"It was like an impossible dream for me to live in America and one day become an American citizen," Gleb Savchenko told E! News

Advertisement

Gleb Savchenko is officially a citizen of the United States.

The Dancing with the Stars pro spoke with E! News about the "impossible dream" he had of becoming an American citizen — a process that took 17 years, and culminated on Wednesday.

"It's a dream come true," Savchenko, 37, told the outlet. "I grew up in Russia, in Moscow, and I'd always just read [about the States]."

"It was like an impossible dream for me to live in America and one day become an American citizen," he added.

The dancer said he sent a photo to his father, who "got a little emotional" at seeing his son's achievement. Both of Savchenko's parents still live in Moscow.

Gleb Savchenko
Credit: Gleb Savchenko
Gleb Savchenko
Credit: Gleb Savchenko

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

"They're not getting younger, so I was like, it'd be a great opportunity for them at some point to come live here too," Savchenko said. "I cannot even describe how awesome it is. I am so, so happy."

iHeartRadio 2021 Arrivals
Gleb Savchenko
| Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty

As for his knowledge on facts about the U.S., he joked to E! News, "You can ask me anything, and I can answer that," telling the outlet he took multiple online courses in American history.

Though she didn't mention Savchenko, the star's estranged wife Elena Samodanova appeared to become a U.S. citizen on the same day as her ex.

On Wednesday, Samodanova, 37, — with whom Savchenko shares daughters Zlata, 4, and Olivia, 10 — posted a video and photo of herself holding up a certificate and waving a tiny American flag, while standing between two larger flags.

Back in March, Savchenko told Entertainment Tonight that he and Samodanova are trying to keep things "fun" for their daughters.

"We're trying to move on, we're friends, we're co-parenting together, we're on great terms," Savchenko said of his relationship with his ex.

The former couple, who announced their split last November after 14 years of marriage, agreed to split custody of their girls, with Savchenko and Samodanova each getting five days back and forth with their daughters as of March.

"Co-parenting is fun. We made it a lot of fun for the kids," the Russian dancer said.