July 20, 2020

Press release of P.ASCOM: Tightening of the conditions for renewal of residence permits for migrants in Morocco: Migrants in a regular situation are at risk of falling into irregularity

Here is the translation of the Press release

On the high instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, Morocco introduced a new migration policy in 2013 following the relevant proposals made by the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) in its thematic report entitled “Foreigners and Human Rights in Morocco: Towards a radically new asylum and immigration policy“. This new policy has made it possible to respond to a new situation with a humanist approach in line with the 2011 Constitution and Morocco’s international commitments. Two exceptional regularization operations in 2014 and 2016 led to the regularization of nearly 50,000 foreigners.

In 2014, the Government has introduced the National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum with a range of programmes and actions to ensure a better integration of migrants and management of migration flows.

However, since June 2018, the situation of migrants seems to be taking a new turn on the issue of the conditions for renewal of residence permits, which no longer respect the exceptional nature of the new migration policy. After 6 years of regularization, migrants are subject to stricter conditions for renewal of their residence permits, in particular the presentation of contract or work certificate, a lease contract, a certificate from the CNSS, a criminal record, a medical certificate, bank statements, salary certificates and pay slips.

Considering that the majority of migrants working in the informal sector and also living in neighbourhoods where landlords refuse to grant them a lease Contract, requiring them to present these documents for the renewal of their residence permits, knowing that they are unable to provide them is a way of pushing them into illegality : this situation exposes them to expulsions and other forms of human rights violations at a time when civil societies around the world are calling for the regularization of migrants during the COVID-19 health crisis.

In view of all the above, the Platform of Sub-Saharan Associations and Communities in Morocco:

  • Denounces these new measures, which undermine the essence of the new migration policy.
  • Expresses its concern at the tightening of conditions for the renewal of residence permits and the removal of the Department of Migration Affairs within the former Ministry of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs, which was the direct interlocutor on migration issues.

In accordance with solidarity ideals and values of co-existence that are advocated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him in the implementation of the new migration policy, P.ASCOMS  recommends :

  • The respect of the principal of the exceptional nature migrants’ regularisation in order to facilitate the renewal of residence permits.
  • Implementation of awareness programs for Moroccan landlords who rent their houses to migrants in order to facilitate the granting of lease contracts.
  • The reform of Law 02-03 of 2003 relating to the entry or stay of foreigners in the Kingdom of Morocco to emigration and illegal immigration

For more information, please consult the full text of the press release (in Arabic and French) on the following link.