A resident of North Virginia in the United States, doctor Siavash Sobhani has lost his US citizenship at the age of 61 years.
According to The Washington Post, Sobhani received a letter from the US State Department in February 2023 stating that his father was a diplomat at the Iranian Embassy at the time he was born and he should not have been given citizenship at that time.
He received the letter after applying for a new US passport.
In addition, it was indicated in the letter that children born in the US to parents who are diplomats do not automatically become citizens of the US.
Sobhani was informed that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity from the United States at the time of birth but he did not acquire citizenship.
This is the first time for Sobhani to experience the citizenship challenge in his over 30 years of practicing medicine in the country.
Initially, when he was renewing his passport, the US State Department had verified that he was an American citizen.
The doctor who has turned 62 years old is now considering retiring from the medical profession as he and his wife plan to travel around in neighboring countries in search for a place to build a house.
Meanwhile, the US State Department has given him some guidelines to fulfill before applying for lawful permanent residence.
He explained to The Washington Post that he has spent over USD 40,000 in legal fees and is not sure about the resolution of his case.
“I’m waiting for an interview, but does that mean I wait another year for an interview? Then another three years for the next step? Then another 10 years before I can travel outside of the country?” he told the Washington Post.
Consequently, he has asked for assistance from the Senator for Virginia State and his congress representative in an attempt to resolve the matter.
For instance, lack of a passport has made it impossible for him to travel to Lebanon to see his sick father at a hospital.
Additionally, he risks missing his son’s wedding in Portugal early next year due to lack of the passport.