moving to morocco casablanca

Moving to Morocco

Morocco Score
Shithole Paradise

What is Morocco?

living in morocco flag

Morocco is a sunny country in the Northwest of Africa

The Kingdom of Morocco is a Muslim country in the northwest of Africa.

It borders Algeria (the border between which has been closed for nearly 30 years), the Western Sahara, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Morocco also claims several Spanish-controlled islands, and the Western Sahara, for which it has ongoing beef with Mauritania.

In the early 20th century, France and Spain divided the country, but in 1956 it regained independence.

It’s a pretty damn stable country (for Africa), with significant influence in the African and Arab world.

Governmentally, this is a unitary semi-constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The king holds rather significant sway and is truly one of the last powerful monarchs in the world.

It’s a pretty authoritative country, with low freedom of press.

Morocco has surprisingly diverse geography, with beautiful beaches, deserts, mountain ranges (the Atlas and Rif mountains) and lush forests.

Cities of note in Morocco include the capital Rabat, Fes, Marrakesh and Casablanca.

Morocco has a predominant hot summer Mediterranean climate, but as can be expected from a country with deserts, beaches and mountains, the climate is pretty damn diverse.

Similar to Southern California apparently.

Morocco has strong ties to the West, specially the European Union, with which it trades a lot.

Fun fact, Morocco apparently was the first country in the world to recognize US sovereignty, back in 1777.

The country’s economy is doing pretty well, seeing considerable growth over the past few decades, and currently it averages around 3% growth per year.

how is life for foreigners in morocco map
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Requirements for moving to Morocco

If you want to visit Morocco, you’ll be happy to know that the requirements are pretty relaxed.

You don’t need to apply for a visa for a visit of up to 90 days.

Longer stays are possible through Residence permits, which can be extended indefinitely. They’re a pain in the ass to get though.

The cost of living should likewise not be a deterrent, because Morocco’s really cheap.

The level of English proficiency in Morocco isn’t marvelous, so this might be an issue if you don’t speak Arabic.

What is the cost of living in Morocco?

Morocco’s one of the cheapest options to move to upon escaping the West among the dozens of countries I’ve investigated so far – yes, I was surprised as well.

On average, a single person can get by with as low as $650 a month. That’s just ridiculously cheap.

I’d advise you not to rely on just this budget though, aim for at least triple that amount, coming down to around $2,000 a month.

Even that amount is ridiculously easy to sort out for anyone with some sources of international income.

Benefits of living in Morocco

  • Decent climate

    Morocco’s got warm weather and sunny days, and it’s just a shame the humidity is so high

  • Varied nature

    Beaches, mountains, forests, deserts, Morocco has it all

  • Great food

    Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the most diversified in the world, and I can attest that it’s really goddamn tasty

  • Safe

    Morocco’s one of the safest countries I’ve encountered so far, with really low crime rates

  • Cheap

    The cost of living in Morocco is very low, and anyone with a budget of $1,000 a month can live a decent life here

  • Good visa policy

    You don’t need to apply for a visa beforehand if you’re going to stay up to 90 days

living in morocco

Downsides of living in Morocco

  • Linked to the West

    Morocco's trading a lot with the European and their economy is dependent on it

  • Islamic country

    Morocco’s a predominantly (99%) Islamic country, which means things like gay and/or premarital sex are illegal and punishable by death

  • Monarchy

    This country still has a king, and compared to the yellow bellies in Belgium, Spain, or Holland, this king actually has a lot of power

  • Low English proficiency

    Morocco doesn’t score well regarding English proficiency

  • Neighbors

    While it doesn’t border many countries, Morocco has disputes with all of them

  • Taxes on international income

    If you’re considered a resident, you’ll be taxed quite heavily on your income

Moving to Morocco - by the numbers

Morocco Score
Shithole Paradise

Climate: 7.3/10

Hours of sunshine (10/10) Temperature (6/10) Rainy days (10/10) Humidity (3/10)
17.5 C – 64 F

Level of English: 4/10

Low Proficiency

Cost of Living: 9.5/10

Minimum Annual Wage Average monthly cost single person

Taxes on international income: 7/10

0 to 38%

If you aren’t a resident, you won’t be taxed on your international income. However, you are already considered a resident if you have a permanent home there, carry on professional activities in the country, or stay there for more than 183 days per year.

Economic growth: 6/10

Average GDP growth over the last 10 years: 2.9%

Safety: 9.3/10

Global Terrorism Index (10/10) Intentional homicide rate (10/10) Rape rate (9/10)

Visa: 6/10

  • Visa (8/10)

    Westerners can enter Morocco visa free for up to 90 days. You can also apply for a Tourist visa. Another option is the Long-Term Visa, which is a prerequisite for residency

  • Permanent Residence (5/10)

    If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you need to get a Registration Card, which can be a pain in the ass to get because of the slow and incompetent bureaucracy. You’ll also need a work permit and a local bank account. This permit is valid for one year, and it can be renewed an indefinite amount of times

  • Citizenship (5/10)

    You can become a Moroccan citizen after around 5 years in the country, and can prove you speak Arabic, are in good health, earn plenty of money, and some more criteria. Dual nationality is allowed

moving to morocco

How is life for expats in Morocco?

Morocco can provide expats with a pretty decent way of life.

Relaxing on the beach, enjoying the low cost of living, the safety, the delicious food … sounds great!

However, there are significant hurdles you’ll have to overcome.

You’ll have to slog through a lot of annoying bureaucracy to get your residence permit, deal with rather high taxes on your international income, learn Arabic, and so on.

In addition, the country’s a bit too strict for my tastes. Not only does it have a rather powerful king, it’s also a 99% Islamic country, with the accompanying harsh rules.

In my opinion, visiting Morocco is about as far as your involvement here should go.

Enjoy the country for a month or two, then get the fuck out to a better base for your flags.

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