Ahmad is a U.S. citizen whose life has been on hold for the past two years because his wife remains stranded in Iran, having been denied permission to enter the U.S. He currently serves as a fully credentialed attending nuclear medicine physician at the VA Medical Center in Iowa. In 2017, after he married his wife, Hoda Safaei, in Iran, he immediately petitioned for her to come to the United States. On December 18, 2018, Hoda appeared for an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, and the consular officer refused the immigrant visa application because of the Muslim Ban proclamation. Since that date, her waiver has been in the administrative process.
Both Ahmad and Hoda have suffered emotionally from their situation: Ahmad with an aggravated medical condition and Hoda with significant emotional stress. Despite assistance from their senators, they remain separated without any indication of when they can begin their lives together or have children. Their story has been covered in Reuters.