September 3, 2016: Following United Kingdom’s narrow but a remarkable exit from the European Union, the Goan Diaspora fear a doubtful and uncertain future in the UK.
There are over a million Indians who live in the UK and according to a research conducted by Oxford University, Portugal is currently the biggest access into Britain for the migrants from outside the Union. Many immigrants who were born outside EU are working in Britain with a Portuguese passport as discovered in the first half of the year 2015.
Among these, about 20,000 people are Goan Indians and the rest of the population is comprised of people from Portuguese settlements, Brazil and Angola. As the Portugal Nationality law states, anyone who was born in the colonies established by the Portuguese (which includes Goa, Daman and Diu) before the process of salvation on December 19, 1961, can claim their Portugal Nationality.
Interacted with Goan diaspora in Singapore. pic.twitter.com/a2WqmLdszu
— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) June 4, 2016
Portugal is still a member of the Union and therefore this allows the Goans to settle in the rest of the 28 member countries of EU. Further, the settlement process requires their registered births and marriages in Portugal.
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The Goans have been moving to the other parts of the world since a very long time due to financial reasons and a considerable number of Goans have settled in UK and now have a good network of similar people out there. This is the reason why the exit of Britain from the European Union has raised a lot of questions and a feeling of agitation with regards to the further settlement of the Goan diaspora residing there.
A situation of precariousness surrounds the Goans in the UK who are employed in some kind of commerce activities or services on the basis of their Portuguese passports. Since Britain was a part of the Union, the Goans were free to move from one country to the other within the EU and hence they settled easily in the UK.
— Goa ForGiving (@GoaForGiving) March 20, 2016
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After Brexit, the Goan community is alarmed of their immigration stature of being altered as per the regulations. Even though the whole procedure of Britain’s exit from the European Union is not a short one and is going to take a span of almost two years and till then the Goan community can feel free and continue to stay normally without any fear. But, the Brexit is ought to happen officially and that day might bring a surge of tension for those who hold Portuguese passport and are residing in the UK.
The ones holding Portuguese nationality status will still be considered a part of the European Union and will be able to move liberally among the other countries but settling again in a new country by overcoming the language obstructions, differences in culture, alien lifestyle and most importantly the employment opportunities is not an easy task.
The Goans who have just got their passports or those who are stuck in the complex process of getting one are going to suffer the most as the amount of uncertainty about them moving to some other country is high; also they there is a possibility that they have spent a lot of money in the process already. But, only time will tell whether the steps were taken by the Portuguese and Indian government in order to help the Goans will be fruitful or not.
The Goan diaspora in UK has always been an unorthodox and peaceful community and they have moved to places for better economic possibilities and employment conditions. Their emigration should not be taken or judged as something anti-national as from India’s point of view and the help must be provided soon from both the governments.
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