Celebrities Like Salma Hayek & Kumail Nanjiani, Who Immigrated & Became U.S. Citizens!

So many of your favorite celebs have actually immigrated to the United States to work as actors, but their journey has not been the easiest. Here are some celebs who worked hard to get their citizenship!

There are an abundant amount of celebrities who have immigrated to the United States, whether that be for work or with their families when they were young. Although many of these celebs had been in the states for several years, it took hard work and dedication to finally establish themselves and obtain their citizenship. Here are a few celebrities who immigrated to the United States and what their personal journeys to becoming a citizen looked like!

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, México and this is also where she discovered her passion for acting. It wasn’t until 1991 that Hayek decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue her career further. She actually ended up overstaying her US visa and was then considered undocumented for a while. This eventually led to her getting a green card and then in 2013 she officially became a US citizen. Although she remains a US citizen, Hayek tries to represent her Mexican heritage in anything she does and takes great pride in doing so.

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Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, and moved to the United States when he was 19 years old. He spent a lot of his time in Toronto growing up and it was there that he ended up making his debut as a stand-up comedian. He then ventured to Hollywood where he began acting in multiple films and starring on television. It wasn’t until 2004 that Carrey decided to become an American citizen in order to vote in the upcoming election of that year. He kept his Canadian citizenship as he is incredibly proud of where he came from and loves his heritage.

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Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello was born in Cojímar, Cuba, and moved to the United States when she was 6, but her journey was not easy. Cabello and her mother crossed the US border into Miami with nothing but a desire to live a better life. Her mother worked hard and took classes to learn English in hopes of giving her daughter a better life. A year or so later, the singer’s father joined the two and the family went on to own their own construction company. Cabello loves to express her gratitude for her parents’ hard work and dedication which they have instilled in her. In 2008 Cabello officially became a US citizen, but continues to share her immigration story in hopes of inspiring others who may have had a similar journey.

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Kumail Nanjiani

Kuhmail Nanjiani, known for his role on HBO’s Silicon Valley, was actually born in Karachi, Pakistan. Nanjiani is very outspoken on the obstacles he went through in order to become a citizen, mentioning that it took him 15 years to get his Green Card. He moved to the US when he was just 18 years old and ended up going to Grinnell College in Iowa. Nanjiani then graduated in 2001 and finally got his citizenship almost a decade later. Due to the absurd amount of time it took for Nanjiani to obtain his citizenship, he continues to be an advocate for immigrants who hope to become citizens and are struggling to do so.

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Sofia Vergara

This Modern Family star was actually born in Barranquilla, Colombia, and left her beloved country to pursue a modeling and show business career in Miami. She made an appearance back in 2014 on the Jimmy Kimmel Show where she discussed how long it took her to get her residency in the US even though she had been working for a long time. Vergara then proceeds to explain how she took the 100-question test where she actually got every question right and then was made a United States citizen. The actress will always honor and cherish where she came from but also feels proud to be an American citizen and of all the hard work she put in to get there.

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Tan France

Tan France, known for the Netflix series Queer Eye, was born in Doncaster, England. He originally was known for his work with fashion as he’s a well-respected designer as well. Back in 2020, France shared an Instagram post confirming his American citizenship. He mentions how this had been a goal he was working toward for 20 years and because of that, it was a very emotional experience for him. France continues to encourage his fans to vote and help be a part of making great changes to our country!


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Although these celebrities faced many obstacles in becoming United States citizens, their hard work and dedication are incredibly admirable. They each serve as an important role model for those aspiring to become citizens and continue to support those making the same journeys they did!

About the Author

Sophia Leogrande

Sophia Leogrande is a student at Pennsylvania State University studying Film Production with a minor in Spanish.