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Morocco Tops List of Schengen Visa Applications in Africa

Morocco has emerged as the leading African nation in terms of Schengen visa applications for 2022, with a total of 423,201 applications filed and an estimated expenditure of €33.8 million. Surprisingly, more than half of these applications, approximately 57.5%, received a positive response, granting 282,301 Moroccan citizens access to the borderless Schengen Area.

Morocco Tops List of Schengen Visa Applications in Africa

Out of the Schengen visas issued to Moroccans in 2022, a significant majority, around 57.4% (162,228 visas), were granted for multiple entries, while 119,346 applications faced denial. This means that nearly 30% of Moroccan applicants who sought to travel to the Schengen zone encountered visa rejection.

To put this in perspective, the number of approved visa applications in Morocco is roughly equivalent to the population of the country's thirteenth-largest city, Safi, which is home to approximately 308,000 residents.

However, the data also highlights the significant challenges faced by Moroccans in securing Schengen visas. The approval rate stands at a mere 0.6%, with only 0.74% of Morocco's population receiving a positive response to their visa applications. Additionally, only 746 visa applications were approved per 100,000 Moroccan nationals, underscoring the limited number of Moroccan citizens who can freely access the Schengen Area.

This situation can be attributed, in part, to the economic conditions in Morocco. The average monthly wage in the country is €1,792, as reported by the World Salaries website. Nonetheless, the reality is far less favorable for many Moroccans. Public sector employees receive a monthly payment of just €323, while those in the private sector earn €274 per month. Agricultural workers, who make up a significant portion of the labor force, earn a meager €193 per month. As a result, the application fee for a Schengen visa can represent a substantial portion of the monthly income for Moroccan workers, making it challenging for them to visit the Schengen Area.

Despite these hurdles, the number of visa applications submitted by Moroccan nationals has experienced significant fluctuations in recent years. In 2021, likely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of applications hit a low point. In contrast, the year 2019 saw the highest number of applications filed. The significant increase in applications in 2022 may indicate a growing interest among Moroccans in traveling to the European Union.

In summary, while Morocco leads African countries in terms of Schengen visa applications, the low approval rate and financial challenges faced by Moroccan citizens underscore the complex dynamics involved in obtaining access to the Schengen Area.



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