North Virginia doctor Siavash Sobhani stated he was in “shock” after a State Department official allegedly told him his U.S. citizenship was stripped over a bureaucratic reason, according to The Washington Post.
Sobhani, 61, who specializes in internal medicine, received a letter from a State Department official after applying for a new passport in February, according to the outlet. What the north Virginia doctor received, however, was not what he expected as he had gone through the passport renewal process several times previously without any issues.
Sobhani was informed he should have never been granted citizenship in the first place since his father was a diplomat with the Embassy of Iran. (RELATED: Doctor Walks Out Mid-Surgery After Hospital Staff Fail To Bring Him A Cup Of Tea: REPORT)
“As a member of your parent’s household at the time of your birth, you also enjoyed full diplomatic immunity from the jurisdiction of the United States,” the letter obtained by The Washington Post stated. “As such, you were born not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Therefore, you did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.”
Sobhani was then directed to visit a website where he could apply for a lawful permanent residence, per the letter. Since his discovery, Sobhani has reportedly applied for permanent residence, already spending more than $40,000 in legal fees which may never be resolved, according to The Washington Post.
Born at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in November 1961, Sobhani said although he lived with his family for a short time in Turkey, they returned to Washington, D.C., where he attended Georgetown Preparatory School, per the outlet. The doctor went on to receive degrees from both George Washington University and Boston College before he attended Georgetown Medical School, per the outlet. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Group That Trains Physician Assistants To Be ‘Anti-Racist’ Defended Race-Based College Admissions)
‘This was a shock to me,” Sobhani told the outlet, “I’m a doctor. I’ve been here all my life. I’ve paid my taxes. I’ve voted for presidents. I’ve served my community in Northern Virginia. During COVID, I was at work, putting myself at risk, putting my family at risk. So when you’re told after 61 years, ‘Oh there was a mistake, you’re no longer a U.S. citizen,’ it’s really, really shocking.”
Sobhani has written letters to Democrat Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Democrat Virginia Rep. Gerald Connolly seeking their help in the matter. He noted he cannot live safely in Iran due to previously speaking out against the government, as well as having family involved in U.S. politics.
“I can only hope that the impact I’ve made in caring for our community of Virginians, your constituents, for the past 30 years will hold some weight in swaying your decision to intervene on my behalf,” Sobhani wrote, according to The Washington Post.
Connolly has since written back to Sobhani stating his office is “requesting all possible consideration in expediting” his case. It remains unclear how long the north Virginia doctor’s case could take; however, Sobhani stated he hopes to have it restored within six months, according to the outlet.