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Carte de séjour problems

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Morocco.

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Carte de séjour problems

Post Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:24 pm

I am terrified and I need help, but I don't know where to go or what to do. I have been in Morocco for a year on tourist visas with an American passport. I have gone to Ceuta four times to renew my visa. The last time I went to Ceuta in late November Moroccan customs gave me a very hard time and said I could not go to Ceuta any more and I needed to apply for a carte de séjour. When I got back to Rabat I checked on line and found I need a medical exam, proof of sufficient funds to live in Morocco and a lease. I am retired so I live on Social Security which is deposited in a bank account in Chicago. I contacted Social Security the last week of November to get a document showing how much I receive each month; I received this document last Thursday, February 13. I have been staying in a hotel and I have looked for an apartment but I have had difficulty: rental agents are too expensive; I have had friends help me, but either the place is too expensive or unfurnished, and in one case the landlady would not rent to me because I am not married; I checked online to rent a vacation apartment but the cheapest I could find was $70 a night, that's more than I pay for a week at the hotel. I went to the préfecture on Friday and the woman told me I need a lease and did not seem to believe that I cannot find an apartment. She said I need a bank account in Morocco. I went to several banks last summer to check on this but every bank told me that by law I need a carte de séjour in order to open an account. The woman at the préfecture told me I do not need a carte de séjour to open an account. She also said I need to have at least 50,000DH in a Moroccan account; my account at the bank in Chicago is not good enough for some reason, although they will accept the document from Social Security as partial proof of my financial status. I do not have 50,000DH and I make $691.00 a month in Social Security. I told her that my tourist visa is expiring this week and asked if this would be a problem and she said it would not be a problem, but I could not leave the country. I assured her that I have no plans to leave the country before maybe June or July. She told me to go to Centre d'Enregistrement de Données d'Identitaire and they would help me since I don't have a Moroccan bank account and do not have 50,000DH. It turns out CEDI is where Moroccans go to get an ID card; I have no idea why the woman sent me there. The man at CEDI told me to go to Sureté Nationale. At Sureté Nationale the commissaire told me that I do not need 50,000DH and that it is no problem that I am living in a hotel. He told me to go back to the préfecture and that he would call them and tell them to give me a carte de séjour spéciale. I went to the préfecture on Monday and told the man the commissaire told me to talk to what my situation is and what the commissaire had told me on Friday. After a three hour wait he told me they could not do anything on Monday and to come back yesterday morning. Yesterday he told me that I have to have a lease. I asked if I could bring a letter from the hotel stating that I live there and he said a hotel is not a residence. I wrote a letter to the préfecture stating how much I make in Social Security each month and that I am in the process of having a book published so I know I have more than sufficient income to support myself in Morocco. I called the American Embassy and I was told to call Citizen Services at the consulate in Casablanca. The consulate told me that they cannot help me. My tourist visa expires in a couple of days and I am terrified. How do I resolve these problems?


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