Not being an exclusive reality on the European continent, this delay in European consulates has led many emigrants to desperation, especially those who have businesses dependent on certain documents, such as in the real estate sector.
The United Kingdom is a good example of how things are going wrong, according to Pedro Rupio, president of the Regional Council of Portuguese Communities in Europe.
A resident and adviser in Belgium, where 37,376 Portuguese lived in 2019, Pedro Rupio says he has received several complaints from Portuguese people who are having difficulties in registering their children, with procedures related to the citizen's card and also with documents to be able to travel.
This adviser stresses the importance of the digital tools that are available to these citizens today and that avoid travel and longer waiting times, but regrets the lack of information.
However, he highlighted that digital does not replace people and states that “although there are more and more digital tools, it is still more advantageous to go to Portugal to resolve administrative issues, which has a cost, such as travel, vacation days, etc".
A situation that, according to him, already existed before the pandemic and that the covid-19 has seen worsen.
In the United Kingdom, where 165,000 Portuguese lived in 2019, councillor António Cunha has received so many complaints from Portuguese unhappy with the service of the consulates that he asks: “What is the Consulate of Portugal?”