Pro sports team says USCIS abused its discretion in EB-1 denial case

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2020 | Business Immigration

Who knows a hockey strength coach’s qualifications best, executives from the pro team hiring him or bureaucrats from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services?

From the perspective of the former group, the mere raising of such a question is flatly nonsensical. And the fact that it is playing out in real life has clearly baffled and frustrated management from the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres.

What has led to challenge of an adverse USCIS EB-1 ruling

The Sabres vetted British-born strength coach Ed Gannon some years back, being highly impressed with his professional attainments. The club hired Gannon, citing his “world-class credentials.”

Then the walls came inexplicably tumbling down. The Sabres filed the requisite paperwork to secure a green card for Gannon last year, underscoring his impeccable pedigree under the EB-1 visa Extraordinary Ability criteria. They had absolutely no doubt that Gannon would sail through the process.

He didn’t. The USCIS found him lacking, alleging that he failed to supply sufficient information to confirm his elite status.

The Sabres’ management is flatly incredulous in the wake of that finding, stressing that it wreaks of incompetence and bad faith. The club’s sheer ire with the ruling is evidenced by the federal lawsuit it recently filed against the USCIS. The complaint contends that the agency misstated key facts and intentionally ignored its own rules in reaching a determination.

The litigation is pending.