Pat (pictured with husband Michael) O'Toole has been living in Australia for 69 years and only recently realised she wasn't an Australian citizen.
Pat (pictured with husband Michael) O'Toole has been living in Australia for 69 years and only recently realised she wasn't an Australian citizen. Contributed

Meet the granny who's lived in Oz illegally for 69 years

AFTER 69 years of living in Australia, Pat O'Toole was as Aussie as you could be.

Her friends were Australian, her husband was an Australian and she raised a family of Aussies in the Lockyer Valley.

But when Pat decided to visit the United Kingdom for the first time in 69 years, her friend pointed out the Lancashire-born woman might want to double check her citizenship status.

"I came out to Australia when I was four and, up until recently, I thought I was automatically a citizen," Pat said.

"But someone told me, if I wasn't a citizen and I left the country for a holiday or something, they're not obliged to let me back in."

So Pat double-checked ahead of her first ever overseas trip in her entire adult life.

Much to her shock, she discovered she was not an Australian citizen.

"I thought it was horrific and figured I had better do something about it," she said.

"I didn't really believe it but all those scandals about duel citizenship came up so I looked into it."

Pat got to work applying for her citizenship and, as of October 3, could call herself an Australian.

"There was a fair bit of paperwork... I had to fill out a lot of papers," she said.

After a few months, she heard back. Her application had been accepted.

"All my kids were born here, my kids were born here and now I'm not the odd one out," she said.

Pat and her husband Michael are looking forward to visiting the UK together - and knowing they can return to their Helidon home.

"My grandson lives in Canada, so I would love to go over there too," she said.



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