NGOs Condemn “Degrading Treatment” of Moroccans Applying for Schengen Visas

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A total of twenty non-governmental organisations have once again called on the responsible authorities to end the visa restrictions they apply against nationals of Morocco, and have denounced the way how Moroccans are treated.

In a letter addressed to the ambassador of the European Union in Rabat, Patricia Llombart, the NGOs condemned the degrading treatment, as well as the humiliation that Moroccans have received when applying for visas in different consulates, especially in the one of France, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In addition, Morocco World News explains that the NGOs have also condemned the closure of electronic platforms responsible for providing visa application appointments.

The same source reveals that in the letter, the NGOs accused consulates of depriving the nationals of Morocco of the right of movement and of adopting inappropriate policies.

According to the NGOs, by closing electronic platforms and opening them only for a limited period and not permitting many people to apply, the consulates are ‘leaving room for the scammers’ who are able to make available appointment slots and then sell them for a significantly higher price.

Earlier in October, a group of Moroccan nationals demonstrated outside the office of the EU in Rabat for the same reason. They required the EU responsible authorities to put an end to the racist and degrading treatment.

Apart from making such a request, the demonstrators also criticised the policies that the EU countries apply when it comes to issuing Schengen visas and required that the authorities start providing a clear explanation of why their visas got rejected.

While the French authorities as well as those of the other EU countries have not made an official statement on the matter, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra, previously pledged to solve Schengen visa-related problems that nationals of Morocco face.

Through an official response, Minister Hoekstra said that his country is aware of the long waiting time and emphasised that the Dutch authorities are working to increase the capacities so that the processing of applications can be accelerated.

According to Schengen Visa Statistics, nationals of Morocco filed around 157,000 visa applications in one of the EU countries in 2021. The same source reveals that of all applications that were submitted last year, about 39,520 (27,6 per cent) were rejected, representing the highest average global rejection rate.

>> Who Needs and Who Doesn’t Need a Schengen Visa to Travel to the EU?

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