Aleksandar Stojicevic (Alex) is one of the best practicing immigration lawyers in Canada. He started MKS with Gordon Maynard in 2002. Alex, along with six other lawyers and 15 staff make up the prestigious law firm.
In a lively interview with Immigration Nation’s Mark Holthe, Alex first speaks about an important case –the HD Mining and Specialized Construction Worker’s Union. A six-month federal court application by two unions who were supported by the British Columbia Federation of Labor. They were attempting to block 200 miners from coming from China to work on the untrue grounds that the company was advertising Chinese-speaking workers. He won the case in the end.
“That was completely all-consuming, and it’s been eight years now, I was blessed to be involved in that case with some really excellent lawyers on both sides,” he said of the landmark case.
Alex reflected that he has been very lucky to work only in specialized immigration boutiques that do a variety of things. He laments that MKS is special because it does both the litigation and solicitor side of his craft.
The pandemic has changed everything in our world, and citizenship applications are no exception. Normally 50 people take the citizenship test and attend the oath ceremony in-person to celebrate their new lives. However, COVID-19 has changed this process.
All of Canada’s immigration centers closed at the beginning of the pandemic and people were unable to go in-person to a test or oath ceremony. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there are currently many potential citizens who are backlogged and waiting to become citizens of Canada since 2019.
However, there have been some steps in the right direction. The citizenship oath ceremony is now a virtual event using a Zoom-like platform to conduct it. According to Alex, the backlog was cleared somewhat with these changes.
For testing, the prospective citizen is now sent a link, which is viable for 21 days. The applicant must have a good internet connection to complete the test via this link (using Safari and Chrome browsers only). The test can only be conducted on a desktop or laptop, and not on a handheld device.
Your identification is verified through a QR code and once that is complete, the applicant has 30 minutes to complete the 20 question test. A little tip from Alex Stojicevic: The test questions almost always include questions on citizenship rights, responsibilities of citizenship, and Canadian voting procedures.
“This is the new normal for the next little while but there may be a level of permanence to this. I say this because the oath ceremony is a big deal, it should be public and people should celebrate it, but with the test, I am not sure that we should have government office space tied down for a citizenship test where you can verify a person’s identity online easily”
To close the interview, Mark asked Alex what he would say to someone who’s watching and wondering if Canadian Citizenship During the Pandemic is worth pursuing.
Alex astutely answered, “We still have the international reputation of being a safe, reasonable, and orderly place that comes with an assumption that you are reasonable, you are temperate in your views, and that you are someone you can come to a consensus with. Most other citizenships in the world label you in a pejorative way some way or the other, if the worst you can say about a Canadian is that they’re too polite, in the international spheres that is not such a bad thing.”
MKS Immigration Lawyers focuses solely on Canadian immigration and citizenship law, and can provide you with in-depth knowledge of how immigration law and policy operates. Contact us or Book a consultation MKS can provide valuable guidance on Canadian Citizenship During the Pandemic.