PARIS: France is poised to issue a significant number of digital Schengen Visas amounting to approximately 70,000 for athletes, journalists, and delegations participating in the Olympic and Paralympic games, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
This groundbreaking move marks France as the inaugural European Union member to undertake such an initiative.
Beginning this year, France has implemented a novel system known as the ‘Olympic Consulate’ specifically designed to handle these visa applications.
Scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11 and subsequently from August 28 to September 8, 2024, the Olympic and Paralympic Games in France anticipate the participation of around 15,000 athletes worldwide, along with 9,000 journalists and various foreign delegations.
The purpose of this system is to prevent any confusion between Olympic applications and regular visa processing at French visa centers abroad. Interested individuals are expected to submit and manage their applications via the France-Visas platform online.
This decision aligns with the digitalization plans for EU Schengen visas, ratified by Parliament last October.
Rather than the conventional practice of affixing visas to passports, the 70,000 approved applicants will have their visas seamlessly integrated into their accreditation cards.
France foresees a global attendance of roughly 1.5 million spectators throughout the games.
Alejandro Recalde, the manager overseeing services and relations for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, clarified that individuals holding valid multiple-entry Schengen visas for officials or athletes need not apply for a French Schengen visa specifically for the event, although accreditation for the games remains a prerequisite.