why will the issue of visas be at the center of the discussions?

Louis DeRaguenel
2:26 p.m., August 25, 2022

Emmanuel Macron is going to Algeria on Thursday for a diplomatic visit which will be very well attended, particularly on the visa file. This thorny issue is the source of tension between the two countries. And it is almost the only expectation of the Head of State’s trip, at least on the Algerian side.

President Emmanuel Macron begins a three-day visit to Algeria this Thursday. Various subjects will be discussed to strengthen a damaged relationship between the two countries, on economic, security and diplomatic subjects. The issue of visas will be addressed in particular. And it is almost the only expectation of the trip, on the Algerian side.

Macron has reduced the number of Algerian visas by 50%

For several years, while asking France to grant several hundred thousand visas per year (we are talking about more than 500,000 visas in 2019 for example), Algeria has been holding back with four irons to issue what are called consular passes. That is to say the recognition by Algiers of its nationals in an irregular situation, whom France seeks to expel. Consequence: Paris can no longer expel them.

In detail, between January and July 2021, France ordered nearly 8,000 bonds to leave French territory, targeting Algerians. And, only 22 went home, just over 0.2%. It is for this reason that a year ago, Emmanuel Macron reduced the number of visas issued to Algerians by 50%, to put pressure on the authorities and make them accept deportations more easily.

Paris wants to improve its relations with Algiers

A measure deemed “humiliating” by Algiers, which had a very slight impact: in the first half of 2022, out of 1,600 requests for consular passes, 300 were granted. We are therefore still far from the 1,500 of the year 2019. A level which remains quite low but is now given as a target by the Elysée. This confirms one thing: Paris really wants to improve its relations with Algiers, but has no intention of reducing immigration from these former French departments.

Source: Europe1

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