If you’re an international student planning to study abroad in Morocco, you’ll probably need to apply for a tourist visa, followed by a residency card.
However, many foreign nationals can enter Morocco without a tourist visa and stay for up to 90 days. You can find a full list of visa-exempt countries here. You’ll still need to obtain a residency card if your studies are set to last longer than three months.
A single-entry tourist visa will cost around 220 Moroccan Dirham ($23), with a residency card adding a further 100 Moroccan Dirham ($11) each year. It’s important to remember that costs can vary depending on your nationality, and each application takes around two weeks to process.
Here are the 12 simple steps you’ll need to follow when applying for a Moroccan visa and residency card:
Part 1 - Applying for a Moroccan tourist visa:
- Accept a place at a Moroccan University: Receive a formal confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) letter and pay any enrollment fees to secure your spot.
- Schedule an appointment at a Moroccan embassy or consulate: You can find a list of official embassies and consulates in your home country here.
- Complete the visa application form: You’ll be given the application form at your appointment, or you can download it here.
- Get together your supporting documentation: You’ll need to submit several other documents alongside your application form. You can find a full list of what you’ll require in the section below.
- Attend your appointment and pay the application fee: Once you’ve presented your documents in-person, you’ll be asked to pay the processing fee. This needs to be done before your application can be submitted.
- Await a decision: With an average turnaround time of about 10 business days, you won’t have to wait too long to hear back from the authorities.
Part 2 - Applying for a Moroccan residency card:
- Register with police: After entering Morocco, you should visit your nearest Bureau des Etrangers to register your arrival and begin the residency card application process.
- Complete paperwork: At the Bureau des Etrangers, you’ll be given some application forms to fill in, known as the formulaires à prendre auprès service séjour.
- Present supporting documents: Before awarding you with a residency card, officials will ask to see some additional personal documents. You’ll find a list of what you’ll need in the next section.
- Pay application fee: The officer dealing with your application will request payment before processing your application.
- Receive a temporary residence card: You’ll be given a receipt known as a Récépissé. This will act as your interim residence permit while your official Certificat d’Immatriculation is being prepared.
- Collect your residence card: You’ll be notified when your official card is ready to collect from the Bureau des Etrangers. This will be within three months.
Getting your documents in order and presenting them to the authorities at the correct time is the most vital part of the application process. Below is a list of everything you’ll need at both stages:
For the tourist visa:
- Completed visa application form
- A passport that’s valid for at least six months and has at least one blank passport page
- Four recent passport-sized photographs of yourself
- Confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) letter
- Proof of sufficient financial means to cover living costs
- Means to pay the application fee
- Flight details and tickets (arriving and departing)
- Details of your accommodation
For the residence card:
- A valid tourist visa
- Two copies of your passport (with an expiry date beyond six months)
- Formal admissions letter from your university
- At least three recent passport-sized photographs (requirements vary depending on which Bureau des Etrangers you visit)
- Proof of adequate financial means to cover your tuition fees and living expenses while in Morocco
- Details of your address and rental agreement
- Completed registration card application forms (provided at the Bureau des Etrangers)
- Copy of criminal record
- A recent medical certificate
Can you work as an international student in Morocco?
Morrocan tourist visas and residency cards do not permit you to work alongside your studies. If you’re hoping to support your student lifestyle with part-time employment, you’ll need to apply for an additional work permit.
Your employer will handle the work permit application on your behalf, but this means you must already have a job lined up.
Can your family members join you in Morocco?
Like many other countries, the Moroccan government sometimes grants family reunification visas to the loved ones of international students living in Morocco.
To be eligible for this visa, an application must be submitted on behalf of each family member intending to travel. You can find full details of the documents you’ll need here.
If your family members are from one of the visa-exempt countries, they can enter the country without a tourist visa and stay for a maximum of 90 days. They’ll need to apply for a residency card after arrival if they plan on staying longer than three months.
What if your visa is rejected?
As long as you complete your application forms with accuracy and submit valid copies of all the requested documents, you should have little trouble gaining a tourist visa and residency permit for Morocco.
In the unlikely event of visa rejection, the Moroccan authorities don’t have to provide a reason for your denial. Although a rejection letter can be disheartening, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your international adventure entirely. You can begin the application process again at any point, but you’ll need to make edits and improvements to your initial request.