A company in Texas that wishes to hire a foreign national might pursue an EB-1 visa in some cases, which is for individuals who can demonstrate that they have an extraordinary ability within their profession. However, when the organization that owns the Buffalo Sabres, Hockey Western New York LLC, pursued this visa for one of its training staff, it was denied. The company has filed a lawsuit in response.

The visa grants permanent residency to the recipient. The individual in question is a citizen of the United Kingdom and is the head conditioning and strength coach for the team. The suit referred to peer-reviewed research the man has done. Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, the NFL, the NBA and other sports leagues use the man’s research to create their training plans. The lawsuit also contended that professionals had altered their approach to power and strength in the lower body because of his research.

According to immigration officials, reference letters sent on the trainer’s behalf failed to adequately show that his contributions were original and had been of major significance. The team’s owner and attorney contend that the application was wrongly denied.

This case demonstrates some of the issues foreign nationals may encounter when dealing with immigration law. In addition to being complex and subject to rapid change, elements of the law may also seem as though they are left up to interpretation. Whether the visa being sought is an EB-1 or another type of work visa, such as an H1-B, an L-1, an R-1 or a J-1, an attorney may assist someone with preparing paperwork, explaining any changes in law and meeting deadlines. A lawyer might also help an applicant pursue an appeal if necessary. Some employment visas may also allow a spouse to apply for a separate employment visa.