Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



France halves the number of visas issued to Maghreb nationals

France is counting on the collaboration of Maghreb countries to facilitate the deportation of their nationals (photo: F.Dubessy)
France is counting on the collaboration of Maghreb countries to facilitate the deportation of their nationals (photo: F.Dubessy)
FRANCE / MAGHREB. On Tuesday 28 September 2021, Paris decided to halve the number of visas issued to Algerian and Moroccan nationals and to reduce those issued to Tunisians by 30%. The figures will be based on 2020 data. The information was confirmed on Europe 1 radio by Gabriel Attal, spokesman for the French government.

The measure comes in response to the attitude of the governments of these three Maghreb states. "It's a drastic decision, it's an unprecedented decision, but it's a decision that is made necessary by the fact that these countries do not accept to take back nationals that we do not want and that we cannot keep in France", underlined Gabriel Attal. French consular posts have received these new rules.

Emmanuel Macron raised this problem back in 2017 with the prime ministers of these countries. "There was a dialogue, then threats and today, we are carrying out this threat," says the French government spokesman. The objective remains, however, to encourage these countries to "change their policy and agree to issue these consular passes", which are essential for the return of their nationals turned away from France, he said. "We would like the reaction to be more cooperation with France so that we can enforce our migration rules," concluded Gabriel Attal.


Only 0.2% of consular passes granted by Algeria

According to figures published by French media, France issued 7731 OQTFs (Obligation to leave French territory) to Algerian nationals between January and July 2021, but only 22 expulsions were carried out. That is 0.2% of OQTFs. For Rabat, there were 3,301 OQTFs issued for 138 consular passes delivered and eighty effective expulsions, i.e. 2.4% of OQTFs. Tunis is a better pupil in this respect, hence a lesser sanction, with 3424 OQTFs and 131 effective expulsions (4%) for 153 laissez-passers.

Conversely, Morocco requested 24,191 visas from France and 18,579 were granted, i.e. a delivery rate of 77%. Out of 11 815 applications from Algeria, 8 726 visas were issued (74%). For Tunisia, these figures are 12 921 applications and 9 140 authorisations (71%).

Eric Apim

Wednesday, September 29th 2021

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