Among the African countries in 2022, Morocco led the list of the highest number of Schengen visa applications with 423,201 filed, over half of which were approved, according to the Schengen Visa website.
Out of a staggering 423,201 visa applications filed and €33.8 million spent by Moroccan nationals, 57.5% received a positive response, granting entry to approximately 282,301 applicants.
On the other hand, 119,346 applications of Moroccans seeking to travel to the Schengen zone were denied, yielding a rejection rate of nearly 30%.
Statistically, only 0.74% of Moroccans have had their visa applications approved, making the country’s approval rate for visas stand at a mere 0.6%. Only 746 out of 100,000 Moroccan nationals have had their applications approved.
These figures suggest that the majority of Moroccan citizens faced restricted access to the Schengen Area, as there was an average of only one approved application for every 134 inhabitants in Morocco.
However, the number of Moroccan nationals who have applied for visas has changed considerably over the past six years. The fluctuations can be attributed to the pandemic and/or to the economic situation.
In 2021, the number saw a sharp drop, which might be attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic. When compared to 2019, the number of applications filed was soaring.
In 2020, the number of visa applications submitted by Moroccans declined drastically by 74,4%, from 705,293 to 180,443.
Yet, in 2021, there was a 170% increase, from 157,100 to 423, 201. These fluctuations indicate a potential interest among Moroccans in traveling to the European Union.
Schengen visa report also attributed the significant drop in visa applications submitted by Moroccan nationals to the economic situation in the country.
With low incomes for both public and private sectors, the expenses of applying for a Schengen visa become a significant financial burden for many Moroccan nationals.
Workers in the public sector in Morocco would have to set aside a quarter of their monthly wage just to be able to cover the application fee for a Schengen visa.
Workers in the private sector, on the other hand, would need to set aside nearly or even more than one-third of their salary.
In August, Schengen Visa reported that Morocco stood at the ninth spot among the ten countries most likely to face rejection of “Schengen” visa applications, with a total of 119,346 Moroccan applicants having their visa requests denied.
The rejection rate was 315 per 100,000, indicating a high 45.7 % rejection rate.
Due to Schengen visa requirements and restrictions, Moroccan exporters faced obstacles in participating in sectoral trade shows.
It’s worth noting that Morocco has not yet reached a visa-free travel agreement with Schengen countries, making the visa application process a necessity.
This process includes various requirements such as the visa application form, passport, passport-size photos, proof of accommodation, paid visa fee, travel health insurance, sufficient financial means, and a detailed roundtrip itinerary.