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Neil Young granted U.S. citizenship 54 years after moving there

Neil Young attends a press conference for Farm Aid 34 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre on Sept. 21, 2019 in East Troy, Wis.
Neil Young attends a press conference for Farm Aid 34 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre on Sept. 21, 2019 in East Troy, Wis. Gary Miller/Getty Images

Canadian rock legend Neil Young moved to the U.S. in 1966 at the age of 21, and now, nearly 54 years later, he’s been granted American citizenship.

The Heart of Gold singer confirmed the news through his website, the Neil Young Archives, on Wednesday. He is now a dual citizen of both Canada and the U.S.

“I’m happy to report [that] I’m in,” the 74-year-old wrote, sharing a picture of himself standing tall and saluting beside the American flag.

“Vote your conscience,” he added.

The much-beloved artist crossed the Canada-U.S. border in a Pontiac hearse in 1966, according to the L.A. Times. In a 1975 interview, Young told Rolling Stone he remained in the country illegally until obtaining a green card in 1970.

Young was born in Toronto in 1945 and spent most of his adolescent years moving between Ontario and Winnipeg before ultimately leaving the nest to pursue his music career.

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In a personal Instagram video, Young can be heard singing along to the tune of the patriotic anthem written by Lee Greenwood in 1984, God Bless the U.S.A.

Young, however, being the songwriter he is, subtly changes the lyrics, instead singing: “I’m proud to be a ‘Can-erican,'” referencing his dual citizenship.

The Canadian icon said he applied for American citizenship so he could partake in the 2020 presidential election.

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💥 🇨🇦🇺🇸💥 peace

A post shared by Neil Young Archives (@neilyoungarchives) on

Last November, Young’s U.S. citizenship application was delayed. He said it was because of his consumption of marijuana.

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Young says he passed a test in which he was asked many questions and answered truthfully but was told he had to conduct another test due to his use of cannabis.

In April, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy alert stating that applicants who possess, grow or distribute marijuana may lack “good moral character,” even if the activity is legal in their state or country.

— With files from the Canadian Press

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca