Velimir Dulo, a Serb, has been in Malta for over two years and works as a technician. Last Summer we met him, his wife and his two children, one of whom is 11 year old Nevena Dulo who also goes to school here.
What should have been his first Christmas in Malta with his wife and children, is set to be fraught with worry now that his children along with 20 other boys and girls have not been given residence permits to live in Malta with their parents given that their parents are not earning enough money.
“I like school and I have a lot of Maltese friends and its really fun. For me its better than in Serbia,” Nevena told us.
Her father told us that this was a bolt from the blue. He has already been separated from his wife and children for two years having come to Malta in 2017. His family only joined him this year.
“Yesterday I recieved letter from Education telling us that our kids where not elegible for free education in Malta because they recieved information from Identity Malta telling them that application for our kids have been refused. We still haven’t recieved an official letter from Identity Malta but that’s enough for us unfortunately.”
Velimir’s story has a happy ending since the company where he works is expected to raise his pay by 200 Euro which is enough to satisfy the criteria at law for his children to remain with him in Malta.
“They are going to raise my salary as needed. They will also contact Identity Malta to make sure my kids stay with me. Also my landlord and my wife’s employer.”
The destinies of other families remain uncertain. Sources close to Identity Malta
said that European rules for families coming from non EU countries were being implemented. This had led to concerns that children of families who lived from hand to mouth were at risk particularly if they lived with other families in the same apartment and shared the rent. It was not even possible for foreign workers to bring their children over while they worked in Malta.
In the meantime, on twitter Archbishop Charles Scicluna urged religious organizations to see how they can help so that these families are not separated. He also called for donations to be sent to Caritas to help these families.