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    Dutch FM Addresses Schengen Visa Issues for Moroccans

    The Dutch Foreign Minister pledged to increase the capacity of processing submitted visa applications and to take technical measures to prevent visa fraud.

    05 Nov 2022

    Rabat - Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra addressed the Schengen visa issues and fraud that Moroccans are facing in a letter issued on November 3.

    The letter follows a media report submitted by Kati Piri, a member of the Dutch House of Representatives on October 19, raising concerns about difficulties encountered by Moroccans when obtaining Schengen visas.

    One of the issues raised in the report is the target deadline of 15 calendar days, which is frequently “not met” for visa applications. In general, once a Schengen visa application is submitted to the Consulate, the Consulate makes a decision within 15 calendar days.

    The Dutch Foreign Minister argued that applicants wait for long to make an appointment to apply for a visa because there is a rapidly rising demand for short-stay Schengen visas following the easing of COVID travel restrictions.

    He also emphasized that “meeting application demand is a top priority, and that the ministry is working to boost decision capacity to pre-COVID levels.”

    “In doing so, the ministry faces a number of staffing challenges,” he added.

    To resolve the aforementioned issues and ensure that Moroccans, among others, are once again able to visit family, Hoekstra pledged to “increase the capacity of processing submitted visa applications and increase staff handling capacity through the recruitment of new staff and the development of digital systems.”

    Regarding Moroccans who have missed important family occasions such as weddings and funerals, or have not seen their relatives in a long time, the ministry expressed its regrets for the inconvenience and disappointment this might have caused.

    They also emphasized that in the case of funerals or other emergencies, the ministry is committed to expediting visa application processing on humanitarian grounds.

    Due to the rise in visa fraud, visa applications that cost “40 Euros are now being resold for 200 Euros by fraudsters,” Piri had previously said. The Dutch minister advised people not to use these services.

    In this regard, the dutch minister said that technical measures are in place to prevent commercial parties reserving appointments from reselling them. He also highlighted that the visa processing capacity is being increased on a regular basis, with the goal of processing 80% of the pre-COVID numbers by the end of this year.

    In light of the rise of Schengen visa fraud, the director of Morocco’s Interbank Monetary Center (CMI), Ismail Bellali, recently warned citizens of online scams involving individuals who claim they can “reschedule appointments for Schengen visas” for candidates for the right price.

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