There is no actual figure available at the moment as far as the birth registration of the Goans in Portugal is concerned. But depending on the available number more than 400,000 people (Goans) have their births registered in the Central Registry at Lisbon, which makes them a dual citizen. According to the new development that took place here, the destiny of all those Goans with the citizenship issue is in the hands of “Designated Authorities” at the moment. What is the reason behind this step taken by the Indian government? Is it in the interests of Goans. Read the complete report here.
According to the sources, the Goa Government is in the process of appointing District Collectors as “Designated Authorities” to deal with Portuguese Citizenship issue. This process of appointment is said to have started after the intervention of Goa government into this matter. The sources have revealed that MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has accepted the arguments of Goa government in regards to the people (Goans) who have registered their births in Lisbon. The government wants to help all those Goans who are worried about losing their Indian nationality after acquiring the Portuguese citizenship.
Although the state government is doing all the process to make sure that issue is sorted out. Although the final decision will be in the hands of the District Collectors who will the designated authorities to deal with the citizenship issue that is haunting thousands of Goans at the moment. The decision was taken at a meeting called by the Joint Secretary Union Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners and Citizenship Division) in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by senior officials from State Home department. A senior staff member confirmed this and said, “As per the Ministry, Goans, who have registered their birth in the Central Registry of Lisbon will not have any citizenship issue.” He added that despite the Union Government issuing an order in 1962 to make Goan, who registered their birth in Portugal before Liberation as Indian Citizens; their births remain registered in Lisbon.
Regarding the designated authority, the official said MHA has decided to issue a notification appointing District Collectors as Designated Authority to decide on individual applications of Portuguese citizen issue and connected matters regarding the Citizenship Act 1955 and rules of 2009. “This authority will give a hearing to the people who approach them, study the relevant documents and decide accordingly.” The notification appointing the authority will be issued in the coming weeks. Official said that as far the issue is concerned with MHA is settled, but the authority will take the final call.
During the meeting, State officials were not in a position to reveal the exact number of people holding dual citizenship or Portuguese passports. “Some claimed 20,000 while another figure said few lakhs,” the official said. “If required, Union Ministry may also appoint more designated officers depending upon the number of cases,” the official added. Earlier, the Union government’s inter-ministerial committee recommended that Goans, who had obtained Portuguese nationality by registering their names in that country’s Central Registry, could lose Indian citizenship. It suggested that the issue of citizenship should be decided as per the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules 2009.
With the above facts in the place, the issue of dual nationality remains disputed, and the decision of the District Collector will be considered as final here. Hundreds of thousands of Goans who are having their births registered in Portugal will be at the mercy of Designated officers. While according to the Advocate Radharao Gracias “Goans born before 20-12-1961 have automatically become the citizen of Portugal and on the contrary, it was the Indian citizenship that had been conferred on them despite the fact that Goans continue to be citizens of Portugal.” Do you want to say something on this issue? Please go ahead and write down your valuable comments.