After several months of tension between the two countries, Paris has reintroduced unrestricted visa applications. Their number is expected to increase by 80% this year

France lifts visa restrictions for Moroccans

AFP/FADEL SENNA - Un hombre marroquí sostiene su pasaporte frente a su ordenador que muestra un visado Schengen en la capital Rabat
photo_camera AFP/FADEL SENNA - A Moroccan man holds his passport in front of his computer showing a Schengen visa in the capital Rabat.

France puts an end to the visa crisis with Morocco. During an interview on Moroccan radio 2M, the French ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier, announced "that there are no longer any restrictions on the issuing of visas by Paris". "Whoever fulfils the conditions necessary to obtain a visa will get his visa", Lecourtier assured.

The French ambassador therefore foresees an 80% increase in the number of visas issued in 2023. "Compared to 2022, the number of visas we grant this year will increase by about 80 per cent," he said.

In September 2021, Paris decided to halve visas for Moroccans, citing the Kingdom's reluctance to readmit its nationals in an irregular situation in France. The French government took a similar measure with Algeria. 

This decision, described as "unjustified" by Rabat and denounced by French-speaking Moroccan circles, significantly worsened bilateral relations. "We have taken note of this decision, we consider it unjustified", declared Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at the time. "Morocco has always managed the migration issue and the flow of people with a logic of responsibility and balance between facilitating the movement of people and the fight against illegal migration," he said.

"The President of the Republic himself recognised that this decision had deeply damaged France's image. We do not manage with statistics a relationship as close as the one between France and Morocco", admitted Lecourtier, who regretted that he was convinced that "it will take time to erase this disaster, these humiliations".  

The French ambassador in Rabat also spoke about Western Sahara in the Moroccan programme, where he reiterated France's support for the Moroccan autonomy plan. "We are part of Morocco's dynamic. It is the reaffirmation that we will be a constant, faithful and dynamic ally of what Morocco undertakes and pursues," he said.

"The government of King Mohammed VI is admirable and it is in this perspective that we give this support," the French diplomat stressed. "We will support the next steps so that this plan can be extended internationally," he added.

Regarding the Al Haouz earthquake and the controversial French media coverage of the catastrophe, Lecourtier acknowledged feeling "ashamed" of what he saw on French television. "I found it unworthy of the relationship between France and Morocco", he declared.  

Both the Sahara issue and the French coverage of the September earthquake are among the issues that have recently driven Morocco and France apart. However, in early November, France's ambassador to the United Nations, Nicolas de Rivi猫re, reiterated France's historic, clear and consistent support for Morocco's autonomy plan.

These statements, which bring Rabat and Paris closer together after numerous tensions, come after the mayor of Laayoune, Moulay Hamdi Ould Errachid, received a delegation made up of members of the French army and diplomats who came to the main enclave of Western Sahara on behalf of the French Embassy in Morocco. 

In light of the recent announcement by the French ambassador, individuals interested in applying for a French Schengen visa may find it helpful to refer to the detailed requirements outlined on schengenvisainfo This resource offers valuable insights into the necessary documentation and conditions for obtaining a French Schengen visa.

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