Sport

France to Issue 70,000 Visas Online for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Main image to the post France to Issue 70,000 Visas Online for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

France has announced plans to issue 70,000 visas completely online for individuals participating in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a move that marks the first instance of a European Union member state providing a fully digital application process for a Schengen visa. This new Olympic Consulate system, recently launched in France, aims to process digital applications for the upcoming Summer Games, thereby simplifying the visa application procedure and avoiding complications arising from the high volume of applications currently being handled at French visa centers across the world.

The decision to implement this new system for Olympic and Paralympic participants comes as a means to facilitate the timely issuance of visas essential for the successful organization of the Games, as highlighted by the France Ministry of the Interior. In a bid to ease the process for the 70,000 individuals expected to visit France for the sporting event, their visas will not be physically affixed to their passports but will instead be integrated directly into their Games accreditation cards. The Games, set to take place in France from July 26 to August 11 and August 28 to September 8, are anticipated to draw around 1.5 million visitors from across the globe.

In adherence to the new EU regulations on digital visa applications, the move by France also seeks to standardize and simplify the visa application process while reducing associated costs. All applications for visas will be centralized and handled through a single online platform that will inform applicants about the specific country responsible for processing their application. The Schengen visa, which allows for unrestricted movement within the Schengen Area comprising 26 European countries without internal border controls, is widely utilized for tourism, business, or family visits for a specific duration, facilitating seamless travel across borders without the need for multiple visas or passport checks at each crossing. Additionally, Games organizers have expressed concerns about potential border chaos following the delayed launch of the EU's separate Entry/Exit System (EES) in late 2024, designed to accurately monitor the duration of stay for non-EU visitors.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09