NGOs condemn ‘discriminatory’ visa conditions for Moroccan applicants

The “discriminatory” criteria and “humiliating treatment” for Moroccan visa applicants from European nations have been criticized by ten Moroccan groups. They specifically criticize France in an open letter in which they criticize the European Union’s visa regulations.

Ten organizations, including the National Forum for Youth and Democracy (INJD), a grouping of 16 young Moroccans from various political parties, the Prometheus Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, the Moroccan League for the Defense of Human Rights (LMDH), and the Moroccan Forum of Young Journalists (FMJJ), have urged European nations to review their visa policies.

The groups claim that “the freedom to free movement is taken hostage” and point out that actions like France’s decision to cut the number of Moroccan visas it issues by 50% are “a regressive retaliatory measure” and a “unacceptable consequence.”

The European representations in Morocco are the target of a number of criticisms, including “procedural inflation and the multiplication of categories and subcategories organized in cases, which burdens visa application procedures by making them more out-of-date, opaque, and susceptible to the scam of the services interposed for the processing of applications.”

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The associations explain that, despite assurances to the contrary, “instruction deadlines that remain extremely variable” and the “imterminable” waiting times still exist. They also criticize “the use of private operators who replace the French administration, which are not paid by the French State but by the applicants themselves,” as well as their disapproval of the idea that the costs of rejected files (with the exception of those that lack required documents) be covered by the applicants themselves.

The letter from the groups concludes by stating that, among the objections still being heard, “the outsourcing of the processing of visa applicants files does not adequately guarantee the confidentiality and security of personal data and in particular biometric identifiers.”

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