Morocco: Israelis top list of e-visa beneficiaries
July 22, 2023
The Moroccon Ministry of Foreign Affairs said over half of the electronic visas granted in 2022 went to citizens of Israel
Israel topped the list of beneficiaries of electronic visas, according to official data released by Morocco's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
The initiative, launched in 2022, has issued over 150,000 visas, with approximately 55 percent being granted to Israelis, followed by India with 10 percent, Nigeria with 4.4 percent, and then Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan.
Nearly all of the e-visas granted were for tourism purposes, with just 3.4 percent being given for business travel.
The statement from Morocco's MFA indicated that people from 110 different nationalities had made more than 160,000 requests for e-visas, with 150,000 of them being granted. As a result, the tourism sector saw a boost thanks to the simplified process, which allowed travelers to enter Moroccan territory and stay for as little as 30 days and up to a maximum of 180 days from the date of issue.
Since Rabat signed onto the historic Abraham Accords agreement in December of 2020, millions of Israelis with Moroccan roots have traveled to the North African country, including a stream of Jerusalem's government officials such as Israel's Parliament Speaker Amir Ohana, Transportation Minister Miri Regev, and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi.
Rabat and Jerusalem have also quickly established deep security and strategic relations, with the IDF recently appointing a military attaché.
Israel also recently declared recognition of Morocco's sovereignty over the contested Western Sahara region, with Moroccan King Mohammed VI breaking the news, and inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the country.
The Moroccan sovereign wrote in a letter to the Israeli premier that such a visit will “open new opportunities for strengthening the ties between our nations." Netanyahu's office said it was working to set a date soon for his first-ever visit to Morocco. In addition, Israel is examining the "opening of a consulate in the town of Dakhla," located in the Moroccan part of Western Sahara.