Brexit has surely come as shock to many Goans settled in the UK due to the fear of losing an employment and 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. Goan origin nationals attended an interaction program between Portugal consulate and the community of Anselm’s Church, Southhall on Thursday.
According to The Times of India, the consulate had a one to one interaction with the Goan origin settlers in the UK for the first time. Addressing to the crowd, 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.
Further, she explained that between March 30, 2019, and December 31, 2020, they have to apply to the UK’s home office for ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled status’ at the cost of £65 (or £32.5 for those under 16 years of age) even if they hold the residence permits.
Every year the number the 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. Speaking to the anxious crowd, Gasper told the 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.
Adding to that Gasper also said that Identification and travels documents like passport, citizen card, along with residence proof of UK (p60’s, utility bills, bank statements etc) are required 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 said 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 Gasper urged the crowd to register themselves under the same and avoid going to the 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.