According to the information available from the reliable sources, around 20 thousand Goans managed to enter into various European Union (EU) countries with the help of Portuguese passport legally. No illegal business as the holders of Portuguese passports was authorized by the UK to travel and settle in any of the European countries without the need of a visa.
Portuguese left Goa by converting hundreds of thousands of Goans automatically into the citizen of Portugal with the help of their birth registration in Lisbon and having the “Bill of Identity” even though they never set their foot there and this included the children and grandchildren of the Goans born before 1961 in Goa.
Out of this ten of thousands Goan settled in Britain using an immigration loophole. At least 20,000 people have evaded strict checks on non-EU residents coming to the UK after obtaining Portuguese passports in India which give them full rights to live and work here.
Although it all started with only Goans getting into the UK legally with the help of Portuguese link but later on many Indians manage to enter the UK with fake documents. Their numbers have surged in recent years and they are just part of a far larger group of hundreds of thousands who have arrived in Britain from outside the EU, many through similar loopholes.
The Indians have taken advantage of Portuguese law allowing anyone born before 1961 in the Indian west coast state of Goa and the coastal towns further north of Daman and Diu to give up their Indian passport and become EU citizens simply because these places were once colonies of Portugal.
But with the due course of time, the number of people acquiring the Portuguese passport grown tremendously and many of them entered directly into Britain without setting their foot in Portugal or any other European countries. Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP for Kettering, said: ‘This is an outrageous loophole and it must be closed. This is yet another case of the issuing of passports by an EU country to people who have no intention of going to that country but head straight to Britain. ‘If we left the EU, we could introduce border controls that would prevent these people from coming in.’
The report published by the Daily Mail Online portal claimed that the population of Portuguese passport holder in Britain was around 13000 in the year 2014 which shot up to 20000 in June last year. That was around 50 per cent increase in migration in just one year. Out of total Goans living in the UK, more than half the Goans live in Swindon claimed the report. The report further claimed that in the year 2000 only 25 Goans were living in Swindon which shot up to 10,000 in 15 years.
The Mail Online made the most shocking revelation that, potentially, over a million Indians from Goa, Daman and Diu could come to Britain since around half of the territories’ two million population can claim Portuguese ancestry.
Entire villages near the Goan capital Panaji have emptied as its inhabitants migrated to Britain in recent years. It further said that to cope with demand, an entire industry of law firms have been set up in Goa and the Portuguese capital Lisbon to help Indians prove their parents or grandparents were born in the former colonies before 1961. There are also dozens of blogs and Facebook pages that give applicants free advice on how to apply for a Portuguese passport in Goa.
Everybody had witnessed the big queue outside the Portuguese Consulate in Panaji applying for the Portuguese passports. The overall number of non-EU migrants making their way to Britain on EU passports has risen sharply in the last three years. According to ONS figures, in June 2013, there were 178,000. By June 2014, that figure had risen to 198,000, and by June last year, the total had increased to 228,000 – an increase of 50,000 in two years.
Goan born woman takes over as Mayor of UK Royal Borough
This is perhaps the another matter of pride for Goans as the Goan born Sayonara Luxton has become the mayor of UK Royal Borough before her another Goan has become the prime minister of Portugal. The issue of dual nationality is already creating the huge controversy and these appointments make it clearer as how much of Goan origin people have penetrated in the European countries with the help of Portuguese passport.
According to the news published by the Indian news agency PTI, the Goa-born Sayonara Luxton has taken over charges of the Mayor of Royal cities of Windsor and Maidenhead in southeast England. The newly appointed mayor of Royal Borough is in her 60s claimed the report.
According to the reports, Councilor Luxton was serving the city as the deputy Mayor for the past one year before getting appointed as the mayor of the city and she took over from the former mayor Councilor Dee Quick, claimed the report.
“When I left Goa 40 years ago, I could not in my wildest dreams have dreamt that I could hold such a high office. I mean look at me, the mayoral robe was not designed for my stature, but I promise you that I hold the heart and soul and I will give everything,” Luxton said, pointing to her petite frame. “I will be working on a special project in Her Majesty’s honour and further details will be released soon,” she added.
The Conservative party mayor’s chosen charity will be The Household Cavalry and also actively supports the War Horse Memorial, which will be erected in Ascot and will commemorate the 1 million horses that lost their lives during World War I.
According to the reports, Ms Luxton moved from Goa to Dubai when she was just 21 years old to join the other members of her family already settled there. She had a very successful career in the Airbus industry before moving into politics. She is in her third term as Sunningdale Councillor Claims the report.
This is the second Goan born who has achieved such a high honour that too in one of the European countries the first one is Mr Antonio Costa who took over as the Prime Minister of Portugal.