Resettling an Afghan Family in the United States

Monday, August 14, 2023

Following nearly two years of hard-fought advocacy, a Morgan Lewis team assisted Mohammad Hamid Yousafi and his family in receiving Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and relocating to the United States. Despite the best efforts of a team of Morgan Lewis lawyers, including Firm Chair Jami McKeon, and even members of US Congress and the US diplomatic corps, Mr. Yousafi—a member of the former Afghan government—and his wife and five children were unable to safely evacuate Afghanistan in the days and weeks following the United States’ military withdrawal from the Taliban-controlled country in August 2021. Undeterred, Morgan Lewis continued to work to secure the family’s departure for the next 18 months.

This important (and likely life-saving) representation reconnected a Morgan Lewis lawyer with Mr. Yousafi, with whom the lawyer had worked in Afghanistan while he was serving as the military aide to the brigadier general in charge of NATO’s mission to uphold the rule of law. At the time, Mr. Yousafi was an aide to an Afghan minister and collaborated closely with the Morgan Lewis lawyer during efforts to combat corruption within the Afghan government.

After our team liaised on Mr. Yousafi’s behalf with dozens of US State Department and government officials about his plight—all while he was living in safe houses throughout Kabul—Mr. Yousafi and his family were ultimately able to fly to Qatar in April 2023. Following their final SIV interviews and required processing, the family was chartered on a flight to the United States where they arrived on July 3, just in time to observe the celebration of Independence Day. The Yousafi family has chosen to resettle in Houston, Texas.