Obtaining Permanent Residency, Guardianship Order, and Name Change for Burundi Orphan

O’Melveny helped secure legal permanent residency for an immigrant child who entered the United States to receive life-saving medical treatment. 

The young boy, who suffered an injury that was never properly treated, was ultimately abandoned at a medical clinic in Burundi, unable to walk and severely malnourished. Doctors determined that his only hope for survival was to receive medical care in another country. The clinic’s executive director arranged for the child to receive the necessary medical care in Boston, and assumed the role of caretaker for the child in the United States. The young boy underwent more than a dozen surgeries and is now healed, although he will likely require a hip replacement in the future. The child continued living with the executive director and his partner, who have been raising him in Brooklyn. After the child expressed an interest in remaining in the United States permanently with his new family, O’Melveny stepped in and obtained an order in the Brooklyn Family Court granting guardianship to the executive director, and obtained a Special Findings Order from the court declaring the client eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. When the child expressed a desire to change his last name to match his guardian’s, the O’Melveny team then assisted with legally changing the client’s name, and subsequently represented him in his successful application for lawful permanent residency before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. As a result, this courageous boy has a chance to live safely with a loving family in the United States.