Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

France slashes visas for Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia in migrant row

Paris will sharply reduce the number of visas granted to people from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, accusing the former French colonies of not doing enough to allow illegal immigrants to return, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

“It’s a drastic decision, and unprecedented, but one made necessary by the fact that these countries are refusing to take back nationals who we do not want or cannot keep in France,” Gabriel Attal told Europe 1 radio.

The station first reported the visa clampdown earlier on Tuesday, saying President Emmanuel Macron took the decision a month ago after failed diplomatic efforts with the three North African countries.

Immigration is shaping up to be a key issue in next year’s French presidential election, when Macron is widely expected to face off again against the far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

When visa requests are denied, French authorities must still secure a consular pass in order to forcibly expel individuals to their home countries, a document that Paris says Algiers, Rabat and Tunis are refusing to provide.

“There was dialogue, then there were threats, and today we’re carrying out those threats,” Attal said.

“We’re hoping that the response will be more cooperation with France so that we can apply our immigration rules,” he said.

According to Europe 1, citing administration figures, Macron has ordered the number of visa deliveries to Algeria and Morocco to be halved from 2020 levels, and by a third for Tunisia.

It said that in the case of Algeria, French courts had rejected 7,731 visa requests in the first six months of this year, yet because consular passes had not been granted, only 22 individuals had been expelled from French territory.

For the next six months, Macron has capped visas for Algerians at 31,500, the report said.

France granted a record number of visas — 275 000 — to Algerians in 2019.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Zondo commission: 10 unanswered questions

Zuma went to jail rather than testify. Some who did told blatant lies. Who decided Cabinet appointments and how much money was carried out of Saxonwold?

Local elections: Water tops the agenda in Limpopo’s dry villages

People in the Fetakgomo Tubatse local municipality, who have to collect water from Motse River, are backing independent candidates because they’re tired of parties’ election promises

More top stories

Conservation boosts cattle farmers

By adopting sound grazing practices livestock owners get access to markets in a foot-and-mouth disease red zone near the Kruger National Park

COP26 touted to resolve long standing issues on climate debt

Only 16% of losses in South Africa from weather-related disasters in the past four decades were covered by insurers, leaving governments and communities unable to build back

Most climate science is written by white men

In deciding how the world responds to the climate crisis, policymakers rely on research that tends to be written predominantly by men in the Global North

Zondo commission: 10 unanswered questions

Zuma went to jail rather than testify. Some who did told blatant lies. Who decided Cabinet appointments and how much money was carried out of Saxonwold?
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×