Europe

Moroccans Demand Refund of €10.9 Million Spent on Rejected Schengen Visas

Moroccans have spent a total of €10.9 million on rejected Schengen visa applications in 2023, showing an increase of 14.2 per cent from the expenditure levels of 2022.

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This is one of the most evident differences in spending for Schengen visas recorded by any nationality for the year. As a result, Moroccan MPs have urged the government to push for the reimbursement of expenses for visas that received a negative decision, Schengen.News reports.

MP Atarguine’s parliamentary group has also raised concerns regarding the volume of rejected visa applications filed by Moroccan nationals – which is evidently on the rise.

Moroccans Aggravated by Visa Rejection Costs

Some netizens took to Reddit to comment on the matter, many of them condemning the EU for ‘stealing from them’ and others revealing that their desire to visit Schengen is growing smaller each time, mainly due to visa rejections.

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

Moroccans’ discontent was one of the reasons why MP Atarguine’s parliamentary group is pushing for the reimbursement of rejected visas.

In her question directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Resident Abroad, Ataguine noted that compensation for refused visas should be granted to Moroccan nationals.

A Schengen Visa Application Costs a Quarter of National Wage in Morocco

Visa application rates for Moroccan nationals are increasing, and so are the expenses, which are already unaffordable for some applicants. Until June, the fee for a Schengen visa application costs €80. However, since June 11, the visa application fee has increased to €90.

This makes it even more challenging for Moroccan nationals who want to apply for a Schengen visa to be able to do so. According to WageIndicator.org, Moroccan nationals working in the public sector get paid €328 per month, while those in the private sector pay around €292.

Based on such calculations, a Schengen visa application alone costs Moroccan applicants up to a quarter of their wage – 24.3 per cent of those working in the public sector and 27.3 per cent of the wage of those in the private sector.

Considering that the EU has raised visa fees to €90, visa application expenditure for Moroccans can grow even higher, taking expenditure levels up to €12.2 million.

Moroccans Are the Fourth-Largest Nationality With Most Rejected Visas for 2023

Moroccans have filed 591,401 visa applications in 2023. This ranks them fifth internationally for most visas filed, as data by Schengen Visa Statistics show.

Visa application rates have increased by 40 per cent for Moroccan nationals – from 423,000 to almost 600,000. Subsequently, the number of visas being denied is on the rise.

However, the rejection rates in 2023 are slightly lower than those in the previous year, indicating that the more visas Moroccans are filing, the more Schengen states are approving them.

In 2022, 28.2 per cent of the visas were rejected. In the following year, rejection rates were 23.06 per cent.

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