Despite a high number of rejected applications, Morocco is the North African country that received the highest number of the prized Schengen visas.
Rabat – The latest statistics from the European Commission indicate that countries of the coveted Schengen area delivered 530,000 visas to Moroccan applicants in 2018.
The numbers mean that the desirability score of Morocco travelers has slightly increased by 3% compared to last year. In 2017, Moroccans landed 514,872 Schengen visas.
But the slight improvement does not whitewash the persistently high number of rejections.
While the EU commission does not provide details on the rate of rejected applications, it did suggest that the numbers are not essentially down to the state of EU-Morocco relations.
Morocco is an established EU partner, and the North African country has lately reinforced its comfortable position as a strong EU ally. On topics like security and migration, many European countries consider Rabat an indispensable partner.
When it comes to visa procedures, however, Schengen area countries have mostly tightened their policies in response to migration into the EU.
France and Spain, Morocco’s closest EU allies, remain the two countries that deliver the highest number of visas to Moroccan applicants.
In 2018, 362,420 Moroccans applied for a French visa. The result was 56,784 rejections and 362,420 acceptances. In the same period, Spain received 200, 970 applications from Moroccans. The European country accepted 158,702 and rejected 33,520.
Meanwhile, Belgium also featured as a cherished destination for Moroccan visa applicants. Of the 13,456 visa seekers who chose Belgium in 2018, only half—6,340—landed the prized document. Overall, Casablanca and Tangier led the dance in terms of visa applications. The two economic hubs were followed by Rabat, Fez, and Tetouan.
The statistics indicate that, in terms of visa applications, Morocco ranked second in North Africa in 2018. Algeria took the top spot with 711,080 applications.
But when it comes to acceptance rate, Morocco outranked its neighbor. Algerians received 384,302 Schengen visas in 2018, compared to Morocco’s 530,000. Tunisia and Egypt ranked third and fourth, respectively.
In the majority of cases, “higher education” was the recurrent motive for successful long-stay visa applications.