Thursday, March 19, 2009

Portuguese passport for Goans : the "original document" hunt

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 soriginal portuguese documenteek 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 Portugueseportuguese birth certificate 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 wPortuguese Official gazette ho 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


Lillian D'Costa @ Poetry said...

Hi Kev, Thanks for pointing me out to Goacom. Had heard of you'll but didn't know Goacom had a blog. Its a thriving one indeed.

Goa said...

Thank you Lillian. However please note that this blog has nothing to do with Its a separate entity unknown to me.

walter said...

Hi, thanks for all the info. Can you tell us where we can located our grandparents original documents, for example my grandparents had Portuguese passport since they need it to travel to Bombay before 1961, but we don't have a copy of it can we get it from Archives or any other place??? or should we forget about having a Portuguese passport since we don't have any old documents???

walter said...

Hey Hi,

If we get a copy of the travel document or Birth certificate from Archives will that be accepted as a original Portuguese document or will we have to insist to them to give us the original one which they might have.


Goa said...

Hello Walter,

The point is that Portuguese authorities need an original document. They do not accept copies. If you get an original document of your grandparents you should be fine. Try locating their birth certificate at the place your grandfather was employed etc or his school records if any. If you get that document it would be excellent.

Regarding your question of whether you will be able to get the PP in absence of an original document - the answer is maybe you will.

However that wont be possible through the consulate at Goa. You will need to contact someone directly in Portugal - a lawyer who can represent you and argue your case. There are a few of them and some research on the internet should give you some breakthroughs.

I do not recommend anyone for obvious reasons and so I regret that I would not be able to provide you any such contacts in Portugal.

However any agent from Goa promising the moon to you - better get some references of his current clients with a similar case as yours who have found success with him. Else keep away from him. In fact you should also ask similar references from anyone who you may contact in Portugal.

It is best if you go to the Portuguese consulate in Goa first and get yourself updated about what options you can first explore in Goa.

Good Luck

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