Between France and Morocco, visas of discord

In September 2021, Paris announced to reduce the number of visas for Moroccans by 50 %, due to the “refusal” of the country to repatriate its nationals in an irregular situation in France.


The subject has poisoned relations between Paris and Rabat for a year: the restrictions on granting visas to enter France. Under the rolling fire of criticism, the measure arouses increasing indignation within Moroccan society. On social networks, in the media, the testimonies of citizens attended and humiliated by refusals of visas mix with harsh comments towards France, calls for the principle of reciprocity for the French going to Morocco.

In turn, intellectuals and actors of civil society have mounted in the niche. This is the case of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights which, on August 30, called on France to stop its “arrogance” and to “respect the principle of free movement”, while the Moroccan Federation of Consumer Rights requires the return of non -issued visa costs. “Stop prostrating yourself to have a visa. The country that snobs you (…), zap it,” urges the writer Mokhtar Chaoui in a Text on Facebook widely relayed.

The wick was on on September 28, 2021, when Paris announced to reduce the number of visas granted to Moroccan and Algerian nationals and 30 % to Tunisians by 50 %. A “drastic”, “unprecedented” decision, but “made necessary”, according to the French government, due to the “refusal” of these three countries to repatriate their nationals in an irregular situation in France. These accusations had immediately been described as “unfounded” by Moroccan diplomacy. Raised on August 31 for Tunisia, these quotas are still in force for the other two Maghreb countries.

Business leaders or employees with meetings, scientists invited to conferences, artists, parents wishing to install a student child in France, families finding themselves there for the holidays … for several months, number of Moroccans Make the price of this diplomatic showdown and are refused Schengen visas by the French consular authorities, for reasons often deemed arbitrary.

French employers react

Like the Moroccan Ophthalmology Society, whose members could not attend the annual congress of their French colleagues in May, for lack of visas. “We are going there every year and this is the first time that it has happened, reports its president, Mohamed Bennani. I am talking about doctors in the liberal sector, internal, department heads, clinical heads who, for the most part, studied In France. Some had to present their scientific work there. “

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/Media reports.