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

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

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

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Pensioner again used in alleged multimillion-rand police corruption

Salamina Khoza’s RDP home in Soshanguve, Tshwane, emerged as the SAPS’s alleged fraud headquarters

No good will come of overturning Roe v Wade

The US supreme court’s ruling on landmark abortion case will be felt most keenly by women

Citizens expect ‘bloodshed’ ahead of Zim’s 2023 elections

Human rights body says research indicates the polls are viewed as a nightmare instead of an opportunity

New Joburg high school boasts a R3m eSports Arena

The tech-forward school requires every child to purchase an Asus laptop, use Microsoft software for lessons and check-in daily on a mental wellbeing app
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×