Stranded Punjabis in Portugal get passports
Anju Agnihotri Chaba
September 5, 2007
Jalandhar, September 04:There is a reason to smile for families of Punjabis living illegally in Portugal, as the Indian Embassy there, on the recommendation of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India, has started issuing identification documents, including passports, to youth who have been living in Portugal for at least one year.
Avtar Singh, an Indian in Portugal who has been taking up cases of such youth, called up the Lok Bhalai Party office here on phone to give them the news.
Ramandeep Singh Bharowal, national general secretary of LBP, said Punjabi youth in Portugal are now getting the required documents to get legal status.
These youth were made entered to Portugal illegally by unscrupulous travel agents, who also took away their documents, including passports.
It may be noted that Portugal has opened immigration to all those illegal immigrants who have been living there at least for one year under its limited amnesty scheme to provide them legal status after the submission of required documents. With this move, thousands of youth will now get permanent residentship of Portugal.
Four days back, LBP activists had staged a dharna in front of the Jalandhar passport office, requesting MEA to help stranded youth by providing them identification documents.
Karnail Singh, father of Kulwinder Singh of Khurdan village, said his son has been living in Portugal for over a year and had informed him on phone that he had applied to the Indian Embassy to get required documents and will get legal status in Portugal soon.
Harjit Singh of Daburji village, who has been living in Portugal for the past six years illegally, was also happy over the development.