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Oscar-nominated U.S. actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi have been released from an immigration holding facility near Vancouver International Airport.

The Quaids had been in custody since Friday, when they appeared before the Immigration and Refugee Board in Vancouver and requested refugee status in Canada because, they said, their lives were in danger in the U.S.

The Canada Border Services Agency declined comment on why the couple had remained in custody even though they had initially been released on a $10,000 bond.

While processing the Quaids' refugee claim, it was learned that Evi Quaid's father was born in Canada, according to the couple's lawyer, Catherine Sas.

Because of changes to Canadian law in April 2009, that means Evi Quaid, 47, is a Canadian citizen, Sas said.

"She is, in fact, a Canadian citizen and accordingly, she doesn't need to make a refugee claim and all the other proceedings against her were dismissed," Sas said.

Evi Quaid was born in Vermont, according to the Internet Movie Database website.

"Your newest citizen," Randy Quaid said to reporters, hugging his wife as the couple left the building housing Immigration Canada offices.

"I'm just so proud, because I love Canada, I truly do," Evi Quaid said. "Everybody has the same sense of humour as me. It's big, it's beautiful. Like my husband."

Hearing Thursday

An immigration hearing for Randy Quaid, 60, has been scheduled for Thursday.

"I've got some new options that are open to me and I need to weigh everything," said Quaid. "I've got nothing against my beloved America. I love my country.... The people have always embraced me warmly [in Canada]. I've always enjoyed coming here. It's not a question of either-or. I like this place. I like that place. I just want a place where I can work and enjoy my life and not feel that someone's, you know, always following me around and trying to steal from me."

During their immigration hearing Friday, Evi Quaid said the couple believed their lives were in danger from "star-whackers" in the U.S. She said eight of their close actor friends had been murdered and they felt they could be next.

She cited the deaths of Heath Ledger and David Carradine as examples of actors they had been close to.

Ledger died in January 2008 from a reported accidental overdose and Carradine apparently hanged himself in a Bangkok hotel room in June 2009.

The couple faces felony burglary charges and misdemeanour counts in the U.S. for allegedly moving back into and vandalizing a home they once owned in Santa Barbara, Calif. Both are wanted on $500,000 bench warrants issued in Santa Barbara.

Randy Quaid, the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid, was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the 1973 film, The Last Detail. He won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years, but he's perhaps best known for his roles in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies as well as Brokeback Mountain and Independence Day.