumni explore career opportunities with podcasts, panel discussions and other resources. In the panel discussion, Crossing the Border, Alex joined Nancy Biasi, chief of the consular section at the U.S. Consulate General, Matthew Lieurance, assistant chief, foreign operations division, U.S. Border Patrol, and Joel H. Paget, senior Immigration attorney at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland. Questions focussed on a variety of topics, from what one should know before applying to work in the U.S. to different types of visas and rules around family immigration.

“The key thing is, the amount of information that’s shared now,” Alex explained when asked what the most intimidating part of the immigration process is. “Canada and the United States share an enormous amount of immigration information. So if you forget on a form that you were refused entry into the U.K. ten years ago, and you write you’ve never been refused entry anywhere that can come back and haunt people now.”


Your Next Step: Crossing the Border


As for what Canadians need to consider before making the move, Alex says the main things people should think about are health care and taxes.

“Get some tax advice and make sure you’ve got your health care under control before you go down there, so that those terrible stories people hear aren’t you,” says Alex.

For the non-citizens in the audience, Alex cautioned that leaving the country may affect their application for citizenship.

“For those of you who are not citizens, it’s important you take care of that before you go. The law changed here in Canada last year…You have to sign, at the time that you apply now, a notice that you’re intending to stay in Canada,” says Alex. “If you’re a permanent resident, what will going down to the states mean for your residency obligations? A lot of people don’t consider being the U.S. as the same as if they went to their home countries. Well, for Canada, it’s the same. You’re outside of Canada.”

Alumni UBC helps link UBC alumni with the University and with each other, providing resources and highlighting successes through events, activities and newsletters.

Alex Stojicevic is a managing partner of MKS and is recognized as one Canada’s top immigration lawyers. To have your citizenship and immigration questions answered, visit MKS Immigration and Citizenship Law.


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