Europe

Spanish General Consulate in Morocco Closes Following Unjust Schengen Visa Denial Accusations

Following accusations of Schengen visa denials without valid reasons, Spain has decided to close the Spanish Consul in Nador, Morocco.

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The decision, confirmed by Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comes after a complaint from the “Association des Rifs Kébirs for Human Rights”, in December last year, denouncing the violations against those wishing to obtain a visa, Schengen.News reports.

Spanish Foreign Affairs had appointed an investigation committee to visit the Spanish Consulate in Nador and heard from the president of the aforementioned association, who provided the committee with data and information about what was described as the visa mafia, made up of consulate employees and associations, together with some politicians, journalists, the consulate driver and private security guards.

Moroccans Accuse Spanish Consulate in Nador for Unjustly Denying Schengen Visas

In December last year, citizens of Morocco as well accused the Spanish Consulate General in Nador of denying Schengen visa applications without having a valid reason.

Citizens claimed that in spite of submitting all the needed documents, the consulate refused their application. Besides, they said that in addition to having their visas refused, they didn’t get any proper explanation for the reasons leading to such a decision.

Through a statement, an applicant whose visa application was refused by this Consulate said that he purchased travel insurance, in addition to booking a place to stay in Spain and submitting proof of sufficient financial means and other needed documents.

According to a report from La Razon, the applicant considered the decision racist and irresponsible from the Spanish Consulate in Nador, emphasizing that he would choose another Schengen country that is not racist to apply for a visa.

In December last year, authorities in Morocco said that four employees of the Spanish Consulate in Nador are under investigation for helping applicants to obtain Schengen visas by providing fake documents to them.

The investigation was initiated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, José Manuel Albares, who added that the case of the “visa mafia” needs to be exposed as soon as possible.

A report from El Español said that one of the suspects was a national of Morocco who became part of the permanent staff in 2021, and he is close to the consul José Leandro Consarnau Guardiola.

Local media reports noted that the employee helped a large number of persons obtain a Spanish Schengen Visa by submitting false documents in exchange for money.

Data provided by Schengen Visa Statistics revealed that in 2022, Morocco was among the top countries with the highest rejection rates in terms of Schengen visasor another year in a row.

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