Dr. Siavash Sobhani, a dedicated physician in Northern Virginia for over three decades, is confronting an unexpected and bewildering crisis. At 61 years old, having lived his entire life as a U.S. citizen after being born in Washington, D.C., he found himself stripped of his citizenship when attempting to renew his passport earlier this year.
The shocking revelation came in the form of a letter from the State Department, citing an error related to his father’s diplomatic status with the Embassy of Iran at the time of his birth. This revelation left Sobhani in disbelief and dismay, questioning the sudden loss of the rights and privileges he had always taken for granted.
Expressing his disbelief, Sobhani stated, “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.” He highlighted his contributions, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring the abruptness and shock of being informed, after 61 years, that he was no longer considered a U.S. citizen.
However, his concerns extend beyond the immediate shock. Sobhani faces uncertainty about his future, including his ability to continue practicing medicine legally, the status of his Social Security benefits due to a potential change in his Social Security number, and the possibility of missing significant family events abroad.
Seeking resolution, Sobhani turned to local lawmakers, including Sen. Mark R. Warner and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, for assistance. He emphasized his unwavering commitment to his community and sought their intervention in reinstating his citizenship.
Rep. Connolly acknowledged the distressing situation, expressing empathy for Sobhani’s plight. In a letter, he acknowledged the impact Sobhani has made in serving Virginians for three decades, hoping it would weigh in on the decision to assist in rectifying this bureaucratic error.
As Dr. Sobhani waits for a resolution, his plight serves as a stark reminder of the bureaucratic complexities that can upend lives, urging a swift and compassionate resolution to restore his rightful citizenship and safeguard his future in the country he has called home for six decades.
Sources By Agencies