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Moroccans Spend €10.9 Million on Rejected Schengen Visa Applications in 2023

Moroccans have spent a total of €10.9 million on rejected Schengen visa applications in 2023, marking a 14.2% increase from the expenditure levels of 2022. This rise in spending on Schengen visas is one of the most significant differences recorded by any nationality this year. Consequently, Moroccan MPs have urged the government to seek reimbursement for visa expenses incurred by applicants who received negative decisions.

MP Atarguine’s parliamentary group has expressed concerns about the increasing number of rejected visa applications filed by Moroccan nationals. Many Moroccans have taken to Reddit to voice their frustrations, with some accusing the EU of “stealing from them” and others indicating that their desire to visit Schengen countries diminishes with each rejection.

"I personally applied one time to attend my brother’s wedding in France back in 2019 and got rejected for no reason, never ever again. I have been to Russia, Türkiye, and the United Arab Emirates. My next trip this year is to Asia (China or Japan). There are so many beautiful places to see in this world." - Reddit User

The discontent among Moroccans has led MP Atarguine’s parliamentary group to push for the reimbursement of rejected visa applications. In her query to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Resident Abroad, Atarguine argued that compensation should be provided to Moroccan nationals for refused visas.

The cost of applying for a Schengen visa has become increasingly burdensome for Moroccan nationals. Until June, the application fee was €80, but it has risen to €90 since June 11. Given that the average monthly wage for Moroccan public sector workers is €328 and €292 for private sector workers, a Schengen visa application now represents up to 24.3% of a public sector worker’s wage and 27.3% of a private sector worker’s wage. With the increased visa fees, the total expenditure on visa applications by Moroccans could rise to €12.2 million.

In 2023, Moroccans have filed 591,401 visa applications, ranking them fifth globally for the most visa applications submitted, according to Schengen Visa Statistics. This marks a 40% increase in applications from 423,000 to nearly 600,000. Although the number of denied visas has risen, the rejection rates have slightly decreased from 28.2% in 2022 to 23.06% in 2023, suggesting that Schengen states are approving more visas as the number of applications increases.

Moroccans remain the fourth-largest nationality with the highest number of rejected Schengen visas in 2023, highlighting ongoing challenges in obtaining visas for travel to Schengen countries.



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