The Moroccan government will meet with an EU delegation in Rabat to discuss Schengen visa delays.
Rabat – Morocco’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mounia Boucetta, said on Monday that the government will “meet in Rabat with a commission of the European Union to examine a set of problems related to the issuance of [Schengen] visas.”
The EU-Morocco meeting comes after reports indicated that the wait for a visa is roughly six months at the minimum and increasing.
With 530,000 Schengen visas issued to Moroccans in 2018, Morocco is in the top ten countries of citizens applying for short-term visas. But that also means Moroccans planning a European vacation have to deal with the problems of overloaded computer systems.
Boucetta said that the government is “closely following this issue and in particular the issue of appointments that pose a problem to citizens.”
The source of the issue is the consulates’ computer system which processes visa applications. With the processing system continuously working at full capacity, it has become too difficult to meet the demand for tourist visas.
Visa appointments for Spain are booked for over six months, while Italy and France have slots open by the end of August. According to the report, these wait times have been increasing. In February, the wait time to apply for a French visit averaged 40-60 days.
MPs at the House of Representatives also discussed the issue of Schengen visas on Monday.
Lahcen Haddad, a member of the Istiqlal (Independence) party and former Minister of Tourism, was among the MPs who expressed dissatisfaction with the issue.
“At the same time, European citizens enter the national territory without a visa,” he said.
Along with the long wait that Moroccans are facing for Schengen Visas, the EU announced on May 16 that the systems for issuing Visas for nations along the EU border will be updated to reinforce protection against transnational crime and terrorism.