Moroccan students wishing to study in Germany might have their dreams crushed due to delays in visa processing.
As the 2020-2021 winter semester at German universities nears, hundreds of Moroccan students are still waiting for their visas to Germany.
Applications for German visas, especially long-term ones such as student visas, generally take several months to process due to the large number of applications.
However, this year, the visa processing duration has reached unprecedented lengths.
The maximum processing duration, as the German Embassy in Rabat mentions on its website, doubled from five to ten months. The embassy explained that the extension of the processing period is mainly due to the suspension of consular services during Morocco’s lockdown.
Despite the maximum 10-month processing period, visas can take longer to be ready.
Abderrahmane, a Moroccan student admitted to study information technology at a German university, began waiting for his visa to Germany almost 11 months ago.
“I applied for the visa on October 22, 2019. I have been waiting for almost 11 months to receive my visa appointment,” he told Morocco World News.
Unaware of when he will be able to travel to Germany, Abderrahmane is anxiously hoping that the visa delays will not cause him any issues with the university.
“The semester will begin in October and lessons on November 2. The university offers hybrid learning, but it is mandatory for me to be there for classes and for exams,” he said.
The university where Abderrahmane plans to study, like many other institutions in Germany, opted for a hybrid education model. The university offers both online and in-person lessons.
However, despite the coronavirus-induced flexibility, universities still require students to attend in-person classes. Absenteeism can cause students problems as serious as failing the semester.
With hundreds of Moroccan students still waiting for their visa to Germany, it is highly likely that many of them will miss some classes, if not the entire winter semester.
The issue facing Moroccan students seems to not be exclusive to Morocco. On social media, hundreds of students, mainly from developing countries, launched a campaign asking German embassies to accelerate their visa processing.
The campaign, held under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism, attracted participants from Morocco, Bangladesh, India, Iran, and Nigeria, among other countries.
The students admitted to German universities are hoping authorities in the European country will positively react to their request and prevent them from losing the chance to study in Germany.