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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Old 28 Jan 2002
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Moroccon visa for non eu

We will be passing through Morocco from the UK to Ghana in March and will have with us a Ghanain national. I understand that she requires a visa for Morocco. Can this be got in London or at the border?

Malcolm Woodruff
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Old 29 Jan 2002
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I am a Lithuanian national living in the UK so I need a Morocan viza. When I went I was with my brother who resides in Lithuania. The girl at the Morocan embassy in London was incisting that he needs to go to gay Pari to get his viza as they only deal with the UK nationals or UK residents. We had to do a bit of good African - Eastern European haggling before she finally gave in. So I am not sure, you may try but be ready for the worst.
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Old 29 Jan 2002
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It's normal for embassies (of all countries) to require that you apply for visas and other travel permits from the their embassy which is located closest to your country of residence.

Last year, I encountered tremendous grief trying to get visas allowing a visit to Canada on behalf of some Angolan citizens who were in Europe at the time. The Canadian government insisted that they make their applications through the Canadian High Commission (equivalent of an embassy) in Zimbabwe, which is the closest Canadian representation to Angola. Eventually the Canadian office in Europe agreed that they would send the Angolan's visa requests by diplomatic courier from Europe down to Harare for processing.

Although at first this sounds like mindless government bureaucracy, when you consider it carefully, it does make some sense - the embassy closest to the country of citizenship (or residence) of a potential visitor is probably the only embassy that has established the necessary contacts with the country of passport issue to determine if the passport of the proposed visitor is legitimate, that the visitor is not a criminal, that the facts on the visa application are truthful, etc.

Most countries will make exceptions to this policy if the applicant is a legitimate resident of a third country. For example, if you are a Lithuanian citizen residing in the UK (with an appropriate visa in your passport indicating that you are entitled to reside in the UK), then you can make your application for a Moroccan visa to the embassy of Morocco in the UK, rather than to the embassy of Morocco in Lithuania. But be aware that your passport and application may still be shipped back to an embassy in or closest to your country of citizenship for processing, and this will cause considerable delays.

It's helpful to know in advance about this protocol - which many countries follow, Morocco as you have discovered, and Canada as I have discovered.

There is a way around it, if you plan on making a very extended trip, and cannot obtain all the visas valid for the duration of your voyage in your home country before you go. It works like this:

If you plan to visit 'Country X' in 9 months time, but they will only give you a visa valid for the next 6 months, obtain that visa anyway, from Country X's embassy in your home country, before you start your trip. If you then show up many months later - after the original visa has expired - at another embassy of Country X far away from your home country, re-issue or prolongation of your visa will normally be possible without difficulty, because your original aplication has already been processed by Country X in your home country, they have a visa file for you (approved) in your home country. Therefore Country X does not have to go through the whole investigation and validation process from scratch again, and will usually issue a second visa with minimal difficulty.

If you are setting out on a long trip, make sure your passport is valid for the entire duration of your trip (and then some). If you need to replace your passport enroute, due to expiry, all of the groundwork you have laid with visas in your first passport will be lost. New passport numbers = new visa application process.

Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 29 January 2002).]
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