The wife of actor Randy Quaid has been granted Canadian citizenship, the couple's lawyer said Wednesday, and has applied to sponsor her husband so the two can remain in Canada.

Evi Quaid received her citizenship on Feb. 10, according to her lawyer, Catherine Sas. Since then, she has made a formal application to sponsor her husband. Sas said she believes Randy Quaid will be granted permanent resident status before his refugee claim is settled, but that both applications will remain open.

Evi Quaid was eligible for citizenship because her father was Canadian.

When asked by reporters how it felt to be Canadian, Evi Quaid said it was "unbelievable."

"I think I always was. I think I'm a natural," she said.

The Canada Border Services Agency has also withdrawn admissibility proceedings against Randy Quaid.

The Quaids have been in Vancouver since last fall, when they claimed refugee status following their arrest on a California warrant. The two based their refugee claim on their belief that their lives are threatened by a group of so-called "Hollywood star whackers."

The couple claims this group is responsible for the deaths of actors Heath Ledger and David Carradine, and for the personal and professional tribulations of actors Jeremy Piven and Lindsay Lohan and pop star Britney Spears.

It is unclear how the latest developments in the bizarre case will affect the couple's legal troubles. The two are wanted in Santa Barbara, Calif., in a felony vandalism case. They are accused of causing more than $5,000 in damage to a guest house of a home they previously owned. The Quaids fled to Canada and neither has appeared for any court hearings in the case, meaning they have forfeited about $1 million in bail.

Evi Quaid, 47, is also on probation for a misdemeanour fraud charge stemming from an incident at a Santa Barbara inn.

Randy Quaid's lawyer, John Shewfelt, said it was not clear what made the CBSA drop its admissibility proceedings against his client when it appeared the agency believed him to be inadmissible due to the charges he faces in California.

But Shewfelt said it could be that Canadian officials will not extradite a U.S. citizen on the type of charges the Quaids are facing. He also said the CBSA may have reconsidered its position on Randy Quaid upon reviewing the case against him.

"I draw the logical connection between the absence of evidence and the withdrawal of the proceeding," Shewfelt said.

Anthony Davis, the deputy district attorney in Santa Barbara, said his office is still considering all options to get the Quaids back on U.S. soil, including an extradition request.

Sas would only say Wednesday that she is working on resolving the California charges against her clients.

Randy Quaid, 60, has appeared in dozens of films, including "Brokeback Mountain," "Independence Day" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." He was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his work in the 1973 film "The Last Detail." He won a Golden Globe for his role as former U.S. president Lyndon Johnson in the 1987 TV movie "LBJ: The Early Years."

At the same time the Quaids and their lawyers were addressing the media, Randy Quaid was also presented with a Vancouver Film Critics Award for his role has a hit man in the film "Real Time." The Quaids originally travelled to Vancouver last October so Randy could accept the award.

Quaid thanked the actors and crew on the movie, but also thanked Canadians for their support since he and his wife arrived in the country last year.

"But today we're here to say thank you Canada," he said. "Thank you for your warm welcome, thank you for giving us the opportunity to live in peace and thank you to the Vancouver Film Critics Circle."

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press