The unfolding saga began when the doctor, who was born in the US, applied for a new passport and subsequently received a letter from the US State Department in February.
The letter, according to The Washington Post, cited that Sobhani’s father had diplomatic status at the Iranian Embassy during the physician’s birth.
Consequently, the document contended that Sobhani, given his father’s diplomatic immunity at the time, should not have been granted US citizenship automatically.
This unexpected revelation comes as a shock to Sobhani, who has been practicing medicine for over thirty years without encountering such issues before.
Despite regular passport renewals throughout his life, the US State Department consistently affirmed his American citizenship.
Now facing the prospect of losing his citizenship, Sobhani, who recently turned 62, had contemplated retirement with plans to travel the world for a year with his spouse in search of a new home.
However, he must now navigate the complex process of applying for lawful permanent residence in accordance with the State Department’s guidelines.
The situation has already taken a toll on Sobhani, who revealed to The Washington Post that he has accrued legal expenses exceeding USD 40,000.
Furthermore, the resolution date of his case remains uncertain, leaving him in limbo about his future and travel plans.
Expressing his concerns, Sobhani questioned the prolonged timeline of the process.
“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?,” the doctor told the post.
In a bid to seek assistance, Sobhani has reached out to the senator from Virginia and his congressional representative.
Gerald Edward Connolly, the congressman representing Virginia’s 11th congressional district, has responded by corresponding with US Citizenship and Immigration Services on Sobhani’s behalf.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, Sobhani, who has spoken out against the Iranian regime, fears for his safety should he return to Iran.
Additionally, he faces the uncertainty of 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.