Companies in Florida may sponsor an employee for a green card, and if they disagree with the decision of federal immigration officials, they may file a lawsuit. This was the action taken by Hockey Western New York LLC, which owns the Buffalo Sabres, after a green card for a team trainer was denied.
According to the lawsuit, the head strength and conditioning coach for the team, a British national, was eligible for an EB-1 visa. This type of visa grants permanent residency. It is necessary for EB-1 applicants to demonstrate extraordinary ability in their area, and the government contends that this was not the case.
The lawsuit names peer-reviewed research that the coach has conducted and says the NFL and the NBA, among other sports leagues, have used his research in programs for their athletes. Furthermore, the lawsuit says that conditioning and strength professionals changed the way they measure lower body strength within training programs as a result of his work. Immigration officials contend that reference letters failed to indicate that his work was of major significance and original within the field.
As this situation demonstrates, immigration law can be a complex and confusing area. People who are seeking a visa for work, education or family reunification or who wish to become naturalized citizens may want to consult an attorney. The process can be difficult to understand, and small errors could jeopardize or delay an application. In some cases, a person might be eligible for a green card under more than one category, but one may be a faster route. Furthermore, the experience of family and friends who have been through the same process may no longer be relevant because of changing laws. An attorney may assist with preparing paperwork accurately, meeting deadlines and making any necessary court appearances.