The most agonising question plaguing Goans who are pursuing the Portuguese passport since the last few years has been the frustration of producing an old document of the Portuguese era to satisfy the authorities at the consulate in Goa as a part of the statutory requirements
Many Goans are feeling dismayed at such an unfair requirement imposed on Goans who seek to secure a Portuguese nationality. The requirement was introduced somewhere in 2004- 2005 which suddenly retarded many Goan passport processes leaving many Goans in disbelief and shock at the apparent high-handedness of the Portuguese authorities to coerce them into a requirement which for many Goans is impossible.
Goans aver that due to the lapse of time, it is difficult to source such a document. There may have been a lot of Goans who might have had such documents which have either been destroyed due to the ravages of time or have been disposed off as unnecessary papers clogging the overflowing desks in modern Goa. Besides there are those who were overwhelmed with the spirit of liberation and in their pursuit of senseless joy, had even burned such documents immediately after liberation of Goa in 1961.
However for those who were meticulous enough to preserve such documents, it is a reward for having the thumb for posterity. So documents such as birth certificates issued during the Portuguese regime ( Certidao Narrativa) or travel documents in that era with name and birth details and photograph if possible including the "cedula pessoal" ( personal record book) the "documento de viagem"( document of voyage) or the "passaporte portugues"( portuguese passport), or the old Bilhete de Identidade ( Portuguese Identity card) issued during the Portuguese regime or any document during one's employment in Goa which had peculiar details of self such as name and birth etc are all considered valid for the purpose of old document and are precious gems in the hands of the beholders. For the exact type of document required by the consulate, click here.
For those Goans without the possession of such a document , it has therefore become some sort of a treasure hunt and even as I write this, Goans are trying hard in various places such as Schools, churches, old employers files, sports bodies, municipal records, societies, property records etc to locate such documents. While many have succeeded, there is still a large number who have have had no such luck.
Goans should however note that tearing out pages from olden government record books and school registers is of no use to the consulate as such documents are not acceptable to the Portuguese authorities who have strongly advised not to indulge in such unlawful means to secure the document.
Some Goans who had been former government employees of the Portuguese era have also tried to reason with the Portuguese consulate with the copies of the "boletim official" ( the official gazette) which clearly mentions about their employment records in the Portuguese era, thus proving their genuineness. However the document reportedly does not fulfill all the requirements of an "original document" and is therefore declined.
However given the importance and the value of the Portuguese passport as an avenue to enter Europe in search of a better living, Goans are trying their level best to procure the elusive document. In the whole process of documentation of the portuguese passport, the original document requirement is still posing a major hurdle and willcontinue to be unless the requirement is reviewed with a more lenient and practical view by the Portuguese authorities