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Morocco / Getting started

Some administrative aspects

Visas

If you are from the United States or any of the countries that are part of the European Union, you do not require one. An entry visa is the only type of temporary visa available, and it is usually valid for three months. If you need a visa to enter Morocco, you should start the process well in advance of your trip or move to Morocco.

You can find all required information about visas and documents needed by clicking here.

Requirements for obtaining a visa may differ slightly based on your nationality. You should therefore verify visa information with your nearest embassy or consulate.

Residence Permits

After moving to Morocco, you will need to obtain a residence permit (“carte de séjour”) if you are planning on staying for longer than 90 days. You can obtain this permit from the immigration authorities (“Bureau des Étrangers”) at the central police station in your district.

You need to renew your residence permit one year after your move to Morocco. The permit may be renewed an indefinite amount of times and is valid for one to ten years. If your family is moving to Morocco with you, they must independently inquire for residency and work permits. If you have children, they do not need student visas to attend school.

For more information on obtaining residence permits for your move to Morocco, please consult the following link here.

Work Permits

Foreigners who want to begin working in Morocco need to obtain a work permit (“attestation de travail”) from the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills(“Agencenationale de promotion de l'emploi et des competences”), abbreviated as Anapec.

The work contracts of all foreign nationals working in Morocco must be assessed by Anapec to make sure that they comply with the current employment laws, and that no Moroccan citizen or permanent resident could have filled the vacancy. This procedure will often be taken care of by your employer who will produce documents required by the Ministère de l'Emploi in Rabat.

When a foreign worker is shareholder in a business or investment project, the work permit is granted through an accelerated procedure out of concern to release the full potential of private initiatives.

There are in Morocco a governmental agency in charge of the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises, the ANPME and a dynamic employers’ association, la ConfédérationGénérale des Entreprises du Maroc, CGEM which further support these private initiatives.

The creation of an entrepreneurial project in Morocco is also very easy thanks to the Regional Investment centers (CRI) which act as one-stop shop for business creation.

Ten simple procedures are required to create a business. These procedures can be consulted on the website of the Moroccan Agency for Investments Development, AMDI.

Taxation

  • All foreign nationals who spend more than 183 days per year in Morocco are considered full-time residents for tax purposes and are liable to pay income tax in Morocco based on their worldwide income. As of January 1, 2010, personal income tax in Morocco is divided into six income brackets. Depending on which bracket your income falls under, you will have to pay up to 38% income tax.
  • Taxable income includes salaries, pensions and annuities, and investment and income from any property you may own. The joint filing of married couples is not possible in Morocco, so spouses must each file an individual tax return.
  • For more information about taxation in Morocco, please visit the Ministry of Economy and Finance website. The website is available in French, Arabic and English, but the forms are only available in French. As the information on the site is not specifically geared towards expats, it is best to consult a certified tax advisor with any specific questions you may have.

Social Security

  • Expats in Morocco are considered an equal part of the labor force, and as such your employer will automatically enroll you in the Moroccan social security system, CaisseNationale de SecuritéSociale (CNSS). Social security contributions are mandatory, and are split between employers (6.4% of monthly compensation for family allowances) and employees (4.29% of monthly compensation, the most being MAD 6,000). These contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck, and cover benefits including sickness and disability allowances, maternity leave and retirement pensions.
  • Morocco has made bilateral social security agreements with numerous countries, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Tunisia, as well as several others which are still under negotiation.
  • It may be advisable to save money in an additional pension account during your assignment in Morocco. Private insurance is also available for additional coverage in event of accident, illness or death.
  • More information on the Moroccan social security system can be found on the website of the CaisseNationale de Securité Sociale and the website of the Moroccan Retirement Fund.
  • As this insurance only covers basic healthcare in the country’s overcrowded public hospitals, many companies offer additional top-up insurance. If your company does not offer additional insurance, you may want to look into purchasing private health insurance for yourself and your family, especially if you wish to receive care in the more expensive private hospitals.

Labor Laws

The standard work week in Morocco has 40 hours. Employees are entitled to 18 days of paid annual leave, increasing incrementally to 21 days after ten years of employment. In addition, there are 13 public holidays per year. The notice period for redundancy dismissal increases from four weeks to nearly nine weeks depending on the length of employment.

Education

Most expats in Morocco send their children to private international schools. Schooling is offered in several different languages, predominantly French and English, with Arabic lessons often a part of the curriculum.In Casablanca, there are many options, including French, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and American schools such as the Casablanca American School and the George Washington Academy.

Medical Care

The US Embassy in Rabat has compiled a list of English-speaking doctors and healthcare professionals in Morocco. Due to the public healthcare system’s deficiencies, most expats choose to visit private hospitals. Allianz Worldwide Care provides a list of private hospitals in Rabat and Casablanca.

Medical care is highly developed in Casablanca, with a wide range of public and private hospitals and clinics operated by skilled doctors and surgeons equipped with world-class medical equipment.

Pharmacies can be found in all of Morocco’s cities and villages. Most over-the-counter and prescription medications can be obtained without difficulty. The opening hours are similar to those of other businesses. There are also all-night pharmacies. Each pharmacy posts a list of the locations which are open on Sundays and holidays.

No vaccinations are necessary for entering Morocco, although it may be advisable to get immunizations for Hepatitis A and B, as well as for typhoid fever.

In case of emergency, please dial 15 for emergency medical services or 190 for the police.

Renting in Morocco

The internet is a good place to start looking for a place to rent. The following sites may be useful:

In addition, you can have a look here at our shortlisting of some local real estate brokers or agents in Casablanca. You will also find in our listing information about transportation, medical care, job searching and so on.

You can also use the CasaExpats Forum to chat with other expats and find the right information you are looking for.