A Canadian ice skating champion who earned gold and silver medals at international skating competitions and who was denied EB-1 extraordinary ability green card status has sued U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Christina Carreira contends that the reasons for her green card denial were “nonsensical,” “absurd,” and “incomprehensible.” Her denial stated that these awards were not proof of excellence because they were won in events in which competing participants must belong to specific associations. Under this line of reasoning, Carreira’s complaint asserts, Olympic gold medals would also be disqualified as proof of extraordinary ability.
Reportedly, Carreira wishes to obtain permanent residence and eventual U.S. citizenship and to join the U.S. team for the 2022 Winter Olympics. USCIS said her medals won over the past two years in national and international competitions did not support classification as an “alien of extraordinary ability.”
The complaint notes that Ms. Carreira is a citizen and national of Canada currently lawfully present in the United States as an athlete performing at an internationally recognized level of performance. She is half of the two-member team of Carreira/Pomomarenko, “the highest ranked competitive junior ice dance team in the world as ranked by the governing body of the sport, the International Skating Union,” the complaint states. The team has won multiple national and international gold and silver medals in various competitions.
Michael Piston, counsel for Ms. Carreira, said the “incomprehensible” decision “is part and parcel of the decline in administrative decision-making we’ve seen with the Trump administration.”