In France, Morocco is the first country whose citizens have benefited the most from Schengen visas in 2020, thus dethroning China. This is indicated by data from the French Ministry of the Interior.
France issued a total of 712,317 visas in 2020 against 3,534,999 in 2019, a significant decrease of 79.8%. According to figures released by the French Interior Ministry, long-stay visas fell 37.1%, while short-stay visas registered an 82.9% drop for Schengen visa applications. “This decrease is directly attributable to the health crisis. In addition, international travel has been affected by the lack of air links and the closure of many borders. As a result, China, traditionally the first country of origin for visa holders, has moved to fourth place, behind Morocco, Russia and Algeria, “the ministry said in a statement. With 98,627 Schengen visas, Morocco is the first country of origin for beneficiaries, followed by Russia (78,701), Algeria (73,276), and China (71,451).
In addition to the visa, the number of first residence permits issued in 2020 has also fallen. In all, 219,302 residence permits issued, a decrease of 20.9%. With regard to family immigration, a drop of 16% was recorded. “This is linked to the fact that part of the family titles are awarded to people who are already staying in the territory at the time of their application for the title. Consequently, the impact of border closures linked to the health crisis is less important than for other titles “, further specifies the department of Gerald Darmanin.