Moving to Morocco for permanent residence in 2024: a detailed guide

Residence permit


Moving to Morocco for permanent residence in 2024: a detailed guide

Every year, more and more expats are considering colorful Morocco for permanent residence. This is due to the affordable cost of living, mild climate, picturesque nature and rich cultural heritage. Find out more about the visa procedure and peculiarities of moving to Morocco in 2024

Morocco is an African country bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is known for its oriental flavor, mild climate, picturesque nature, and cultural heritage that combines both Arab and European traditions. Many people who have visited the country on a business trip are considering permanent residence and even citizenship. Before deciding to immigrate to Morocco, you need to study the specifics of the country, its standard of living and conditions for permanent residence. In addition, the language barrier plays an important role. Knowledge of Arabic or French is mandatory.

Morocco is a very specific country. This is due to the fact that the majority of the population is Muslim, so you need to be prepared for their lifestyle, traditions and rather strict laws. However, it is not necessary to convert to Islam. Morocco is a democratic country, and Christianity, as well as other faiths, is perceived with respect here.

Life in Morocco is relatively inexpensive. Retail trade is represented by the presence of markets where you can always buy all the necessary products: fish, meat, vegetables, and a huge selection of fruits for little money. Due to the close proximity of the sea, seafood is an integral part of this country.

Many expats do not need an entry visa to Morocco, but all foreign nationals must apply for a residence permit within the first 90 days.

Visa to Morocco 2024

Citizens of Iran, Sudan, Egypt and Syria need to obtain an entry visa to visit Morocco. Tourists or migrants from other countries do not need a visa to enter Morocco. An entry visa is the only type of temporary visa available and is valid for months.

To obtain a tourist visa, you will need to bring the following documents with you to the nearest Moroccan embassy or consulate

1. A completed application form;

2. A passport that must be valid for at least six months after arrival in Morocco;

3. Copies of the first three pages of the passport;

4. Two passport-size photographs;

5. A copy of round-trip airline tickets;

6. A copy of the hotel reservation or a notarized letter of invitation from the host party in Morocco (or, if you are married to a Moroccan citizen, a copy of his/her passport or national identity card and a copy of the marriage certificate);

7. Proof of valid health insurance for the duration of your stay in the country;

8. Proof of sufficient financial means for staying in the country (bank statement, pay stubs, employment contract, etc.).

Visa requirements may vary slightly depending on the citizenship. Therefore, you should check the visa requirements at the nearest embassy or consulate.

Obtaining a residence permit in Morocco 2024

After moving to Morocco, it is important to obtain a residence permit (carte de séjour), especially if you plan to stay here for more than 90 days. This permit can be obtained from the immigration office (Bureau des Étrangers) at the central police station in your neighborhood. The application process can be slow and require patience, so apply as soon as possible after arriving in Morocco.

To obtain a residence permit, you will need the following documents:

1. 2 completed questionnaires (available at the immigration department);

2. 10 passport photos (with the face occupying three quarters of the photo);

3. Work permit (attestation de travail);

4. A certificate of no criminal record from the previous country of residence (verification may take up to 40 days);

5. A statement from your Moroccan bank as proof of your local bank balance;

6. A medical certificate filled out by a local doctor confirming that you do not have any infectious diseases.

All documents must be legalized at the nearest local district office (Muqata'a) and submitted in duplicate. Upon successful submission of the application, you will receive a receipt indicating the time when you can collect your residence permit. This permit is valid for the first three months after arrival in Morocco.

After a year, you need to renew your residence permit. This can be done an unlimited number of times, each extension is valid for 1-2 years. According to the new rules, you must present your birth certificate when applying for a new permit. You may also need a rental agreement, a copy of your passport, a current residence permit, a medical certificate, and a certificate of no criminal record (Casier Judiciaire) from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat. A fee of 100 MAD is required.

If your family is moving with you, they must also obtain their own residence and work permits. No student visa is required for children attending school. 

Planning a trip or move abroad? An important part of a successful trip is a travel insurance policy, as it guarantees high-quality medical care anywhere in the world and can protect you from unnecessary expenses while travelling.  You can buy insurance from trusted agents on the Visit World portal. 

Renting a house in Morocco

The prices for renting a house in Morocco are quite low, but they often do not meet Western standards of comfort.Therefore, most expats choose housing in middle-class neighborhoods where bathrooms are equipped with a toilet and shower.

According to the Finance Law, middle-class housing costs around AED 7,200 per square meter for rooms between 80 and 150 square meters. If you're on a tight budget, you can sometimes find a private room to rent in an apartment or house.

When looking at rental prices, it's important to check if utilities such as water and electricity are included. Most homes in Morocco do not have heating, but space heaters are available for a relatively small price. Some furnished apartments are also available, but they can be significantly more expensive.

The Moroccan government encourages foreign investment and simplifies the process of buying real estate. To do this, you will need the services of a real estate agent, a notary, and a lawyer to help you at different stages of the procedure.

To begin with, you can make a verbal offer and then obtain the title documents before concluding the transaction. It is important to agree to the terms and conditions in writing when signing the preliminary agreement, as well as to deposit a deposit in convertible dirhams. After the deposit is paid, the final contract will be concluded, you will receive a title deed, and the property will be registered with the Moroccan government in your name.

Education system in Morocco 2024

Education is compulsory for children from 7 to 13 years old in Morocco. Despite the National Charter of Education and Training implemented in 1999, the education system in the country leaves much to be desired. UNESCO data from various years confirm the shortcomings of Moroccan public schools, including low literacy rates among women, especially in rural areas.

Morocco allocates approximately 5% of its GDP to education, but the system remains one of the least efficient in the world. Low literacy rates, high dropout rates, and insufficient provision of students with skills needed in the labor market are the main problems.

Many expats living in Morocco choose private international schools to educate their children. Such schools often provide education in English or French, and also include Arabic language learning in the program.

As for kindergartens and preschools, expats are usually involved in the search for nannies or kindergartens through their friends. For young children under 4 years of age, they often hire a housekeeper who also looks after them, cooks and cleans. The cost of such services can be about $300 per month.

Realizing the complexities of the education system in Morocco, many expat parents choose international schools that provide quality education tailored to the needs of international students. This allows children to access global education standards, which prepares them for further academic and professional challenges in the future.

The best cities in Morocco for expat life in 2024

Below we have collected the most popular cities most often chosen by migrants to move to Morocco. 


Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco with a population of 3.6 million people, has a long history dating back to the 12th century. Initially, Spanish merchants settled here in the 18th century and renamed the city Casablanca. During the French colonial period, it became a key port in Morocco.

Today Casablanca is the commercial and industrial center of the country. The main industries are textiles, electronics, food, and leather. The city offers jobs in the maritime sector, export and manufacturing industries, as well as in the financial sector.

In December 2021, Casablanca was recognized as the financial center of the future by CNN. The city administration plans to create an innovative business center by actively developing technological infrastructure and improving legal procedures in the city.


Rabat, the capital of Morocco, was founded in the XII century and became an administrative center under French rule. After gaining independence in 1956, Rabat and the neighboring city of Salé were merged into one urban prefecture with a total population of 1.9 million people.

The city is famous for its textile industry, producing carpets, blankets and leather goods. As the capital, Rabat is the place of work for many diplomatic representatives, employees of international organizations and non-profit organizations


Tangier is located just 27 km from the southern tip of Spain and is separated from the European continent by the Strait of Gibraltar.

The city has the status of the second most important economic center of Morocco after Casablanca. It attracts many expats involved in trade and shipping.


Founded in the 8th century, Fez is the oldest imperial city in Morocco with a population of 1.1 million people. The city reached its peak as a center of trade and education in the 14th century, and today it is known as a shopping center and a place where traditional crafts flourish.

Tourism is the main industry in Fez, and many of the handicrafts made here are sold in the winding streets of the bazaars. The old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, which emphasizes its cultural significance to world heritage.


Marrakech is the main city of the central part of Morocco, founded in the middle of the 11th century. It is a popular center of tourism and winter sports, which attracts many expats who are looking for a new life but do not want to move away from home. 

Marrakech is famous for its magnificent bazaars, colorful streets, and architecture that reflects the city's long history. There are also many opportunities for entertainment and recreation, including the famous Jemaa el Fna market, where you can try local dishes and savory spices.

The editors of Visit World recommend using the Guide for for Morocco a comfortable and safe trip.

The guide is a detailed written document that contains basic advice on obtaining a visa, crossing the border, getting a job, citizenship, and much more. More details at the link.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Morocco;
Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues;
Travel insurance for foreigners in Morocco;
Medical insurance around the world.

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