There are several thousand Goans who have migrated on the Portuguese passport and entered into the European countries without even stepping into Portugal who now has to apply for the status application to remain to be a part of the UK. The application process which will in the month of March 2019 go on upto December 2020.
Finally, the Portuguese consulate decided to reach out to the Goans settled in the UK asking them to apply for the status application to continue to stay in the UK and other EU countries. Portugal Consulate Governor said that valid documentation will grant them free access to enter, leave, work or reside in the country whenever they want from up to December 31, 2020.
As the Brexit is getting closer the Goans settled in the UK and other European Countries are becoming more insecure about their future status in these countries. According to the Portuguese consulate the Goans settled in the UK and other European Countries will have to apply for the ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled status’ at the cost of £65.
The above is applicable for kids under sixteen but with lesser fees, said the sources. According to the consulate the application needs to be made between March 30, 2019, and December 31, 2020, and they have to apply to the UK’s home office even if they hold the residence permits.
Brexit has surely come as a shock to many Goans settled in the UK due to the fear of losing employment and a better lifestyle. The Portugal Consulate reached out to the Goan origin in London. Around 6000 Goans settled in the UK are going to through a time wherein they are unsure of the consequences that Brexit will bring along.
Every year the number of Goans migrating to the UK has gone up to 50%. Almost half of Goa has settled in the UK claiming their ancestries were around the time of the Portuguese rule.
The Consul General told the Goan people to maintain proper documentation and provide the officials with every single detail including details of crime; minor or major. Crime outside the UK also should be listed. If accurate information is not disclosed then the UK home office will eventually trace it down, the fact which will lead to the rejection of the application.
The sources revealed that one must maintain the Identification and travel documents like passport, citizen card, along with residence proof of UK, p60’s, utility bills, bank statements etc. to apply for the statuses.
In the end, it is in the of the hands of the UK government to decide whom to keep and whom to say goodbye.
The consul general further stated that from July 1, 2021, EU nationals and their families in the UK should have the ‘settled’ status to rightfully stay in the country. While talking to the audience she pointed out that many Portuguese passport holders did not register under the Portuguese consulate. To be on the safer side she urged the crowd to register themselves under the same and avoid going to agents. She also said that an instructional video is made on Youtube in Konkani.
The Goan community was very pleased with the program. “It was very informative and we were surprised at how liberal the Portuguese consulate was,” said one of the Goans who attended the session. The Goans who are still in a fix, and do not know where to begin from, can fix appointments in the consulate to get things sorted. The consulate assured that it will help the Goan community however it can. This event was definitely a help to the Goan community but the decision still lies with the UK.
Despite all the above exercise, there is no assurance of who will get to stay in the UK and who will be sent out back to Goa. The picture will become clear only after the process of application began on the next month. If you have any more updates on this please do share with others here.