How can I get permanent residency in Morocco?

Many non-Moroccan nationals ask me how to get permanent residency in Morocco.

First things first: unless you are recruited by a company in Morocco to work there, you cannot get anything more permanent than a 3 month tourist visa from outside the country.

Once in Morocco, you need to exit the country and renew your tourist visa every 90 days. Depending on the vagaries of the local police station, you should be able to extend it (once, for another 3 months) or apply for residency. A residency  card (carte de séjour) is normally granted for the first time for one year. It is a bit of a paper chase (you’ll need police records from both your home country and Rabat, for example) and it has advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that you don’t need to leave the country every 3 months. You should look into the financial, tax, pension, inheritance, residency, etc implications for your nationality.

You can typically apply for residency under the following conditions:

  1. you own property in Morocco and can prove enough income to support yourself;
  2. you are married to a Moroccan, or
  3. you have set up a business or find employment in Morocco to support yourself.

If you have question related to this topic, please also read my post on expat life in Essaouira. If you are planning a move to Essaouira, you may also find it useful to join the Essaouira Expats and Friends Facebook group – there are lots of people there who have expat experience.

77 thoughts on “How can I get permanent residency in Morocco?

      1. Kadek dwi noviana sari

        Hi , i working in morocco and i was have carte de sejour before and was expire and i need to renew it again , can i apply with only mormal contract from company without contract from minister ?
        And what i should do ?

        Reply
        1. Pryon

          Hi
          I want to make card de sejour but I want application forms from online where I can get plz help to find out forms online thnx

          Reply
          1. lynn Post author

            Hi Pyron,
            If you are living in Morocco, you will know that the digitalisation of public services is progressing at a very slow pace. I have not heard of these forms being available digitally. As I have indicated to other commenters, the best place to get them is at an office of the local offices of the public institutions.
            Lynn

  1. Anis vohra

    I allready open company to do bussiness in casablabka now i need residencr permin for my bussiness and stay hear pl gide me r give me visa expert contac nom pl

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      I can’t help you with a contact. If you opened a company, your accountant should know the relevant contacts in the local administrations. Otherwise, go directly to the police office responsible for foreigners.

      Reply
  2. zuhaib hanfi

    HI,

    I am married to moroccan, i visited morocco many times.
    Last year i applied for Carte de sejour and its about to expire on 1st august.
    I stayed for 6+ months in berrechid( Near Casablanca) but by the time the card was issued i left morocco and now i am in dubai working and trying to bring my wife to dubai.

    My card is ready and still at the police station in berrechid but expires on 1st august, can i apply for renewal for carte the sejour from consulate of morocco in dubai. ? If yes? how and what documents do i need ?

    Please help.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi,
      the best place to ask for clear and up to date information on the immigration legalities for Morocco is with the Moroccan authorities. Perhaps you could address your question directly to the Consulate?
      Lynn

      Reply
      1. Kimberly

        There is no accurate information from any Embassy, Moroccan court, Police Station. They are idiots!! You will be told something different by every “Authority” and Bribe money is expected!

        Reply
        1. lynn Post author

          Kimberley,
          It is indeed frustrating for people coming from countries with a different governance structure and culture that we often get conflicting information from different people in Morocco. I believe, however, that this is (paradoxically) often because people want to be helpful. It can drive you crazy! Calling people “idiots,” however, is hardly helpful. It is entirely possible to gain residency in Morocco as a non-Moroccan by following the rules. I have done it and so have countless others. There are many public anti-corruption initiatives and while implementation is sometimes patchy, you have the law on your side in refusing to be part of it.
          Lynn

          Reply
          1. Ismail Nelson

            It’s correct the system is slow but it is improving , at least the improvements has started, to call them idiots, is counterparts from helping the current situation, you do have some very helpful people, we must remember to try or make an effort to understand the people as in a whole, nevertheless I have a residents permit, I hope to improve on that, no doubt I’ll make the effort hope to be successful note if one fore fill the criteria it would be approved

          2. lynn Post author

            Dear Ismail,
            I’m not sure who you thought was calling who “idiots,” I agree that’s not helpful. As you say, there are set criteria and generally if someone fulfils them correctly, their application for residency can be approved.
            Lynn

  3. bariah

    Once we apply for residency aren’t we supposed to get the receipt right away? Or does it take up to a month to just get the receipt?

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Normally the receipt proves you’ve paid the fee (last time I paid it, it was 100dh). So, if you have paid your fee, your receipt is proof that you have and can be used in place of your card until you get it. If you didn’t get a receipt, you’d better go back and ask about it!
      Lynn

      Reply
  4. Nafeesa Khan

    I have residence permit for one year. I received on 6 September 2017 and I travel to my home county India on 23 September 2017. Can u you me how long I can stay in India? 3 months or 6monts?

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Nafeesa,
      I am not in a position to comment on how long an Indian national could stay in India while in possession of a Moroccan residence permit. The best place to ask is the place where the permit was issued, or at the Moroccan Embassy in your country.
      Kind regards,
      Lynn

      Reply
  5. Karen M Robinson

    Does Morocco not have a pensioner residency? I have a lifetime pension as well as social security from the US and would like to go and apply while there as a tourist during the 90 . day period.
    Is translation and apostile requited for all documents? What is required birth certificate, pension papers, government papers about social security, passport of course.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Karen,
      if you are still in the US, the best place to ask is the Moroccan Embassy. You may also get some information from the US Embassy in Rabat. As far as I am aware, there is no specific “pensioner residency” – as long as you can provide the paperwork and convince the authorities that you have sufficient income in Morocco (e.g. a regular transfer from your pension to a Moroccan account), you should be granted residency. Translation (into French or Arabic) and legalisation is required for all documents in any administrative procedure in Morocco. Foreign papers can be legalised by the Embassy or Consulate of the issuing authority. Judicial translators are available in most big cities and most foreign Embassies in Morocco have a list of recommended translators on their website. In addition to the papers you mention, you will probably need proof of address in Morocco, certificate of good health, evidence of a Moroccan bank account (as above) and criminal record (or proof of lack thereof). You will probably not get your residency card within the 90 days, but you should get a receipt on application and payment of the fee that you can use as a proxy for it. There are many Facebook forums for expats in Morocco – you might get more information from a US citizen in one of those.
      All the best,
      Lynn

      Reply
      1. Robert Brauns

        Hello Lynn,
        I hope to come to Morocco in April to spend a couple of month to determine if I would like it enough to apply as a retired person. I have done much research but have yet to get answers to what amount of income in consider enough to be granted residency and are there any restriction/rules on how many days a year you must live in Morocco? Can you give me any ideas an answer to those questions? Also, I am a US citizen, but have been living as a legal resident in Panama for 16 years. I would assume that I should present a document that I have no criminal record in Panama….correct? Thanks very much for you help!

        Reply
        1. lynn Post author

          Hi Robert,
          Thanks for your message. I haven’t been able to travel to Morocco since the outbreak of Covid, so I think it would be best to check the monthly income question on arrival. I do remember it was more than you would probably need to spend in a month in Morocco, which is frustrating – it’s a means of getting foreign currency in. You will need a “compte convertible” (a foreign exchange bank account) to receive the money. You will find people on the ground who may have found ways around the rules.

          As for the criminal record report, I’m not sure they will be particularly interested in everywhere you have lived. You might be lucky. Be aware though, that regardless of any date or lack of it on your documents, in Morocco documents “expire” 3 months after issue (yes, even your birth certificate!). Bear this in mind when requesting foreign documents – try to get them all ready and submit them within that window.
          Good luck
          Lynn

          Reply
          1. Robert Brauns

            Thanks Lynn,

            Yes I have heard that is is difficult getting any answers and lots of variations to what one needs for income. As soon as Morocco is open to tourists, I make the trip to get all the requirements. Armed with that I’ll just stay for a month to see how it feels and go from there.

            Big issue for me will be the the amount of time during that one year res permit that one is required to stay in the country. I am a wildlife photographer who travels all over Africa and don’t want to be tied down for long periods!

            Do you currently have residence there?

          2. lynn Post author

            My residency has now expired. I am not sure if there is any restriction on how long you can be out of the country. I am sure once you are on the ground you will be able to gather all the info you need. Safe trip!
            Lynn

          3. Sean

            Hello,
            I would like to know where I can apply for a residency permit in rabat, and the information for the business visa including the process

            Thanks

          4. lynn Post author

            Hi Sean,
            You can find out the latest requirements for residency either at the tourist police or the foreign nationals dept of the local administration.
            An accountant can advise you on the business visa if the business is yours; your employer should be able to advise if you are employed.
            Lynn

  6. alpeshkumar

    My name is alpeshkumar jariwala. I recently started a business in Morocco My business name is zaftra global ltd . So I stay with him on my family. So let me tell you the right path about what I have to do. I am a citizen of India

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Alpeshkumar,
      If you are in Morocco, the foreigners’ office of the local police (or your accountant, if you used one to set up your company) can give you the precise information on what is required for you to get permanent residency, if this is what you seek. If you are in India, you can ask at the Moroccan Embassy in Delhi.
      Good luck!
      Lynn

      Reply
  7. Faisal

    Sir
    Am Indian citizen I married Moroccan woman at BERRECHID I apply for resident permit I don’t know am where are you applying what documents need for officer

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Faisal,
      I am not an immigration lawyer. If you are in Morocco, the foreigners’ office of the local police can give you the precise information on what is required for you to get a residency permit. If you are in India, you can ask at the Moroccan Embassy in Delhi.
      Lynn

      Reply
  8. Mizanur rahman

    Hi I am an Ibdian citizen I am engaged to a Moroccan girl and will be travelling to Morocco 2nd week of April to complete my marriage in Morocco but for my would be wife’s study I have to stay in Morocco for one year and for that reason I need information about obtaining a resident permit in Morocco as when I travelled to Morocco last time in January 2018 for my engagement I was given a visa of just 15days when I contacted the Moroccan embassy in India they said they cannot give any information about resident permit and asked me to contact ministry of foreign affairs in Morocco which I am unable to do as they do not receive any calls my fiance tried calling them numerous times now then papers which I am asked to make as per the information I received from the embassy of Indian in Rabat through mail is capacity of marriage, birth cum nationality certificate and police clearance certificate is there any extra documents I should carry with me which will be useful for me when I will be applying for a resident permit as the embassy said they can give me a visa of maxim 30days which they said it depends upon case to case so I may get 15 days visa again and the marriage process won’t be finished in 15 days or 30 days please help

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Minazur Rahman,
      I am not an immigration lawyer. If you are in Morocco, the foreigners’ office of the local police can give you the precise information on what is required for you to get a residency permit. Your fiancé can ask there in advance of your arrival. Once you are married to a Moroccan and have a fixed address, it should be relatively straightforward to obtain a residency permit.
      Lynn

      Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      H,
      As a US citizen, you can stay in Morocco for 90 days before you have to leave and re-enter. If you want to stay longer for one stay, you will need residency, which involves proving you have somewhere to live and the means to support yourself. The Moroccan Embassy in the US can advise you further.
      Lynn

      Reply
  9. Harriet

    Hi,

    what if you are a freelancer working online remotely to outside Morocco and/or if you have an European company? Then you will not apply a work-based permit?

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Harriet,
      I am not qualified to provide immigration advice, but if you don’t have a company in Morocco or employment with a Moroccan company, I don’t see how a work-based residency permit would be appropriate. Generally speaking, if you are applying for residency, the authorities are most interested in whether you have a certain income per month and a place to live. If you can satisfy both of these conditions, they would have no reason to refuse. In any case, the best place to ask is at the local police office which deals with foreigners. In the case of Essaouira, this is at the main administrative square next to the Atlas Hotel.
      Lynn

      Reply
  10. Lorena

    Hi! I live in Mexico. I would love to live in Morocco for a year or two so I can learn the language. what will be the best and most effective way to get this done?

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Lorena,
      You should check the visa requirements for citizens of your country travelling to Morocco. Most tourist entry stamps last 90 days, so if you want to stay longer, you need to leave the country and come back. A quick trip into Spanish territory is typical.
      You should consider which language it is that you want to learn. Several are spoken in Morocco as mother tongues and the language you wish to learn may determine where you are best to learn it.
      Happy planning!
      Lynn

      Reply
  11. Ezra

    Hello, Lynn!

    Firstly, thanks so much for being a helpful resource for all of us who have questions concerning Carte Sejour! You’re awesome. =]

    Secondly, I’m a self-employed business owner from the US living in Rabat. I’d love to learn how to set up a local business through which I can obtain Carte Sejour, if that’s possible. I have a stable income from my business in the States…and I have an idea to set up a personal consultant business here in Morocco…but was told by some American friends that this course may not be viable to obtain my first Carte Sejour and that I should probably look into an English teaching job first for 6 months.

    I know you’re not an official expert on immigration, but do you have any insight to provide? I’d still love to set up my own business but if that’s not a viable way to obtain Carte Sejour then I’ll look into the English teaching jobs…

    Thanks again for your advice!
    Sincerely,
    Ezra

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Ezra,
      I very happy you find my blog useful!
      The thing about the carte de séjour is that in order to get it, you need to prove you have sufficient means to support yourself. How you do that is secondary – it can be a regular transfer into a Moroccan account, a business, a Moroccan spouse (!)… there are several means. Working for someone else to prove an income isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Firstly, to be above board, an employer will have to prove that there is no-one else in the job market who can do the job. That should be relatively straightforward as regards native English speakers. Secondly, many schools only employ their staff on temporary contracts with the implication that you will leave the country every 3 months to renew your tourist visa. Your friends may have found another way, but I have never heard of it.
      If you are serious about setting up a Moroccan company, I suggest you get a recommendation of a good accountant and make an appointment for some advice. Most will offer an initial consultation for free. Many will help you get your company and carte de séjour papers sorted out.
      Good luck!
      Lynn

      Reply
  12. Karen Marroquin

    Hello,

    I am a US citizen and recently married a Moroccan (in July) and will be going back to Morocco to live with him, my question is, what kind of paperwork do I need to apply for a residency?

    My husband and I were looking up some info online, but to no avail. I would like to know if I need to do any paperwork before I go back, such as, FBI record? I took one with me when I went to Morocco in July but I’m not sure if I will need another one again.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Karen,
      if your husband is in Morocco, he can ask at his local police station which documents are required. The process is much easier if you are applying for residency on the basis of marriage to a Moroccan, as you won’t have to prove your income. I don’t know the full list (and it may vary from region to region), but it is a good bet to bring your FBI record and your birth certificate from the US. Basically, the list is pretty similar to what you will have needed to get married (minus the medical certificate and evidence of singledom!) There are plenty of fora on Facebook where you might find more detailed information. Be aware – in Morocco, official documents “expire” 3 months after issuance, so make sure yours are up to date as the residency process might take most of those three months.
      Good luck!
      Lynn

      Reply
  13. mohsin dawoodbhoy

    Regarding the proof of sufficient funds, how much is considered ‘sufficient’. Do I need a minimum balance in the bank statements that i submit? Is there any other type of proof of income that they require? By the way I am Irish resident in teh UK

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Mohsin,
      It depends on your situation. If you set up a business, or own property, or are married to a Moroccan, the expectation around income might be reduced. Sometimes authorities expect to see proof you have set up a regular transfer of funds from your home country to a Moroccan convertible account. The amount they want you to transfer is more than you could well require on a monthly basis – Morocco is keen to bring in foreign currency. The easiest way to get up to date information is to ask at the relevant desk of the local police or contact the Moroccan Embassy in your home country
      Lynn

      Reply
  14. Abu Ibrahim

    Hi,
    Am married to Morrocan. My both the kids have Moroccan Passports. Now I want to apply for permanent residency.

    I work in Dubai and Pakistani National.

    Kindly let me know least hazel way to Apply. By Mid of May I will be in Rabat. So what documents required to apply.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Abu Ibrahim,
      the best place to ask for clear and up to date information on the immigration legalities for Morocco is with the Moroccan authorities. You should ask at the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in your country or ask your spouse to ask at the local office of the police which deals with foreigners. A family member can go in and ask. You can expect them to ask for the usual: birth certificate, marriage certificate, criminal record, proof of income, etc. But for specifics, ask the Moroccan authorities.
      Good luck,
      Lynn

      Reply
  15. Ali

    Hi my name is Ali UK citizen and my wife is Morocco citizen I married her 6yrs ago can i qualified to be come Morocco citizen if yes which office to go and what’s required to be Morocco citizen

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Ali,
      I am not an immigration lawyer, but as far as I am aware, of you are married to a Moroccan and you live in Morocco, you may acquire Moroccan residency. As for nationality, you would need to ask at the Moroccans Embassy in your country or in the local foreigners section of the Provincial Government (Âamala) in the city where you live in Morocco. The foreigners section of the local police can advise on residency.

      Regards,

      Lynn

      Reply
  16. Nandhakumar

    i am from india. i have work visa in morocco. I am cricket player. By playing cricket in moroccan team, is possible to get permanent residency?

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Nandhakumar,
      If you find a team to play for, they will surely be able to help you with this. I am not an immigration lawyer – the best people to ask are the Moroccan authorities.
      Lynn

      Reply
  17. Firoz T

    I am Indian and married to Moroccan. My wife is working there. What is the scope of long term residence visa for me in Morocco?

    Please share experience if someone has.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Firoz,
      As far as I know, if you are married to a Moroccan and living in Morocco, you can become a Moroccan resident. However, I am not an immigration expert and the best option would be for your wife to enquire at the local police station (department for foreigners) for up-to-date information.
      Good luck,
      Lynn

      Reply
  18. abdullah Siddeeque Khan

    I want to do business in Morocco. May I have some expert guidance/ advice by a right person?

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Abdullah,
      for doing business in Morocco, you are best to make contact with the Embassy of Morocco in your country as well as an accountant and/or lawyer in Morocco who is experienced in the type of business you seek to do.
      Good luck,
      Lynn

      Reply
  19. Joanna nelson

    I have been running a hotel with my mother in Morocco. I left to spend 5 years in Asia working but my mother stayed in Morocco. I gave up residency during this time but not my mother. Because of covid 19 my tourist visa has expired and I want to reapply for residency. Do I have to go the uk to do this or can I do from Morocco? Otherwise I have to leave by the 10 august. I am English?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Joanna,
      As far as I know, you can only apply for Moroccan residency from within Morocco. If you start the process before your tourist visa expires, you can stay while it is processed. You will get a receipt which is a fully legal document and can be used as proof of your right to be in the country.
      You are best to get to the bureau of foreigners or the local police station ASAP to find out what papers are required and start the process.
      All the best,
      Lynn

      Reply
  20. Pete

    Hello ,

    I am a US citizen married to a Moroccan. Can I apply for residency from the US or do I need to be in country to do it?

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Pete,
      I am pretty sure you can only do it in country. I don’t know if there had been any change in the rules because of lockdown. At present, only Moroccan nationals, their families and those with residency permits can travel into Morocco because the borders are not fully open. For up to date advice, try the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate nearest to you.
      All the best,
      Lynn

      Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Mekus,
      That entirely depends on a number of criteria set by the Moroccan government and highlighted in the article above. These are subject to change and you can get the latest list from the foreigners’ office – either at a local police station or the Provincial Governor’s office.
      Lynn

      Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Bademo,
      I find it hard to imagine the authorities would be willing to start a residency application when you don’t have your passport. However, the best place to get a definitive answer would be the authorities themselves. There is typically a foreigners office in the local police HQ or the Governor’s office.
      Lynn

      Reply
  21. Patricia Padilla

    Hi my name is Patricia padilla I live in the United States but I would love to live in Morocco but I have one problem I don’t have a passport to go over there I was wondering if I can apply online or do I need to be there in person to apply for it I did have a boyfriend who lives there in Morocco I have seen so many pictures and videos and it’s so beautiful over there I want to live there and start a new fresh life I just want to know if I can apply online or do I need to be there in person to apply for it

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Patricia,
      you need a passport to travel internationally. If you are a US citizen, you need to apply for it from the US passport office. You will find their details and the application process online.
      Lynn

      Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Tariq,
      You need to prove you have the intention to live in Morocco and the means to do so (eg. through property, income, business or potentially, marriage). The best place to enquire about the latest requirements is the foreigners’ office of the nearest government office (Wilaya or A3mala) or police station.
      Lynn

      Reply
  22. Linhnhi

    Hi Lynn Houmdi,
    I am Asean person. I am glad to read your posts about your worthy experiences in Morocco. I’m stuck and I hope to get your private advice. May I contact to you through your email or any websites which is suitable for you? Pls show me.
    Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Dear Linhnhi,

      If you are stuck in Morocco and/or with an immigration question, I advise you to speak to an immigration professional such as a lawyer, an official at your Embassy in Morocco (or the Moroccan Embassy in your country) or the police. The information on this website is intended as a guide – I am not a lawyer – and it has not been possible to update it during the Covid-19 pandemic due to travel restrictions.
      This website and the email address associated with it are my preferred means of contact.
      Lynn

      Reply
  23. Vijay

    hi ,

    I am from India on work visa. I am stayin Casablanca. I want to apply for my resident card. I have applied for PCC I am waiting to get from India. In the mean while I like to prepare other documents need to apply for resident card. can any one help or list the documents need to apply
    Thanks
    Vijay

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Vijay,
      For an up to date list of the documents required, you need to ask at either the Foreign Residents Office of the local
      Government office or the Brigade touristique (Tourist Police) at your local police station should also be able to tell you.
      Good luck.
      Lynn

      Reply
  24. Frida

    Hello, I am on tourist visa in Morocco now, and I want to change to a residency status, would enrolling in an university give me a temporary residency status? And what are the ways to get temporary residency? Thank you

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Frida,
      The university should be able to tell you that. If not, the local department of the tourist police or the foreigners department at the local Governor’s office (the Wilaya in a large city) can point you in the right direction.
      Good luck,
      Lynn

      Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi,
      There are a number of ways to get residency in Morocco. In every case, you will need to prove that you have the funds to support yourself. One way to do this is to demonstrate that you have funds entering Morocco from abroad. Those funds will need to enter via a convertible account. Another way would be to establish a business. A further way would be to marry a Moroccan. In my case (non-Moroccan woman marrying a Moroccan man), his financial self-sufficiency was sufficient.
      You will need to ask the authorities for the up to date information in your specific case.
      Lynn

      Reply

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