MNEK to find solutions for Timorese stuck in Portugal

MNEK to find solutions for Timorese stuck in Portugal

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MNEC) Adaliza Magno

DILI, 04 may 2022 (TATOLI) – The Government of Timor-Leste, through, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MNEK) will find solutions for those Timorese people who are getting stuck in Portugal and have no permission to enter the United Kingdom (UK).

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno, said that MNEK had identified a number of Timorese people who were stuck in Portugal.

“MNEK has identified some of these Timorese People. We are currently searching for the others. It’s Brexit, so they are not allowed to enter the UK. Some of them have received assistance from Timor-Leste’s Embassy in Portugal and right now, we don’t know for sure how many of them are getting stuck in Portugal,” Mango told reporters after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, at the Palace of the Government, in Dili, on wednesday.

Magno called on those Timorese to make sure they were well prepared and fulfilled all the criteria before leaving for the UK.

“We don’t want other Timorese people to go through the same experience. Therefore, next time, they need to be well prepared before departing for the UK. They need to make sure they prepare all the documents. They need to secure a job in the UK before leaving Timor-Leste,” she stressed.

Magno urged Timorese people to consult MNEK and Timor-Leste’s Embassy in Portugal before departing for the UK: “They didn’t inform MNEK about their departure to Portugal and the UK.”

Previously, the Minister of Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães also expressed his concerns regarding the difficulties facing these Timorese people in Portugal.

Magalhães said the government, especially the relevant ministry would take urgent action to find a better solution for these Timorese people.

“They are jobless and have no opportunity to access any forms of legal protection insurance or legal expenses,” he said.

It is estimated that 16.000 Timorese are residents in the UK, 3.000 of them in Dungannon. It is a result of a unique situation by which Timorese born before May 2002 were given the right to a Portuguese passport allowing them to live and work in the UK as Portuguese citizens, a situation that could change dramatically after Brexit, according to a study from the Institute of Development Studies in England.


Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario


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