Schengen visa applicants in Morocco have once again complained of appointment misuse by intermediaries.
They have said that intermediaries are booking all available appointments and then reselling them on the black market for higher prices, leaving them unable to apply for a visa.
While such a practice is a disadvantage for all citizens of Morocco, students who have already enrolled in European Union universities are currently the most affected as they need to obtain a visa in order to be able to enter the country they will be pursuing their studies.
Moroccans wishing to enter the bloc for other purposes, including those for travel purposes, have been affected, too, pushing them to consider other destinations that do not require a visa.
This is not the first time that Moroccans have complained about the practice of intermediaries booking appointments and then reselling them.
Earlier in May, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that unauthorized brokers are managing appointments by using automated bots to reserve appointments and then sell them to citizens of Morocco who are desperately trying to book an appointment.
As Deutsche Welle explained, prices for Schengen visa appointments through unauthorized brokers can reach up to €1,000. This is a very high amount compared to the one that applicants are required to pay when applying through visa centres.
Commenting on the matter, the director of the Moroccan League for the Defense of Human Rights, Adil Tchikitou, said that most embassies in the country are aware of the practice. The same stressed that authorities “have demonstrated little interest in solving this in over a year.”
In addition to the above-mentioned, Moroccans have also been complaining of high Schengen visa rejection rates.
Data provided by Schengen Visa Statistics show that 30 per cent of Schengen visa applications submitted by Moroccans were rejected in 2022. The majority of negative decisions on visa applications were issued by France and Spain.
More specifically, data show that citizens of Morocco filed a total of 423,201 Schengen visa applications in 2022.
Citizens of Morocco applying for a Schengen visa are required to submit several documents.
They need to complete the visa application form, submit their passport, two passport-size pictures, and their civil status certificate.
Moreover, they are also required to submit proof of having booked a place to stay, proof of having purchased travel health insurance, proof of paid visa fee, a roundtrip flight itinerary, and proof of sufficient financial means.