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For the past two months, the Guidepost Solutions team in the Washington, D.C. office has been assisting a client in his fight for life. This individual was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and he was advised his life expectancy was limited without a kidney transplant. The possibility of finding a matching donor and the years long waiting list to be a recipient made his probable outcome bleak. His relatives around the world were tested, and one sister in Ethiopia appeared to be a match. She made the selfless decision to donate one of her kidneys to her brother.
It would seem finding a willing, matching donor would be the most difficult aspect of this procedure. However, when his sister applied for a visa to enter the U.S. in June 2011, she was summarily denied. A second attempt several months later also proved fruitless, even though the family had medical letters supporting the visa and documentation showing that the insurance company would cover the transplant procedure. The reasons for denial were not articulated by the Department of State, which made this case more difficult to rebut. This individual battled for over a year to get his sister’s visa issued with no resolution. When we were approached about this case, and after hearing the facts and the family’s financial situation, we took on his case pro-bono.
Using our extensive knowledge of the immigration laws, policies and procedures, we helped our client and client’s sister apply for the issuance of Humanitarian Parole entry into the United States. We worked to gather supporting documentation that showed that the medical need was significant and urgent, and that the sister would not commit immigration violations. We prepped the sister for interviews with the consulate office and worked with USCIS and the State Department.
On October 13, we were notified that the government approved a four-month Humanitarian Parole visa for the client’s sister to enter the United States for the transplant surgery and recovery. The sister received her travel documents on October 17. Although the work of the GPS team obviously pales in comparison to the sacrifice the client’s sister is making, we are very proud to have helped our hard working client and his family convince the government to grant this humanitarian parole.
We expect the surgery to occur prior to the New Year and are hoping for the best for this family.
Bart M. Schwartz is the chairman of Guidepost Solutions LLC, a global leader in investigations, due diligence, security and technology consulting, immigration and cross-border consulting, and monitoring and compliance solutions.