Panaji, Jan 1: Goans who have obtained Portuguese passports through a unique law enacted by the Portuguese government for its formal colonials in Indian territories, will not be impacted by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) state Commissioner for NRI affairs, Narendra Sawaikar said on Wednesday.
“In fact, they should not worry. The Citizenship Amendment Act should not have any impact on those people. They have registered as Overseas Citizens of India. They should not have any problems,” Sawaikar told reporters at the state Secretariat here.
The Goa NRI Commissionarate serves as a liaising agency between the state government and the thousands of Goan expats, primarily living in Europe and the Middle East.
A Portuguese colony for over 450 years, the coastal state of Goa gained independence from foreign rule in 1961. The departing Portuguese, however, offered Goan natives the choice of Portuguese citizenship. The privilege of availing of Portuguese citizenship was later granted to Goans who had lived in Portuguese-ruled Goa, as well as their off-springs up to three generations down the line.
Thousands of Goans have used the opportunity to migrate to Portugal and subsequently to the UK, thanks to the easy access across countries in the European Union. A significant number of expat Goans have also availed of the ‘Bilhete de Identidade’, the Portuguese national identity card, which takes the applicant a step closer towards obtaining the Portuguese passport.
Rough estimates suggest that up to 30,000 Goans are living in the UK, using the Portuguese citizenship route.