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‘All Portuguese must have the same rights’: petition delivered to Lisbon

Hundreds of Macao’s Portuguese residents have signed a petition expressing their frustration with the local Portuguese consulate. It’s been hand delivered to Portugal’s government.

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Hundreds of Macao’s Portuguese residents have signed a petition expressing their frustration with the local Portuguese consulate. It’s been hand delivered to Portugal’s government.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:05 pm

A petition signed by 430 Portuguese citizens residing in Macao has been handed to a representative of Portugal’s government in Lisbon. It calls for an end to delays in basic services at the local consulate, Ponto Final reports.

The situation has meant that some of these citizens, unable to renew their Portuguese passports, have applied for Macao passports – effectively opting to become Chinese nationals – in order to leave the SAR.

Others have been forced to remain “stuck in Macao,” said Rita Santos, the president of the regional council of the Portuguese Communities for Asia and Oceania.

Santos personally delivered the petition to Paulo Cafôfo, secretary of state for Portuguese communities, on a recent trip to Portugal.

[See more: Residency permits for Portuguese nationals come under the spotlight]

“All Portuguese must have the same rights,” Santos said. “We cannot be treated like second-class citizens. All Portuguese people have the right to have their identification documents up to date.”

A lack of staff has been cited as one reason for more than six-month delays in passport renewals – in stark contrast to the five days it takes in Portugal itself. A backlog of requests that built up during the three-year Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the situation.

According to Santos, Cafôfo assured her that Portugal’s consular employees would soon be seeing a salary increase, which is meant to attract more staff to the consulates.

In August, the Consulate General of Portugal in Macao and Hong Kong said that, from December, all its appointments would be channelled through a new online platform run by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:05 pm

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