The decision of France to tighten the restrictions for nationals of Morocco who wish to obtain a visa has heavily affected road carriers.
Since the French consulates in Morocco are no longer issuing visas as before, a large number of Moroccan carriers who have been obtaining the French visa for up to 20 years have been unable to resume their activity, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Speaking about the issue, the President of the Association of Intercontinental Road Transporters of Morocco, Idriss Bernoussi, has said that the number of visas issued for Moroccan drivers has been decreasing since January 2021.
According to him, the tightening of rules regarding the visa issuance for citizens of Morocco has significantly impacted the country’s export sector as thousands of trucks have been unable to leave the country.
This has also directly impacted the companies that are active in the sector as they are still required to maintain the drivers’ salaries as well as other costs.
In addition, it has been emphasised that the refusal of visas for international road carriers has also hugely impacted the export of the country, especially the agroindustry.
The French authorities previously announced that they would grant fewer visas for nationals of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria since the responsible bodies of the three countries are refusing to take back their citizens who are staying in France illegally after being denied asylum.
Back in September, the spokesperson of the French Government, Gabriel Attal, said that the country has had in place emigration rules since 2018. The rules indicate that everyone has the right to ask for asylum in the country as long as they meet the country’s rules.
However, since hundreds of Moroccans have been staying in France illegally after their origin country refused to issue them a consular pass, the French authorities decided to respond to this issue by deciding to cut the number of visas granted for nationals of Morocco.
Based on the data gathered by SchengenVisaInfo.com, out of 84,627 applications, the French authorities have issued 73,381 visas for citizens of Morocco during 2020. During the same year, a total of 12,264 visas were denied.
Previously, the French authorities announced that all travellers who plan to reach the country will be required to hold a Health Pass until July 2022. The Health Pass allows everyone to access several places and activities while in France, including restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping centres, and hospitals, among others.