The British Home Office is threatening to deport a Portuguese man who has lived legally in the UK for more than 20 years. Update your request to stay in the country.
According to lawyers and human rights activists following the case, 45-year-old plumber Jono Rocha Gonçalves da Silva is proof of the UK's increasingly hostile policy towards European Union (EU) citizens in the country.
As stated therein GuardianHighlighting the news this Sunday, a Portuguese lawyer believes that unless the British government changes the rules for applying for residence, there is a risk of a new corruption that will massively affect vulnerable citizens who applied late for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The scheme allows European citizens who are already living, working and studying in the UK to remain in the country from 31 December 2020 until they become resident in the country.
“Mr. Silva is a long-term resident of the United Kingdom and has a clear right to remain in the country under the readmission agreement”, Joao da Silva's defence, adding that the case “shows the risk that EU citizens who have been legally resident for years suddenly have their rights taken away from one day to the next.
The Portuguese had arrived on British soil before then, in May 2001, and since 2007 has worked for his current employer, his plumbing business. He has always paid his taxes and has no criminal record.
Speaking to The Guardian, João da Silva admitted he feared the British government would go ahead with the deportation order. “My parents are dead and so am I I have no one in Portugal. “I consider the UK my home and my employer my family,” he said.
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The migrant, who claims he has a speech problem, reports that he tried to apply for EUSS using the British Home Office application in 2019, but was unable to scan his Portuguese identity card. He asked for a new ID card, but ended up with the same problem. The Portuguese finally found a social organization that helped him submit his late application on November 7 last year, but the Interior Ministry rejected the application two weeks later.
Joao da Silva explained that he applied late to stay in the country because of his speech problem. The British authorities replied that “this was not considered a justifiable reason for the delay in submitting the application”.
The rejection letter contains 11 points, including possible consequences for the Portuguese Fines, detention, imprisonment and ban on entry into the UK. Also, there is no right of appeal against rejection. The migrant's defense lawyer has already launched legal action against the continued rejection of the request, arguing that the EU violates the return treaty and misuses established guidelines.
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