Morocco came third in terms of Schengen visa issuances.
Rabat – The Moroccan community remains the main beneficiary of French residence permits. French authorities issued a total number of 274,676 permits in 2019, with 34,929 granted to Moroccans.
Algerians hold 27,391 residence permits, making their country the second south-Mediterranean country of origin to benefit from residence permits. They are followed by Tunisians, with 19,596 permits, and Chinese, with 15,291, according to the annual statistics from the General Directorate of Foreigners in France (DGEF).
The issuance of residence permits to adults experienced a slight increase, of 6.1%. The increase is due to a surge in student admissions, which paved the way for 90,000 students to get their residence permits in 2019. The figure represents the highest ever recorded after approximately 83,600 permits were delivered in 2018.
A further 38,671 people benefited from residence permits for an economic reason, which is up by 14.8%, said the DGEF.
In 2019, the governmental institution issued more than 35,200 “talent passport” residence permits in addition to 36,300 residence permits for humanitarian reasons, which experienced an increase of 3.7% in 2019 after it was down by 4% in 2018.
The DGEF declared that a total of 3,534,999 visas were issued in 2019 compared to 3,572,326 in 2018, registering a 1% decrease. The number of short-stay Schengen visas issued in 2019 declined by 1.5% compared to 2018.
Morocco came in third place out of 15 countries in terms of the number of Schengen visas issued to its citizens. It also came in first in the Maghreb region, with 346,032 visas granted in 2019 against 334,019 in 2018.
However, many Moroccans who wished to enter the European territory for short-term stays at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 saw complications in getting a Schengen visa appointment.
In addition to months-long delays for getting visa appointments, European consulates and embassies have raised the cost of Schengen visas from €60 to €80 per application.
The issue has caught the attention of Moroccan MPs at the House of Councilors, who highlighted in January the high visa fees and the delays in obtaining appointments in addition to the mishandling of Moroccans requests by the different consular missions.
They subsequently called for field visits at consular missions to check how Schengen visa applications are processed.
After that, Moroccan authorities approached consular representatives for clarification on the issue. The representatives cited the overwhelming amount of visa applications as a reason for the delay of visa appointments.
Moroccan visa applicants spent more than MAD 424 million, or $43.57 million, on 662,586 Schengen visa applications in 2018, according to the latest statistics from Schengen Visa Info.
Algeria comes second with 274,421 Schengen visas granted to its citizens followed by Tunisia with 145,846.
The DGEF further announced that it has declined 686,862 visa requests out of a total of 4,290,482 requests.
Within the Maghreb, Algeria came in second in 2019 with 274,421 Schengen visas granted to its citizens, followed by Tunisia with 145,846.
The DGEF announced that in 2019 it declined 686,862 visa requests out of a total of 4,290,482.