After residing in the United States for 61 years, a doctor loses their American citizenship
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Siavash Sobhani, a renowned medical doctor with decades of residence in North Virginia, faces the abrupt loss of his US citizenship at the age of 61.

This unforeseen development arose when Sobhani, a US-born individual, applied for a new passport and received a startling letter from the US State Department in February. The letter revealed that Sobhani's father held diplomatic status at the Iranian Embassy during the doctor's birth, contending that, due to his father's diplomatic immunity, Sobhani should not have been automatically granted US citizenship.

Despite regular passport renewals throughout his life, Sobhani, practicing medicine for over thirty years, had consistently been affirmed as a US citizen. Now, facing the possibility of losing this status, the 62-year-old doctor had envisioned retirement and global travel with his spouse, but he must navigate the complex process of applying for lawful permanent residence per State Department guidelines.

The situation has taken a toll on Sobhani, incurring legal expenses exceeding USD 40,000, with an uncertain resolution date, leaving him in limbo about his future and travel plans. Expressing his concerns, he questioned the prolonged timeline of the process, stating, "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?"

Seeking assistance, Sobhani has reached out to his senator and congressional representative, Gerald Edward Connolly, who responded by corresponding with US Citizenship and Immigration Services on Sobhani’s behalf.

Adding complexity to the situation, Sobhani, a vocal critic of the Iranian regime, fears for his safety if he returns to Iran. Furthermore, he faces uncertainties regarding obtaining a passport in time for his son’s wedding in Portugal next year and is unable to visit his gravely ill father-in-law in Lebanon.

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