Several Moroccan news outlets reported that Jordan has repealed all restrictions preventing Moroccan women aged 18-35 to travel to Jordan without a male guardian, called mahram.
Rabat – The Jordanian Embassy said that it has not received any instructions regarding visas for Moroccan women.
On Monday, August 7, several news outlets reported that Moroccan women aged 18 and 35 will no longer need a male guardian to obtain special permission from the Jordanian Ministry of Interior to enter Jordan.
The embassy told Morocco World News that it has received “no official instructions” regarding this new procedure.
The embassy added that the news is a “misinformation.”
The embassy said that it does not recognize the concept of a male guardian in response to a question from MWN about male guardianship as an entry requirement.
The embassy also promised to give further information to MWN once it receives official instructions regarding visas for Moroccan women.
HuffPost, however, quoted an “authorized” source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who said that Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister of Nasser Bourita had held talks with his Jordanian counterpart Aymen al Safdi on the issues of visas for Moroccan women in July.
The source added that Bourita “insisted” that Jordan remove any visa restrictions for Moroccan women.
The Jordanian Tourism Board also published the list of countries where citizens are eligible to obtain a Jordanian visa on arrival.
In the Maghreb region, citizens from Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia can obtain visas upon arrival.
However, the website shows that only Tunisian citizens aged 18 to 35 are allowed to obtain a visa upon arrival.
The debate on visa restrictions for women comes eight months after a group of Moroccan activists condemned discriminatory visa policies in Jordan and Egypt.
On social media, several women voiced their frustration after they were denied visas on arrival to Jordan for work.
Mounia Semlali, a female employee at Oxfam, told Morocco World News that her visa request was rejected.
She added that the embassy verbally told her that she could not visit the county without a mahram.
“When I argued the fact that I need a mahram, they told me that I need approval from the Ministry of Interior in Jordan.”
“Why must Moroccans between 18 and 35 years old be accompanied by a mahram to have the right of entry in Jordan? Why Moroccans in particular?” she asked.
The Jordanian ambassador in Morocco, Hazem Al Khateb Attamimi, intervened.
He said in January that Moroccan women aged 18 to 35 are subject to stricter rules when applying for visas to visit Jordan.
He told MAP that the visa regulations have “been applied for many years and have not been modified.”
The ambassador added that the policy “only restricts and limits the entry of certain age groups, and does not prohibit them.”
The ambassador explained that the policy “is governed by regulations related to the legalization and protection of the labor market in Jordan.”
Attamimi added that Jordan does not “prevent Moroccan citizens from entering its territory, provided they submit to regulatory measures to specify the workplace or to indicate the reason for the visit.”