French Ambassador to Morocco Christophe Lecourtier announced on Monday that France is set to resume issuing visas to Moroccan citizens without limitations.
This decision comes after a two-year period during which Paris had reduced the number of visas granted to Moroccans by half, inviting criticism from public and globetrotters as well.
“From now on, there are no longer any restrictions in terms of issuing visas by France. Any person who meets the criteria necessary to obtain a visa will receive one,” Lecourtier told Moroccan radio 2M.
The official said it would take time for this “humiliation” to be forgotten, adding that in 2023, 80% more visas will be issued than in the previous year.
The envoy said the President of the Republic also acknowledged that it had deeply damaged the image and influence of France.
The visa tussle began in 2021 when France decided to slash the number of visas issued to Moroccans. The decision was taken after complaints from French citizens who raised concerns about undocumented immigrants in the country.
The visa cut was highly criticized by Moroccans, who complained of unfair treatment and urged the French authorities to ease the restrictions so as to avoid any discrimination; the French authorities kept the restrictions in place.
It bears mentioning that though the visa restrictions would be lifted soon, the announcement was made in December last year by French foreign minister, a statement which signaled warmer relations between the two countries.
“We’ve taken measures with our Moroccan partners to re-establish a consular relationship,” Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in December 2022 after talks with her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Rabat.