Moving to Morocco?
Moving to Morocco
- Many expats don’t need an entry visa for Morocco, but all foreign nationals have to apply for a residence permit within the first 90 days.
- Internet and networking are generally sufficient to find a good accommodation in major cities. Just in case, you can still use the services of a local real estate agent (samsar).
- If you want the best education for your children, international schools are your best bet. However, they tend to come at a high price.
If you are a citizen of Iran, Sudan, Egypt, or Syria, you must obtain an entry visa to visit Morocco. On the contrary, if you are from the United States or any of the countries that are part of the European Union, you do not require one. An entry visa is the only type of temporary visa available, and it is usually valid for three months. If you need a visa to enter Morocco, you should start the process well in advance of your trip or move to Morocco.
For a tourist visa, you will need to bring the following documents with you to your nearest Moroccan Embassy or Consulate:
- a completed application form
- your passport, which should be valid for at least six months after your arrival in Morocco
- a copy of the first three pages of your passport
- two passport photos
- a copy of your round-trip plane reservation
- a copy of your hotel reservation or a notarized letter of invitation from your host in Morocco (or, if you are married to a Moroccan citizen, a copy of his/her passport or national ID card and a copy of the marriage certificate)
- proof of valid health insurance for the duration of your stay
- proof of sufficient finances for your stay, e.g. bank statement, pay slips, employment contract
For a business visa, you will require the documents listed above, plus a copy of the invitation letter issued by the company you are planning to visit in Morocco, or a copy of your employment contract if you are planning on starting a new job there.
Requirements for obtaining a visa may differ slightly based on your nationality. You should therefore verify the visa information with your nearest embassy or consulate.
After moving to Morocco, you will need to obtain a residence permit (carte de séjour) if you are planning on staying for longer than 90 days. You can obtain this permit from the immigration authorities (Bureau des Étrangers) at the central police station in your district. Navigating Moroccan bureaucracy can be a slow and nerve-wracking process, which requires patience and persistence, so you should apply as soon as possible after moving to Morocco.
When moving to Morocco, you should make sure to get an entry stamp in your passport at your port of entry. In addition to your entry stamp, you will need the following items in order to apply for your residence permit:
- two completed application forms (available at the immigration office)
- ten passport photos (with your face taking up three-quarters of the photo)
- a work permit (attestation de travail) — see our Working in Morocco article for information
- a criminal record check from your previous home country (which can take up to 40 days to process)
- a statement from your Moroccan bank as proof of your local bank balance
- a medical certificate completed by a local doctor, certifying that you have no contagious diseases
Each of these documents needs to be legalized at your nearest local district office (Muqata’a) and presented in duplicate. Once you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive a receipt and be told when to pick up your temporary residence permit. The latter is valid for the first three months of your move to Morocco. During this time your official one will be prepared.
Residence Permit Renewals
You need to renew your residence permit one year after your move to Morocco. The permit may be renewed an indefinite amount of times and is valid for one or two years. As of 2013, new rules are in effect, which require you to present your birth certificate when applying for a new permit. You might also need to present your rental contract. In addition, you need a copy of your passport and your current residence permit, a medical certificate, and a criminal record check (Casier Judiciaire) from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat. You also have to pay a fee of 100 MAD.
If your family is moving to Morocco with you, they must independently inquire for residency and work permits. If you have children, they do not need student visas to attend school.
For more information on obtaining visas and permits for your move to Morocco, please consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Arabic and French).
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.