Home » Africa: Morocco Leads African Nations With The Most Schengen Visa Applications as Over 57% Were Successfully Approved

Africa: Morocco Leads African Nations With The Most Schengen Visa Applications as Over 57% Were Successfully Approved

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Schengen visa

In 2022, Morocco led the African continent in Schengen visa applications with an impressive total of 423,201 applications, resulting in an expenditure of €33.8 million.

However according to schengenvisainfo.com, data show that more than half of those applications received a positive response – 57.5 per cent of applications, representing 282,301 requests, granting thousands of Moroccans entry to the borderless zone, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Out of the total visas issued for Moroccans in 2022, more than half of those (162,228 or 57.4 per cent) were granted for multiple entry, while 119,346 applications were denied. This means that almost 30 per cent of applications of Moroccans seeking to travel to Schengen zone have been rejected.

To put it in perspective, the number of approved visa applications in Morocco is approximately equivalent to the population of the country’s thirteenth-largest city – Safi, which has around 308,000 inhabitants.

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Based on Schengen Statistics, only 0.74 per cent of the population in Morocco has received a positive response to their application, so the visa approval rate was 0.6 per cent. In addition, only 746 applications per 100,000 Moroccan nationals have been approved.

This means that there is an approved application for every 134 inhabitants in Morocco, enabling free movement to the Schengen Area for a very limited number of Moroccan nationals.

Considering that Morocco is the 11th most populated country in Africa, the number of applications filed is not necessarily high, especially compared to Cape Verdeans, who hold the highest number of applications filed per capita.

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Nonetheless, the number of visa applications by Moroccan nationals has changed significantly in the last six years, hitting the lowest record in 2021 – potentially related to the COVID-19 situation, while in 2019, the number of applications filed was roofing.

Moroccans filed 74.4 per cent fewer applications in 2020, from 705,293 to 180,443, and 170 per cent more applications than they did in 2021 – from 157,100 to 423,201, which could indicate that the interest of Moroccans travelling to the EU is increasing.

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One of the reasons related to the relatively low number of visa applications filed by Moroccan nationals can be attributed to the economic situation in the country, which, conversely, has an average wage of €1,792 monthly, as the World Salaries website says.

However, the Wage Indicator reveals that Moroccans get paid far less than that, as the monthly payment in the public sector is €323. The situation is worse for the private sector, with workers earning €274 per month and agricultural workers who make €193 per month.

Taking this into account, workers in the public sector in Morocco would have to set aside a quarter of their monthly wage just to be able to pay a Schengen visa application fee, while workers in the private sector and agriculture, almost or even more than one-third of their wage. This means that it is nearly absurd for Moroccan nationals to be able to visit the Schengen Area, considering the low income for public and private sector workers.

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