The French visa crisis reaches the European Union

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights sent an open letter to the European Union ambassador to Morocco and officials at the European Union mission in Rabat, protesting what it called “humiliating and degrading treatment by the consular interests of Morocco”. most of the countries of the European Union in Morocco with applicants and students visa”.

This correspondence comes at a time when relations between Rabat and Paris are in a silent crisis due to France halving the number of visas granted to Moroccans.

The human rights association said its message came “in view of the appalling violation of their right to freedom of movement by the entire European Union, especially the countries involved in the Schengen area, where these countries insist on granting visas only to a limited number. of his students.” And they demanded it even though it met all the required conditions.”

The document states that “in the context of these violations, the countries of the European Union have dramatically and surprisingly reduced the possibilities of applying for a visa, periodically and progressively, totally or partially, closing the entry platforms for Internet dating. a pay visa applications, and no longer open them except for limited periods; This gave way to mafias that specialized in obtaining appointments and selling them at imaginary prices to citizens who did not have all the possibilities to take appointments in useful and safe conditions.”

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights considers that “the depth of the seriousness of these violations is that these countries have overlooked important intermediary companies that deliver files of applicants and visa applicants and present them to the competent authorities in exchange for sums of money paid by men and citizens without giving them any guarantee or assurance that they will obtain the visa”.

Among the manifestations of these violations, according to the association’s message, is that “the competent authorities of the embassies and consulates of the European Union do not convincingly explain the reasons for the increasing denial of visa applications, and do not return the money. they paid.” for citizens whose applications were rejected; Which is considered an improper extraction of those funds, which is not justified, especially in the absence of the provision of the required service.”

In its message, the Human Rights Association stated that “many countries of the European Union that have ratified all international human rights treaties and conventions are obliged before the international community to respect their international commitments and implement the requirements of those conventions and conventions. integrating them in all of its public policies”.

It should be noted that, in 2021, a total of 157,100 Moroccans applied for a Schengen visa at European embassies, visa centers and consulates. Of the total, 39,520 applications were rejected; This represents a total of 27.6 percent, which means that the rejection rate is much higher compared to the world average rejection rate for Schengen visa applications.

Last year, Morocco ranked fifth as the most important source of Schengen visa applications; More than half of the applications were presented at Spanish embassies and consulates with a total of 84,499 applications, followed by France with a total of 58,310 applications.