North Virginia: Sivash Shobhani, a doctor from North Virginia who has lived in the US since birth, lost his citizenship at the age of 61. In a letter received in February following his application for a new passport, the doctor’s father was a diplomat at the Iranian embassy and the US State Department said he would not be eligible for birthright citizenship. Those born in the US to diplomatically protected parents do not acquire US citizenship at birth. Sivash Shobhani enjoyed diplomatic protection under US jurisdiction at the time of her birth. The US State Department said in the letter that he is therefore ineligible for citizenship.
Meanwhile, Sivash Shobhani, who has been practicing as a doctor in the US for more than 30 years, is having such an experience for the first time. All this time, every time his passport was renewed, the US State Department had confirmed that he was an American citizen. Now Sivash Shobhani is facing the problem of having to follow the instructions given by the State Department and apply for legal permanent residence.
Sivas Shobhani’s future is unclear as she cannot live safely in Iran because she has spoken out against the government. He is also unsure if he will get a passport in time to attend his son’s wedding in Portugal next year. The doctor is also unable to visit his critically ill father-in-law who lives in Lebanon.
He said he has currently spent more than $40,000 in legal fees and has no idea when his case will be resolved. With this, it is not possible to travel abroad. He said he hopes to have his citizenship reinstated within six months.