The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs apologized yesterday for the delays Moroccans have been facing when applying for Schengen visas and has pledged to strengthen consular services.
Rabat – The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said in a press conference in Rabat yesterday that Spain is committed to strengthening its consular services in Morocco to face the growing demand for Schengen visas at Spanish consulates throughout the country.
Borrell met with Moroccan Minister for Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita in Rabat yesterday, as part of an international forum on strengthening Morocco’s ties with the European Union.
Borrell recognized that the Spanish consular services were under pressure from the number of visa applications it received per year.
“We are overwhelmed […]. This year we will receive 250,000 visa applications, which is an annual increase of 10% in recent years,” Borell said in a press release following the meeting.
“We apologize to the Moroccan citizens for the delays,” he added, reported Moroccan newspaper Maghreb Associated Press.
He assured that the Spanish consular services would do their best to overcome the delays in processing visa applications, adding that a new appointment request system would be set up to shorten delays.
In mid-May of this year, Moroccans applying for a Schengen visa were facing up to six months of wait times for their visa appointments at Spanish consular services.
At the meeting with the Moroccan Foreign Minister today, Borrell also emphasized the importance of Spain’s broader commercial relationship with Morocco.
“For Spain, the relationship with Morocco is a State policy and is based on the commitment to build a global strategic partnership,” he said.