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Difficulties in Applying for Schengen Visas in Morocco

Schengen Visa Info, the Schengen area news outlet, has reported on Monday on fraudulent and abusive operations that are taking place in the booking of Schengen visa appointments. 

The complaints arise because appointment booking brokers are booking all available appointments and then selling them at exorbitant prices on the black market, thus limiting the booking of the visa application to any applicant who cannot afford it, with prices as high as 10,800 dirhams (1,000 euros). 

The Schengen visa is a permit that allows citizens of different countries (including Morocco) to travel and stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. There are different types of Schengen visas depending on the type of activity carried out in the country: business, tourism, study, or visiting friends or family, among others.  

This practice affects all Moroccan citizens applying for a visa, but especially students enrolled in universities that are part of the European Union, as they are obliged to obtain this visa to gain access to the country where they are pursuing their studies.

Those who apply for this visa for tourism or business purposes have also been severely affected by this type of practice and have been forced to look for alternative destinations. 

This is not the first time that a fraudulent and abusive situation in the appointment booking mechanism has been reported. In May, Schengen Visa Info also reported the use of automated “bots” that automatically book all available free appointments.  

As it is not illegal to make multiple bookings or sell appointments, this phenomenon does not necessarily qualify as criminal, and is therefore very difficult to stop. Adil Tchikitou, director of the Moroccan League for the Defence of Human Rights (LMDDH), told Schengen News that the embassies in the country are aware of these practices and that there is little interest in solving this problem on the part of the authorities. 

This problem is compounded by Moroccans’ dissatisfaction with the high rates of refusal of Schengen visas. In 2022, more than 423,000 applications were submitted by Moroccan citizens, of which 30% were rejected, mostly by Spain and France. However, Morocco remains the main African country benefiting from visas issued by France. 

Source : Atalayar