In normal years, Spanish consulates in Morocco grant 140,000 to 180,000 visas per year.
Rabat – Spanish consulates issued a total of 220,929 visas in Morocco in 2018, significantly higher than the usual numbers recorded annually.
According to Spanish news outlet EFE, the number is higher than it has been in more than a decade. Typically, Spain issues between 140,000 and 180,000 in Morocco.
The increase means Morocco received more Spanish visas in 2018 than any other country except Russia and China.
According to the Spanish news outlet, which received data from the Diplomatic Information Office, Spanish consulates in Morocco issued an average of 1,000 visas a day, excluding weekends and holidays.
In addition to the Spanish embassy in Rabat, Morocco has six Spanish consulates across the country: Tangier, Tetouan, Casablanca, Nador, Agadir, and Laraache.
More than 200,000 Moroccans hold Spanish citizenship, while over 1 million Moroccans live in Spain, EFE reported in February.
In 2018, 770,523 Morocans lived as residents in Spain, while another undocumented quarter million are staying in Spain.
The news outlet added that at least 180,000 Moroccan children attend Spanish schools.
Spaniards also represent a significant portion of foreign tourists in Morocco. Tourists from Spain were the second most common nationality at 20 percent, and France was the most common with 31 percent.
Spain and Morocco maintain strong diplomatic ties, which were recently on display in a Spanish royal visit.
In February, King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia of Spain arrived in Morocco at the request of King Mohammed VI.
The visit sought to reinforce diplomatic bonds, reflecting the quality of bilateral ties thanks to the shared will to foster the partnership between the two countries, according to the Moroccan Ministry of Royal Household, Protocol, and Chancellery.