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Visiting Morocco for Indian passport holders

By on Jan 9, 2012 in Travel | 0 comments

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I realise I haven’t posted much about my Morocco trip after my first day in Marrakech. All in good time…hopefully. Meanwhile, I wanted to get this quick one out of the way. When I first booked my flights to Morocco in August 2011, one of my biggest concerns was to figure out whether it would be possible for me to get a tourist visa. This turned out to be a major headache for me because I found so many conflicting answers to what visa requirements for Morocco are. I’m making this post in the hopes that it helps any traveller in the future in a similar predicament.

I’m an Indian passport holder resident in the UK, so it is possible what I write below is specific to how the embassy here handles procedures or even my specific case. Don’t consider this binding legal advice. Do your own due diligence before applying for a visa; rules change all the time and by the time you come across this, the information below may be out of date.

Does Morocco offer visa-free entry / visa-on-arrival?

A select list of nationalities do not require to get a visa in advance. Morocco does not offer visa-on-arrival for any nationality, that I know of.

What are the requirements for a Morocco visa, according to online sources?

The Embassy of Morocco in UK lists the following requirements for filing for a tourist visa:

VisaGuru mentions a slightly different set of requirements:

What is your personal experience applying for a tourist visa for Morocco?

What bothered me most was conflicting advice on what supporting evidence was needed for accommodation. Visa HQ said a confirmation was required directly from the hotel, which brings up the question – am I allowed to book via third-party travel booking sites? Does it have to be a ‘hotel’ or will a hostel suffice? VisaGuru (see above) also said it should show hotel booking paid for in full. On the other hand, the Moroccan embassy website mentioned ‘provisional’ confirmation without any clarification on what this ‘provisional’ meant!

Contacting the Moroccan embassy in UK was no help as I tried calling them up over a period of a week and yet never once did they answer my call. I ultimately applied for my visa through a visa processing company called CIBT (which has offices in many countries around the world) since they seemed trustworthy. There wasn’t a lot of information forthcoming from ‘official’ sources so I only provided the following documentation, as advised by CIBT:

I sent these documents with required photos, photocopies, visa form and passport by recorded mail to CIBT and they got in touch with me for updated bank statements printed off online banking, which I sent to them by email. My visa was processed in three weeks by Morocco embassy (perhaps due to high processing times was close to Christmas) and I got it back by recorded mail via CIBT, just three days before my flight. (I heard the same received-just-in-time story from a South African couple I met in Morocco.)

In all, not a particularly cheap visa to get factoring CIBT’s fees – almost half the prices of my return flights! Still, I’m glad I let them handle it as otherwise I would’ve had to take days off from work to submit / collect my application.

To any future traveller: bon voyage!

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