<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?event=init&tid=2613556253294&pd[em]=&noscript=1" /> Applying for a Carte Sejour {Residency} in Morocco - MarocMama Skip to Content

Applying for a Carte Sejour {Residency} in Morocco

Applying for a Carte Sejour {Residency} in Morocco

Please READ FIRST: Many people have come to this post based on their current status in Morocco regarding the COVID-19 crisis. The process described here should be used purely as informational. You MUST visit the main police office where you are residing to check if you are eligible and what documentation is needed. This has changed recently and does vary city to city.

Ah, the carte sejour. It conjurs up the horror of bureaucratic nightmares, long hours spent in lines, and filling out form after form of personal information.

If you’re not familiar with this process let me explain. In Morocco, tourists who do not require an entry visa, are permitted to stay for up to 90 days. During this time you’re exactly that, a tourist. You can’t get a job, or do much else, so if you’re planning on calling Morocco home you have to apply for residency. This means obtaining a carte sejour (roughly translated the staying card). Every Moroccan carries a CIN or carte nationale.

It’s a national ID card that lists your pertinent information. Essentially it’s the same thing but with a different name for non-Moroccan citizens. Initial applications are good for 1 year and then are extended either yearly, or for 5 or 10 years. This card gives you permission to live legally in Morocco. Once you apply and receive this you’re also consider to have a foreign residence, in the eyes of the United States at least.

carte sejour

There are different categories to obtain the card. I was able to apply as the wife of a citizen. We were worried that because we haven’t been able to register our marriage in Morocco yet (another long story) we wouldn’t be able to apply in this category but it didn’t end up being a problem.

That being said, there’s a ton of paperwork required and it’s not always straight-forward.  If you want to apply and are not the wife of a citizen, the process will likely be slightly different. By visiting the office etranger at the head police precinct in any Moroccan city you’ll be able to get a full list of the documents needed. You can not go to ANY police station, it needs to be the central office in the city you are living in.

Here’s the list of documents we had to gather applying as a spouse;

  • Translation of my birth certificate to Arabic
  • Our civil marriage certificate translated to Arabic
  • A copy of our Islamic marriage certificate
  • A certificate of domicile + 2 pictures will be needed
  • A medical clearance certificate
  • Criminal Background Check
  • My CV (resume) in French or Arabic
  • Copy of my Passport including a copy of my entry stamp to Morocco
  • A copy of my husbands CIN
  • Document from our Moroccan or American bank showing my husband can support me
  • and/or letter from an employer showing employment.
  • 6 additional pictures (let the photographer know they’re for a carte sejour)
  • You’ll also need to fill out 2 yellow information cards and 2 copies of a white registration paper in the office
  • 100 dirhams for the registration

We were able to produce copies of all documents, but each document needs to be legalized and stamped.

Please remember the different classes of applying for the carte sejour have different requirements for what must be produced.

Seems straight forward? Let’s go through some “sticky spots.”

A certificate of domicile

This document is obtained from the closest police precinct. You’ll need some type of proof that you’re living at the address given, like a lease agreement. We live in a family home and so this was more like the police just knew. It’s also the same address I gave on entry so presumably it was somewhere in the system.

A medical clearance

Any doctor will know what you’re talking about if you tell them that you need a medical certificate for the carte sejour.  It’s fairly straight forward, making sure you don’t have communicable diseases and are not a threat to other people.

Criminal Background Check

With the initial application you need this document from your home country. Depending on where that is the requirements on how and where to get it will vary. For the US people have had a variety of experiences. In some cases Moroccan police will only accept an FBI report, while others are fine with a local/state police report.

To get this document you can apply online with the Justice Ministry. You will get information after applying on how to follow up and get your document for the application.

Banking Information

This was the vaguest requirement. We had no clue what they were looking for and they were never clear about it. How much money needs to be in the bank to show financial support? Figures vary about the average monthly income for most Moroccans but it’s generally accepted to be less than $600 a month. We estimated that showing we had over a years income at that amount in the bank would be sufficient.

Rumor has it this has changed recently and there is a specific amount now stated (100,00 dirham). Follow up withe the police office to determine if this is the case for you or they’re going with the old way of doing things.

To make this even more complex, we both freelance and our income is largely held in American banks.  We were told that documents from our American banks showing deposits would work, but we didn’t want to make things any more complicated, so we went with the holding in the Moroccan account and were successful. I don’t know what the requirement really is, and no one seemed to give us an answer but it must have worked because we weren’t asked any other questions.

Others have been told that they must show regular deposits going into their Moroccan bank account for this to be counted. Again, it’s best to verify this with the police in your city of application.

The Interview

We returned everything to the Office Etranger and had a brief “interview” of sorts. MarocBaba explained why we had moved back to Morocco and how long we’d been married etc. We then paid our 100 dirham and were given a receipt to come back in a few weeks to pick up the card.  

You will be given a paper receipt. This serves as your temporary card and you can use it just as you would the ID card until your physical card arrives.

One other note, everything was in either Arabic, French and Spanish or French and Spanish. Not super helpful but I have enough knowledge to muddle my way through the forms. I’ve been told that applying as the wife of a citizen is the easiest way and really aside from the hassle of figuring out what all the papers were and where to get them it wasn’t terrible.

My card is good for 1 year, and I will have to renew it next year. Ask me then how the renewal goes!

UPDATE: I applied for an extension of my original card before it expired. In order to do this I needed to produce all of the information above, again. Everything needed to be originals and legalized. 1 complete originals set and 2 sets of copies (but all the pages of everything must be legalized at the mukata). As an American I was able to apply for a 10 year residency permit.

The length of time for the second card will depend on your country of nationality. The price is 100 dirham per year of extension (so 10 years = 1000 dirham) I applied in February, and it took until September for the card to be done. How long it takes really depends and there’s no way to know. Again the paper receipt serves as your proof of status – just don’t lose it!

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FM

Monday 5th of April 2021

For Indians,married to moroccans(women as in most cases) getting a resident permit in Marrakech is very easy and straightforward.Only thing to bear in mind is that you need a police clearance certificate from country of origin while applying for the first time and a valid marriage certificate from any country with international apostille which can be later converted to moroccan certificate attested in court with the help of a normal lawyer.Rest of the documents can be easily done in morocco itself. For renewing the residency permit,you don't need a police clearance from country of origin but can apply for one in moroccan justice website and obtain in few minutes through email.hope the info helps!

Brianna

Friday 12th of February 2021

Hi Amanda,

If we have civil marriage and now islamic marriage is the process not able to be done? And is the marriage not able to be registered in Australia? Also if you are unemployed (i.e. studying), do you think a University proof is applicable instead. I would be applying for spousal one and i am Australian and there is almost no information online for this. I understand slightly different because of Covid but ignoring that and thinking in general can you please give me answers if possible please.

Thank you Brianna

Muhammad

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Salam alaykum Amanda. Thanks for sharing your experience in this blog. I'm from South America, Muslim, software engineer, married and with kids. I speak Spanish, English and Arabic. I'm looking forward to moving to Morocco or a Muslim country to raise my kids there. I read it was possible to gain citizenship by naturalization as long as you were a resident by at least 5 years, had a job and spoke Arabic. I read in your answers that you can NOT become a Moroccan unless you marry a national. Is that so? Another question: do you think that, given my professional profile, I could get a job there? Just your opinion. Thanks!

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

I am not entirely sure but it only just became possible in recent years that a non-Moroccan married to a Moroccan could get citizenship and from what I know citizenship is only possible that way. You can get residency which would allow you to live and work here. You may be able to find work especially in a larger international company and it would be worth looking into however the level of pay would likely be equal to what local rates are and that may not be satisfactory for you.

leigh-Anne

Monday 5th of October 2020

Hi Amanda, hope you are well.

I am married to a Moroccan citizen and we are planning to move and live in Morocco. We have a civil marriage certificate but we know that you need a Moroccan religious marriage certificate is required. Are you able to let me know if we can have one done in morocco or convert the civil one ?

many thanks if you can help

Amanda Mouttaki

Monday 5th of October 2020

From what I know you need to have a religious ceremony certificate. We used one from our mosque in the US that was in Arabic. I'm not sure if they would have accepted just the civil certificate as we presented both. Also if you decide you want your marriage registered and recognized in Morocco you'll need the religious certificate.

Azura

Monday 14th of September 2020

Hi There! I am going through the residency process with my husband in Morocco. They aren't accepting our American Marriage License and said we need to get it validated somehow? Do you know anything about that process and where we need to go?

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

This is pretty common, you need to have an Islamic marriage certificate, a US Civil marriage isn't enough. I would suggest consulting a lawyer who can tell you the options to get around this part.

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