Special Report

Most Famous Foreigners Who Became US Citizens

Source: davorko / iStock via Getty Images

Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856-Jan. 7, 1943)
> Country of origin: Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia)
> Occupation: Inventor

A Serbian-American inventor, Nikola Tesla’s claims to fame include the discovery of alternating-current (AC) electricity and the rotating magnetic field. He emigrated to the United States in 1884, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1891. Tesla set up laboratories and companies in New York, developing a range of electrical and mechanical devices. His AC induction motor and related patents were licensed by Westinghouse Electric in 1888, earning him a large amount of money and cementing his spot as an influential inventor.

Emily Blunt (Feb. 23, 1983- )
> Country of origin: United Kingdom
> Occupation: Actor

Emily Blunt has graced both British and American screens since 2003. Her biggest credits include “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Into the Woods,” “The Girl on the Train,” and “A Quiet Place” (directed by husband John Krasinski). The British-born actress became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015. Her awards include a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and in 2020, Forbes ranked her as one of the world’s highest paid actresses.

Liam Neeson (June 7, 1952- )
> Country of origin: United Kingdom
> Occupation: Actor

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Liam Neeson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2000. He first rose to prominence with his leading role in Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” going on to star in such blockbusters as Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” “Love Actually,” and “Kinsey.” Also a hit with theater audiences, Neeson earned a Tony Award with his performance in the revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” and received a Tony nomination for his work in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Neeson became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2009, following the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson.

Salma Hayek (Sept. 2, 1966- )
> Country of origin: Mexico
> Occupation: Actor

This Mexican and American actress got her start on the telenovela “Teresa” and the romantic drama “El Callejón de los Milagros.” Salma Hayek then made her way to Hollywood, establishing herself in appearances in “Desperado,” “From Dusk till Dawn,” and “Dogma.” She became the first Mexican actress nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for the title role in the Frida Kahlo biopic, “Frida.” The part also earned her a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and British Academy Film Award nominations. She has also won four Emmy Awards nominations for her directing, producing, and acting work. She has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2013.

Nicole Kidman (June 20, 1967- )
> Country of origin: Australia
> Occupation: Actor

Unlike the other celebs on this list, Kidman has had dual citizenship since birth – she was born in Honolulu while her Australian parents were in the United States temporarily on student visas. With an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, two primetime Emmy awards, and six Golden Globes, it’s safe to say that Kidman’s A-list celebrity status is here to stay.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.