Iranian Khatoun Khoykani was awarded her green card at the age of 99 after moving to the U.S. 15 years ago, according to the Associated Press. Khoykani was among approximately 3,700 other immigrants who were naturalized during a ceremony in Los Angeles on July 26.
Khoykani was the oldest person this year among the naturalized citizens in L.A. There have only been 27 people older than 100 to become American citizens in the last 50 years, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told the source.
“I’m shaking because I’m so happy,” Khoykani told the AP. “There’s no place like this in the entire world.”
Khoykani left Iran shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution before settling in L.A. in 1998, the AP reported. Her three children left Iran almost 30 years ago for the U.S. and she came here to be with them.
She returned to Iran in 2008 to care for her sick husband and after he passed away in 2009 she had trouble reentering the U.S. Her daughter tried to pick her up and a “lengthy legal process” began.
According to the AP, the oldest person ever to become a U.S. citizen was a 117-year-old Turkish immigrant named Manik Bokchalian. She took her oath of allegiance in 1997.