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France’s Ambassador to Morocco Says All Restrictions on Visa Issuing Are ‘Lifted’

After almost three years of raging controversy over France’s decision to slash the quota of visas issued for Moroccan nationals by half, the European country is saying that it is lifting the restrictions. 

In an interview with Radio 2M, France’s Ambassador to Morocco Christophe Lecourtier said that an “intimate relationship like that between France and Morocco cannot be managed with statistics.”

Lecourtier explained that “anyone who meets the required conditions for obtaining a visa will get their visa for France.”

He added that it will take time to ease what he described as “humiliations,” and a “waste” on the part of France. 

“The President of the Republic himself acknowledged a few weeks ago that it had deeply damaged the image and influence of France,” he added.

French officials claimed in recent months that France is moving towards eliminating the unjust visa restrictions imposed on Moroccan nationals. The claims widely contrast with official data.

In December 2022, following mounting pressure from the public and NGOs, some of which have even lodged official complaints against French consulates, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said the country is working with Morocco to lift visa restrictions.

Months later, official data showed that France was responsible for the highest number of Schengen visa rejections for Moroccan nationals. Over 50,000 visa applications to France were rejected, out of more than 160,000, with a rejection rate of nearly 32%.

In addition to infuriating citizens and civil associations, the rejection rate has cost Moroccans over €3 million on applications that were ultimately turned down. 

Founder of Schengen Visa Info Besart Bajrami pointed out that “€3 million is actually not even close to the real amount of money spent by Moroccans for applying for Schengen visas, because at the end of the day, people who applied for a Schengen Visa often had to pay an amount around €35 for a third party processing the application.”

Source: Morocco World News