Local Goa News

Monday, June 27, 2016

Goans continue to queue for Portuguese passports

Panaji: Braving the monsoon, fighting off sleep and largely unperturbed by Britain's decision to exit the European Union (EU) three days ago, Goans continued to queue up outside the Portuguese consulate at Altinho early Monday morning.

William D'Souza (name changed) accompanied his younger brother on the 55km journey from their South Goa residence to their aunt's house in Panaji on Sunday, to ensure that he would be the first one to collect his Bilhete de Identidade (BI) on Monday. They reached the consulate at 2am, only to find out others had beaten them to it.
"There were 15 people already waiting," says D'Souza, who has completed a course in catering and has already obtained a Portuguese passport.
Appointments are not necessary for any type of consular services and applicants are attended to on a first-come-first-serve basis, the consulate's website says.
Working hours at the consulate begin at 9am. D'Souza's brother was permitted inside the compound at 9.30am. He could enter the building an hour later and got out with his BI only after lunch.
"Most of our relatives have migrated to the UK. My parents went there recently and I was waiting for my brother to complete his engineering course to join them," says D'Souza, who is sure he'll bag a job in UK's hospitality industry.
When asked about the risks of going to the UK post Brexit, he shrugs it off. "Nothing will happen. If we face a problem, there's always France, Germany and other countries. Otherwise we'll come back home," he says confidently. His other siblings, employed in Goa and in the Gulf, have declined the offer to join the bandwagon.
A number of people from Daman and Diu also wait in line to collect their BI and passport. A man from Daman says Britain choosing to exit the EU isn't the end of the world and he lists a number of countries he has the opportunity to migrate to if he faces problems in the UK.
Another man, who came directly to the consulate from the airport following his flight from Diu, also has his eyes set on the UK. "My parents and relatives have been living there for over a decade now. There are absolutely no job prospects for us here. How can I run a household and raise a family with a salary of 5,000?" he asks.

TOI Goa News

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