Schengen countries attract tourists a lot because of the free movement they can do while visiting the European countries which are part of the Schengen Zone. A Schengen visa allows eligible visitors/tourists (individuals) to travel with free movement within the 27 participating Schengen Area countries. Recently Croatia was added to the list of Schengen countries. European Union (EU) now plans to add more countries soon, Romania and Bulgaria are among the European countries all set to be taken on board. A new update is that France is now issuing 70,000 digital Schengen visas for the Paris Olympics.
Details for the 70,000 Digital Schengen Visas
New updates about the news reveal that France (a European country that is also a part of the Schengen Zone) has begun issuing Digital Visas for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In this regard, approximately 70,000 non-European nationals will be able to receive such visas.
If you would like to apply for these types of visas, there are two categories of individuals who are eligible to apply – members of the Olympic and Paralympic Families and guests who are invited by the Olympic or Paralympic Committee.
Let’s Have More Details
It has been learned that since the start of January 2024, France has begun issuing such visas (digital Schengen visas). That means it became the first Schengen Zone member to pilot these kinds of visas in the EU (European Union) prior to the complete digitalization of the procedures of the Schengen visa sometime in 2026.
The reports reveal that the authorities (French government) plan to issue 70,000 digital visas for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games which are scheduled to be conducted in Paris between 26th July to 11th August 2024 and from 28th August to 8th September 2024. It is further reported that the issuance of the visas has begun.
Not everyone will be eligible to apply for these visas because of the low number of visas planned to be issued through such a system. French authorities have created two categories for third-world nationals who require visas to enter France, these include:
- Official guests who are invited by the Olympic or Paralympic Committee (OCOG).
- Members of the OCOG families for whom the accreditation application is submitted to the OCOG.
As far as the first category is concerned, it includes members of the International Paralympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, international federations, plus members of national Olympic and Paralympic committees.
Simultaneously, members of the national associations and the Olympic Games organizing committees are also part of the first category. Let’s learn more specifically:
- Judges and Referees
- Sports Technicians
- Medical personnel associated with the teams or athletes
- Senior Executives
- Journalists accredited to the media industry
Visa Procedure for 70,000 Digital Schengen Visas
The eligible individuals will be able to apply for the visa through a simplified procedure which is less time-consuming. The eligible individuals will not have to wait for an appointment nor will have to wait to collect documents or pay the normal visa fees. In a capsule, all categories that are eligible for these digital Schengen visas will be exempt from all visa and service fees.
For the members of the Olympic and Paralympic Family and guests, the process will differ slightly. The first will have to appear only at the visa center at the scheduled time and present their passport plus a valid accreditation certificate (issued by the Olympic or Paralympic Committee).
On the other hand, individuals invited by the Olympic or Paralympic Committee to attend the games will be required to complete a visa application with the France-Visas website and collect the documents listed there. These individuals will also be required to present the invitation letter issued by the OCOG. Therefore, there is no fee payment required for this category either.
Note: The visa applicants will certainly be requested to provide their biometrics, fingerprints, and photos at the visa center. It is a must requirement for both of the categories.