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Portuguese Nationality
1. For the comprehensive guide on eligibility for Portuguese Nationality by Paulo Colaco Dias click here
2.Portuguese Government reviews working procedures at the Consulate in Goa regarding applications for citizenship. 12 July. Diario Digital. (In Portuguese – English translation and comments by Paulo Colaco Dias..
3. Deccan Herald, 14 July 2003. Portugal to tighten citizenship rules for former colonies. By Devika Sequeira.
4. UK Parliament. House of Commons. 18 March 2003. Goa (Portuguese Passports)
5. New York Times, 8 June 2003. Indians Pursue Portuguese Passports as an Entree to Europe.
6. Publico, 9 Feb. 2004. Portuguese nationality has become a lucrative business in the ex Portuguese State of India.
7. Deccan Herald, 23 July 2004. Portuguese passport racket worries UK, US. By Devika Sequeira.
8. Gulf News (Dubai). 10 February 2005. Rush to gain Portuguese passports. By Pamela Raghunath
9. Gunaah. 12 May 2005. Dead men flying: Fraudulent claims to Portuguese Nationality. By Prashant Shankarnarayan
10. Deccan Herald. February 15 2006. 'Portugal is a door to the European Union'
Devika Sequeira interviews Portugal’s Consul-General in Goa, Pedro Cabral Adao about applications for Portuguese nationality etc. 922
11. IPS-Inter Press Service (Lisbon). February 16, 2006. Portugal: Immigrants And Their Children Can Become Citizens. By Mario de Queiroz.

Government reviews working procedures at the Portuguese consulate in Goa.
By Francisco Mota Ferreira.
Translated and comments by Paulo Colaco Dias.
Friday 11 July, 2003

The Portuguese Government detected the existence of fraud cases with national Portuguese passports issued by the Portuguese consulate in Goa. This led to three months suspension of the process of issuing those documents, said the secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities", José Cesário, in interview to Diário Digital.
The process re-started about one month ago.

According to secretary of State, the fraud cases detected are under investigation and there is now total control of the situation at the consulate in Goa. The process is, however, considerably more complicated in relation to the applications from Damão and Diu territories.

Cesário reassures he has now given instructions to the Goa consulate to proceed with maximum strictness. The process is now dealt strictly by appointment and with a limit number of cases per day.

José Cesário, who returned from a three days visit to the ex-Portuguese territory, says that he saw posters in Goa advertising about Portuguese nationality agency services, as if it was something extremely easy and available.

He is unaware of how long this has been happening and how many new citizens have become citizens of Portugal. The only thing he was made aware is that the Portuguese Consulate of Goa is being used as an open door for many non-eligible Indian citizens to freely enter the European Union space through Portugal.

Several sources from Goa contacted by Diário Digital said the process is widely advertised, accessible and difficult to be controlled since the Portuguese Nationality law allows it.

According to the Portuguese legislation, a citizen of Goa, Damão and Diu (the ex-Portuguese state of India) born in these territories before 18 December 1961 (date of the military occupation and annexation by the Indian Union) can apply for Portuguese nationality.

The 1975 Portuguese Nationality Law, still valid, allows descendents of those born before 1961, until third generation, the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

According to our Goan sources, there are gangs that act in the territory, advertising the easiness that one can acquire Portuguese nationality and offering the services to do it at large amounts of money.

This network of gangs have established contacts with the Central Offices of the Registry of Births and Marriages, in Lisbon, and managed to get preference and speed up the process, with less control and checking procedures than in Goa.

The process is with each passing day more complicated because, as noted by the secretary of State, the Republic of India holds the old register of births and, therefore, it is easy enough to get false documents and impersonate legitimate citizens of ex-Portuguese territories, allowing non-eligible Indian Citizens to become legitimate Portuguese citizens.

The situation is very delicate for Indians, comments the Secretary of State, because Portugal does not want that this situation to be a reason for litigation between the two countries.

Following current fraud investigations, the Government wants to reassure that the process is now as safe and as strict as possible. Only if necessary, the government will request the help from the authorities of New Delhi.

11-07-2003 18:04:45

Comments from the translator

The writer seems to ignore the background of the especial case of the people born in the Portuguese State of India (until 19 December 1961).
There are obvious differences in the analysis of the law that can lead to large differences in opinion.

1. It is important to note that between 1961 and 1975, according to the Portuguese Constitution of that time, the United Nations and International Law, the state comprising of the Portuguese territories of Goa, Damão, Diu, Dadrá and Nagar Avelí was still under Portuguese Administration and Portugal was the de facto administrative power of the said territories according to the United Nations. In fact, the government of Portuguese India and the Goan Members of Parliament were still in existence, working in exile from Lisbon. The Portuguese State of India was, therefore, a state in international dispute, with Portugal officially recognised by the UN as the de facto administrative power and the Indian Union seen as an illegal occupier of the territories.

2. Following the democratic revolution of 1974, in Portugal, the Indian occupation of the Portuguese territories was finally acknowledged and recognised by Portugal. In 1975, the Portuguese minister of Foreign Affairs, Mario Soares, personally visited New Delhi and re-established diplomatic relations with the Republic of India. Mario Soares, representing a new and democratic Portuguese Republic, withdrew any claims the Portuguese Government still had over the said territories in the United Nations and officially recognised the occupation and annexation backdating it to 19th December 1961.

3. The new 1975 Portuguese Nationality Law took into consideration that people born in those territories before the Indian occupation and annexation were forced to take Indian Citizenship, i.e., people did not take Indian citizenship voluntarily. Instead, Indian citizenship was imposed on them.

4. Hence, those citizens were given the option to retain their Portuguese Citizenship provided they officially declare their intention to retain it by registering their births and marriages in Lisbon. In other words, when India annexed the Portuguese territories, the Portuguese citizens from those territories did not lose their Portuguese Citizenship even though India imposed Indian citizenship on them. No timeframe was given in the law, which means that those citizens can declare even today, nearly 42 years after, their personal decision to retain Portuguese Citizenship.

5. The only real problems at the moment are based on the fact that many non-eligible Indians are managing to get false birth certificates and through impersonation and fraud are transforming themselves into Portuguese citizens with a free licence to live and work in all countries of the European Union. Also, a large number of agents are making a fortune out of it. While some are doing it legitimately, others are involved in networks of corruption and serious organised fraud with personal follow-up contacts in Lisbon.

6. The cases of fraud are increasing with each passing day and will ultimately lead to the irreversible change in the Portuguese Nationality Law. So, sooner or later, it will all be over…

Queueing up for a new life
From Devika Sequeira
DH News Service PANAJI, Monday July 14 2003

Portugal could soon tighten laws that have made it so easy to attain a Portuguese passport with fake documents from its former colonies.

This move comes in the wake of pressure from other European Union members and criticism by its media for blithely overlooking a citizenships racket operating in the heart of Lisbon’s registrar’s office.

Portugal deputed its Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities (the position is the equivalent of a minister of state) Jose de Almeida Cesario to Goa last week to look into the functioning of the the consulate general here.

Mr Cesario is said to have been shocked by the extent to which agents in Goa have taken control of processing applications for Portuguese nationality, turning it virtually into a business.

Huge hoardings at the entrance of Margao, and advertisements in the classifieds of local dailies flaunt with confidence the services of the passports agents. Their charges range from Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 to only process one’s entry papers. For 5,000 euros, one can have a Portuguese passport within three months. Thousands of poorer applicants here are known to have taken loans to pay off the agents’ fees.

The agents, incidentally, do not operate through the consulate here which has very little powers, but are directly linked to Conservatorio dos Registos Centrais (central registrar) in Lisbon.

Mr Cesario told the media his government is aware of the falsification of documents in citizenship applications, particularly from Daman and Diu. “The issue of nationality cannot be turned into a business,” he is quoted as having said by a local newspaper.

It is estimated that nearly a lakh Gujaratis from Daman and Diu have settled in Portugal, compared to the 25,000 from Goa. But Portugal has done little so far, to put an end to the illegalities.

All that could change now, as the Portuguese government works on modalities to clamp down on an extremely porous system that extends across half the globe. “It is not clear how they will reorganise things, but we expect they will take serious steps to set matters right after Cesarios’s visit,” sources in the consulate said.

The racket is said to be far larger in Brazil (Portugal’s biggest former colony) and equally extensive in Angola, Mozambique, Timor and Macau.

Portugal’s move would have a direct fallout on Goa, Daman and Diu, where those born before 1961 (when Goa was liberated), and their descendants up to a third generation, are still entitled to Portuguese nationality. Those aspiring for nationality must first register their birth in Portugal, after which one is entitled to an ID card, and finally a passport.

Thousands of genuine applicants from Goa have been waiting for years (some upto ten years) for the Portuguese ID. Following complaints of mismanagement, the consulate here has put a ban on accepting entry documents till 2004, and nationality applications till 2005. Any attempt to streamline the system therefore, could only work to clear the backlog.

Seen as the key to enter any European Union country, a Portuguese passport allows one to work in England as well.

United Kingdom Parliament. House of Commons proceedings 18 March 2003 at: click here
Goa (Portuguese Passports)

Question by Mr. Malins
: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had discussions with the Indian Government on applications to the Portuguese consulate in Goa for Portuguese passports from Indian residents, and the use of such passports subsequently to facilitate entry to the UK; and if he will make a statement. [102515]

Answer by Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have had no discussions with the Government of India on this issue. We have discussed the matter with the Portuguese Consulate in Goa. We understand that some residents of the former Portuguese enclaves in India (Goa, Daman and Diu) are eligible to apply for a Portuguese passport. Holders of Portuguese passports are entitled to enter the UK freely as citizens of an EU member state.

Indians Pursue Portuguese Passports as an Entree to Europe.
By James Brooke
Source: New York Times. at

Sunday June 8, 2003
Stuart Michael Fernandes, 24, a boat mechanic, and Glaston Luis, 20, a student, applying for passports at the Portuguese Consulate in Goa.
VASCO DA GAMA, India — On the highway to the international airport here, a travel agency uses billboards to hawk one of Goa's most popular products: Portuguese passports.

Five centuries after the Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama crossed the Arabian Sea and explored this land of coconut palms and creamy sand beaches, young Indians are embarking on reverse migrations. Taking advantage of history, they are obtaining Portuguese passports, transforming themselves into card-carrying Europeans.

"Sure, I'll go to Lisbon — I have eight cousins there," said Stuart Michael Fernandes, a 24-year-old boat mechanic, who stood in a rundown hallway by an iron gate used to control passport applicants at the Portuguese Consulate General here. "But then, I will go straight to London."

His friend, Glaston Luis, 20, an engineering student at Goa University, said he, too, would stay only briefly with cousins in Lisbon before going "to Scotland or London."

Under Portuguese law, all inhabitants of "Portuguese India" — Goa and the northern coastal enclaves of Damão and Díu — were considered Portuguese citizens. In the months after Indian troops ended colonialism here, in December 1961, thousands of Goans left for Portugal or its African colonies.

A decade ago, as the European Union was shifting to visa-free travel among member nations, Portugal opened a consulate here. Suddenly Goans realized that anyone living here in 1961 — and their children and grandchildren — could get a Portuguese passport.

"People see Portuguese passports as a means to employment in all of Europe," said Alírio da Costa, the manager of a travel agency here.

In a newspaper on his desk, classified advertisements offered the services of "experts in Portuguese passport submission to Lisbon."

"It's a business, as if Portuguese citizenship is for sale," Miguel de Calheiros Velozo, Portugal's consul here, grumbled in an interview. "It is a way to go around immigration laws. This morning, the consulate was full of people who had nothing to do with Portugal."

Goa, India's smallest state, is but a microcosm of a national mania for emigration. Today, about 20 million Indians live overseas.

The process is slow, though, and with hundreds of passport applications backing up here and reports of Portuguese passports falling into criminal hands, on March 1 Mr. Velozo stopped accepting applications for 90 days.

The issue blew up last fall when two cases involving high-profile fugitives who held Portuguese passports came to light. Neither man had ties to Goa. The Indian and Portuguese-era archives are poorly maintained and their staffs vulnerable to bribes, Portuguese officials here say.

Consular officials have a hard time telling who is who even in face-to-face interviews, and many people who lived here before 1961 did not have Portuguese names. Furthermore, many passport requests are made directly to Lisbon. As many as half of the requests come from people outside of Goa, even outside of India, according to Eduardo Faleiro, a Goan member of Parliament.

In March, Narana Coissoro, a Portuguese of Goan origin who is deputy speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, visited here and promised to expand the local consular staff to tighten checks against fraud. But no ships bearing aid are on the horizon.

"Goa is seen from a distance, and listened to too late," João Nunes de Cunha, governor of Goa, once complained bitterly in a letter to Lisbon. The letter was written in 1668.

Portuguese nationality has become a lucrative business in the ex Portuguese State of India
By :ANA CRISTINA PEREIRA, Date: Monday, 09 February 2004
Online at:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The text below is an edited version of a machine translation and its accuracy is NOT guaranteed. The original text had five useful related links. They are reproduced in a box at the end of the article.

"Worried about the future and want to keep the options open for the family? Take advantage and benefit from the Portuguese nationality that is available to all people of Goan origin. You can contact us for friendly and reliable assistance", announces an agency in the Internet. "It is enough to send an email to find out how much it will cost you."

It is quite expensive for the normal Indian folk. The European dream embraces the old Portuguese State of India with its organized network of fake documents. The Central Civil Registry Office in Lisbon has 11,221 pending applications.

Apart from the freedom of circulation in the European Union that all Portuguese enjoy, the benefits also includes visa free for travelling to tempting destinations like the United States. "Portuguese nationality has become a business - in the old territories as well as in Portugal", admits the Secretary of State of the Communities, Jose Cesário.

The Secretary of State saw "posters of five meters by three" in the streets of Goa, when he visited that city last year. Along the highway from the international airport one of the most popular products of the city are advertisements regarding the Portuguese passport.

“At this moment, it is much more difficult than before,” certifies a Goan lawyer, Teresa Colaço, but the advertisements continue to appear every day in the classified pages of local newspapers.

According to the current law, the citizens born in the old State of India before 19 December 1961 (day of the invasion and military annexation) have the right to Portuguese nationality. The legislation assumes that, at the time, the people had acquired the Indian nationality forcibly. It gives them the possibility of, still today, to rescue their old status. It also grants nationality to their descendants - until the third generation.

The integration of Portugal in the European Union increased tremendously the number of applications for registration. The processes are submitted in the General Consulate of Portugal in Panjim or directly in the Conservatória of Registos Centrais (CRC), in Lisbon, where they tend to sleep forever. Some people thought they could profit from this situation. In exchange of considerable amounts of money, the specialized agencies started promising to obtain the documentation in record time.

The exception granted to the native inhabitants of Goa, Damão and Diu started to be abused by other people as well. A large number of fraudulent applications, based on false birth certificates, have been detected. Even people from out of India applied, namely from the Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the Internet, for example, some people have asked for further information from places as far as Qatar.

According to CRC, between the 2000 and 2002 a number of applications were duplicated. From 2000, it increased the number of cases of "identity usurpation": it had each time more people to register a name that already had been successfully registered, says the coordinator of the Department of Fake Documents, of the Judiciary Police, Conceição Jacinto.

"It started to become very obvious that the Portuguese nationality had transformed into a business", says Cesário. Not only because of the advertisements. The authorities of other countries had dismantled organized nets and exhorted Portugal to take a stance. "We received some protests, mainly from the United Kingdom", confessed the Secretary of State.

The law, a brazen way to skirt the laws of immigration, will be to be used even for terrorist causes. Masood Azad and Abu Salem, two Islamic extremists, have been captured with Portuguese passports although neither of them had links with Goa. These two cases elicited harsh criticism on the part of the international community - particularly Indian, devastated by the perpetual Kashmir conflict.

Clients of that "the scandal puts in question in our credibility - not only to the partners of the Union, but to all the members of the Shengen Space" - the Government ordered the suspension of the activity of the Portuguese consulate in this case. In October, it formed a working group, to involve the ministries of the Foreign Affairs, Justice and Internal Administration, to analyse the situation and to define strategies.

The confidential report has been delivered. In the beginning of this year it gave origin to changes. "We have new strategies", affirms Jose Cesário, disclosing that the consular services had come back to accept new applications. In order to validate the place of birth of the candidates, it will be necessary to present official documents", explained Jose Cesário to the PUBLIC. "They have to be valid the copies".

The Secretary of State asserts that the Indian notaries "are sufficiently corrupt", to facilitates the fraud. Also, the documents “ had been, during years, kept in conditions that were not the best ones". But the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of India has also pointed the finger at Portugal, since the illegality functions through agents who have contact with employees of the services of the Registers of Portuguese central offices.

To that it selected the PUBLIC, since when the General Consulate of Panjim opened, in 1994, it had dealt with about five a thousand applications. Lisbon received, directly much more than fifteen thousand. They estimate that only half of the applicants have valid documents. But Cesário does not admit that it has "vulnerability" on the part of the employees accepting bribes. "We do not have this diffidence", he pointed out. The PJ is to investigate, but so far it has not make any arrests.

The fact that Portugal has currently a right-wing Government causes some concerns in Goa. If the clause was annulled, India would read "an unfriendly act here", said Eduardo Faleiro, of the Foreign Affairs, to the local press. But Cesário guarantees that this is not the intention of the Government. The new rules are only aimed to fight fraud.

• Nacionalidade portuguesa tornou-se negócio lucrativo no antigo Estado da Índia

Portuguese passport racket worries UK, US
From Devika Sequeira
DH News Service PANAJI
Despite assurances to the contrary, Portugal has failed to crack down on a passports racket that goes to the heart of Lisbon’s civil registry, as the Abu Salem case shows.

Rumour has it that Abu Salem acquired a Portuguese passport (one of many found on him when he was arrested in Lisbon in September 2002 with fake residence permits) for US $ 5,000 (Rs 2.3 lakh).

Before the Kandahar hijacking in 1999, Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Maulana Azhar Masood travelled to Burma and Bangladesh from where he crossed into India on a Portuguese passport.

It is no secret in Goa that Portuguese nationality is up for grabs. For US $ 3,000 (Rs 1.38 lakh), a Goan agent based in Margao, who claims to have a “five-man team of top lawyers in Lisbon” working for him, promises his clients a quick and effective processing of documents for Portuguese citizenship.

“When we were in Lisbon, a very authoritative source in the Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais (Portugal’s civil registry office that processes nationality documents) offered us immediate citizenship — passport, ID and driving licence — all within seven days for US $ 4,000 (Rs 1.84 lakh)” a non-resident Indian of Goan origin told this newspaper in confidence.

He has been chasing his wife’s Portuguese nationality application for 20 years with little success. “She has a moral right to Portuguese citizenship. So we refused to pay,” he said.

Profitable business
So profitable is the business for those processing documentation in Lisbon that a former diplomat, who served as vice-consul in Portugal’s Delhi embassy, gave up his foreign office career to become a passport facilitator in Lisbon.

A former judge from Goa too figures in the list of upmarket Lisbon-based agents provided to this newspaper. The ex-judge is said to average Rs 40,000 a case.
“We recently paid a very basic retainer of 250 pounds sterling (Rs 21,000 approximately) to the venerable former vice-consul in Lisbon, without any success at all,” says the NRI.

The implications of Portugal’s passport racket (said to extend to its missions abroad) and the wide and blatant misuse of the nationality rights offered to those born in Portugal’s former colonies in India before 1961, has both Britain and the US worried in the post-9/11 scenario.

Portuguese diplomatic sources admit that the numbers of false passport holders (many on assumed identities picked off tombstones in Goan cemeteries) would run into thousands.

“A Punjabi applicant we were trying to trace surfaced in Belgium on a Goan Catholic name,” an official said.

According to reports in the Portuguese media, over 11,200 passport applications are being investigated in Lisbon.

Worried about the new tide of migration via the Portugal route, the UK is said to have lodged a formal protest with Portugal. A British team also travelled to Goa to speak to Portuguese consular staff here. The Americans, too, are believed to have launched an investigation.

“It is most worrying that many are getting entry into the US based on their Portuguese citizenship. It’s a scandal that those with no ties to Portugal are getting these passports,” a US contact said.

Review of law
Under pressure from the more influential European Union members, Portugal could review its 1975 nationality law that allows citizenship to those born in Goa, Daman and Diu before 1961, genuine applicants fear. The consulate in Panjim has been on a ‘go slow’ on new applications.

“I have heard the law may be reviewed,” says former Congress Union minister of state for external affairs Eduardo Faleiro.

The Rajya Sabha member argues that misuse of the Portuguese passport was no excuse for the consulate to stop accepting genuine applications. “Those who are entitled are being denied a passport. What action has Portuguese officialdom taken to stop the racket?” he asks.

The consulate’s ‘go slow’ has not deterred resourceful agents in the least. With direct and influential links to Lisbon, they’ve been sending four applications to Lisbon for every one handled by the local consulate. In the month of June 2003, the consulate received 2,000 applications for the attestation of documents from one Margao agent alone.

The North Goa Collector’s office told Deccan Herald it receives 10 to 12 applications for attestation a day.

The facts speak for themselves: While the Portuguese consulate has handled 3,800 applications from 1994 (when it was established) to date, 11,592 applications have been processed up to July 2000 by Lisbon’s civil registry.

Gulf News (Dubai) 10 February 2005
Rush to gain Portuguese passports
By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent
Panjim : The rush among Goans to become Portuguese nationals is continuing though they use that country's passport these days to gain entry into Britain or other European countries.
But the Portuguese government is going slow on processing thousands of applications especially since this facility is being misused these days even as genuine applicants have to wait for years.

"When the Portuguese left its colonies in India in 1961, it was a gesture on their part to look after its former citizens and therefore those born before 1961 were given Portuguese citizenship if they made an application for it," a senior official from the Consulado-Geral de Portugal told Gulf News.

But the Portuguese government is now rethinking a legislation passed in 1975 allowing citizens of its former colonies to be given Portuguese nationality.

And to withdraw this legislation would take a long time and therefore, there are instructions to go slow and restrict the number of applicants being given nationality.

But through fraudulent practices a Portuguese passport can be obtained within a short time for a tidy sum by submitting fake papers.

After the 9/11 terror attacks and subsequent hunt for various terrorist groups, the United States, Britain and other European countries have put pressure on Portugal to screen all its entrants.

The problem has worsened with even non-Goans applying for Portuguese passport.

"It has become a free for all", says the official who receives around 30-40 applications in a month.

With the slowdown, there are 18,000 applications from Goa for Portuguese passports waiting to be processed.

These are submitted directly to Lisbon by travel agents from Goa whilst the Consulate here has sent 2,500 applications since 1994.

According to the Consulate official, there are around 40,000 Goans and 100,000 Gujaratis from Daman and Diu who have settled down in Portugal since 1961.

But most recent entrants use their Portuguese nationality as a gateway to better prospects in other countries.

"And why not?" asks Bruno Gomindes, Managing Director, Travco Holidays Pvt Ltd, an international travel company operating from Goa.

"A Portuguese passport gives you a clean and decent entry into all the European countries and even the United States, not to speak of other countries," he says.

Though older Goans speak Portuguese, the new generation only knows English and therefore the choice is Britain or the United States.

In fact, suburban Swindon near London is full of immigrant Goans.

Gomindes himself is a Portuguese passport holder who is carrying on a thriving travel business as a Person of Indian Origin here by helping young and even older Goans by doing the entire documentation required for obtaining a Portuguese passport.

"I'm a citizen of Portugal and can even become the president of that country," he said.

Gunaah 12 May 2005
Dead men flying: Fraudulent claims to Portuguese Nationality. By Prashant Shankarnarayan


Imagine…you have lived a major chunk of your life in your motherland. One fine day, you get an opportunity to leave for foreign shores, to earn a livelihood or maybe to simply roam around. You approach the concerned officials to prepare your passport. Therein lies the twist. Say the authorities, that you do not exist in this country.

In fact, you have migrated to another nation ages back to earn your daily bread. Shocked! Now read the fact - many Indians have already faced such a situation, especially while travelling to Portugal. The reason behind this human smuggling involves a bit of history, culture and legalities.

This phenomenon of sending false candidates abroad to Portugal is rampant in Goa and Daman. An astonishing fact is that, rather than certain Goans, who have the right to stake a claim for Portuguese nationality, it is the Gujarati community that has capitalised on the legal loopholes, or can we say opportunities! …

The 1975 Portuguese National Law also holds that, descendants of those born before 1961, until their third generation, can apply for a valid Portuguese passport…

However, many non-eligible Indians took this rule as an opportunity to gatecrash into Portugal and then other European nations…

these culprits obtained the details of dead Catholic citizens from graveyards and used them to fabricate documents.

Full text, 1483 words click here.

15 February 2006
'Portugal is a door to the European Union'


A year in this crucial posting, Portugal’s Consul-General in Goa Pedro Cabral Adao has brought in a dynamism and an interactive style of functioning that was sorely lacking in many of his predecessors. With Portugal’s 451 years of colonial domination still vivid in the public memory here, Mr Cabral Adao is keen “to bridge the divide” and move beyond the past. His initiative to kickstart a debate with new generation Goa is a small beginning, he says in this interview with Deccan Herald, where he also talks at length about Portugal’s attempts to streamline the process for Portuguese nationality still available to those born in Goa, Daman and Diu before 1961 (when Goa was liberated).

Would Portugal at some point review the law that allows Portuguese nationality to those born in Goa, Daman and Diu before 1961? There are often apprehensions that the facility might be withdrawn at some point.

The law is as it was before. I don’t see any political move to change the law in the near future. Goa’s case is very different from Angola and Mozambique which had a one year period to chose if they wanted to have Portuguese nationality or not. Goa was a special case and there was never politically any move to change the law. What is happening now, however, is that more and more people are applying for request of nationality, and Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais in Lisbon, the central registry, is trying to be very very careful with the documents, because there was a lot of misuse. That’s why we now ask for all documents issued originally by the Portuguese authorities at that time. These are the only ones that we can authenticate. Nationality is a serious matter, it is not like issuing a visa.

There are a number of agents who openly advertise services for acquiring Portuguese nationality. Are they legal?

Absolutely not. We have no relations whatsoever with agents. That’s one of the rules here. It is unfortunately something we cannot do a thing about. We don’t accept agents delivering papers here. Sometimes people hire lawyers in Portugal and go directly to the Conservatoria, by giving the lawyers or relatives power of attorney. Which is also the legal way to do it.

What is the volume of applications for Portuguese nationality like?

We are at the moment processing 12,000 applications and a similar number is waiting to apply.

Are applications from Daman and Diu more than those from Goa?

As a percentage no, but in terms of ratio to population, the numbers are huge from Daman and Diu. I think it has more to do with the economic situation and trying to have another possibility for the children. The law allows it. In their place I would do the same.

Is your consulate bogged down mostly with handling applications for Portuguese nationality?

Absolutely. It has all these years been only a bureaucratic office, which I think is not fair. Sometimes people do not understand that we are almost a mailing box for the files sent to Lisbon. We have nothing to do with the decision making. We are part of the decision making of course, and we can advise. For full text click here.

16 February 2006

By Mario de Queiroz
Source: IPS-Inter Press Service
Date: February 16, 2006, Thursday
Place: Lisbon.


Activists and politicians celebrated a new law approved today by the Portuguese Parliament which extends the right of nationality to second- and third-generation immigrants.

Up to now, the offspring and grandchildren of immigrants have been denied Portuguese nationality, even though they were born in Portugal, generally speak only Portuguese, studied in Portuguese schools and have never lived outside of the country.

But the new legislation submitted by the government of Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates and approved by the great majority of the 230 members of Portugal's single-chamber legislature changes all that.

From now on, the grandchildren of immigrants will have a right to Portuguese citizenship if one of their parents was born in Portugal, and the children of immigrants will have the same right even if neither parent was born in Portugal, as long as one of their parents has lived in this country as a legal resident for at least five years.

The previous law was not based on children's place of birth, but on the origin and nationality of their parents. It also granted certain advantages to immigrants from former Portuguese colonies.

Under the old legislation, citizens of the Portuguese-speaking nations of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guineau Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor, as well as those born under Portuguese rule (until 1961) in Goa, Diu and Dam o in India, or in Macao, which was handed over to China in 1999, had to live in the country as legal residents for six years in order to obtain Portuguese citizenship.

Meanwhile, foreign nationals from all other countries had to live here as legal residents for 10 years.

The law also grants Portuguese nationality to the grandchildren of Portuguese emigrants -- a longstanding demand by Portuguese immigrant communities around the world.

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