2024 Olympics: An early visa applications is crucial for Paris travel

Published 2024-04-08 11:47:07
Olympic rings, Paris - Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Summer, often ideal for travel, takes on a special significance this year with the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in France. For those planning assignments in Paris, it's imperative to initiate visa applications sooner than usual.

From July 26th to September 8th, all eyes will be on France as it hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics. This monumental event not only marks a new chapter for Paris and the Île de France region but also poses significant challenges for mobility and logistics professionals.

With athletes, media, officials, and spectators converging from around the globe, over 16 million visitors are expected to attend. Consequently, there will be a surge in visa applications.

France has been gearing up for this influx since January 2024 by establishing an Olympic consulate, a pioneering initiative aimed at centralising visa applications for ticket holders, athletes, and organizers. An online platform has been introduced to expedite processing times for event participants.

The French government has established a streamlined visa application process for the 2024 Olympics, specifically for visitors from countries outside the European Union (EU) and Schengen Area who require visas to enter France. Here's a breakdown of the three main categories:

1. Olympic Family with OCOG Accreditation:

  • Who applies? Athletes, coaches, officials, and other accredited personnel directly involved in the Games through the 2024 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (OCOG).
  • What's needed? A Schengen Visa combined with an Accreditation Card. This is a new process compared to previous Olympics.
  • Where to apply? Through the dedicated "Olympic Consulate" online platform launched in January 2024. ([Note: Link can't be provided due to search restrictions])
  • Benefit: Faster processing times compared to regular visa applications.

2. Guests Invited by OCOG:

  • Who applies? Individuals invited to the Olympics by the OCOG, such as sponsors or special guests.
  • What's needed? A standard Schengen Visa.
  • Where to apply? Online through the France-Visas website).
  • Benefit: Free visa application and service fees (though an appointment may still be required).

3. Supporters and Fans:

  • Who applies? Visitors attending the Olympics as spectators or fans.
  • What's needed? A standard Schengen Visa.
  • Where to apply? Online through the France-Visas website.

Important Note: Regardless of category, all applicants should start the visa application process as early as possible due to the anticipated surge in applications. Regularly check the French immigration authorities' website for updates on processing times.

A virtual “Olympic Consulate” opened in January 2024 and will centralize Accreditation Card and Olympic Family applications in France. The OCOG will receive the requests for visa assistance as part of the Accreditation Card application process and liaise with the “Olympic Consulate” for the submitted visa requests.

This online platform centralizes the process:

  1. Accreditation Card Application: The OCOG receives applications for Accreditation Cards, which grant access to Olympic venues and facilities.
  2. Visa Assistance Integration: During the Accreditation Card application, the OCOG identifies individuals requiring visa assistance.
  3. "Olympic Consulate" Liaison: The OCOG transmits visa requests to the dedicated "Olympic Consulate" for processing.

This streamlined system aims to ensure timely visa approvals for those directly involved in the Games.

Nevertheless, the heightened volume of applications will impact various travelers, including internationally mobile professionals and their families. Delays in visa issuance could potentially disrupt relocation timelines. Therefore, it's advisable to proactively address immigration requirements well ahead of time, considering potential lengthened processing periods.

As of now, no significant delays have been reported, but with four months remaining until the games commence, this scenario could change.

As part of their comprehensive services, AGS Relocation can facilitate a seamless transition to France during this period. Our Paris headquarters boasts a dedicated immigration department capable of ensuring the accuracy and completeness of visa applications from the outset, thereby mitigating avoidable delays.

Additional Resources:

This article has been published with the help of AGS. For over 10 years, AGS has chosen EasyExpat.com to communicate about its international services and offers. You can find more information and request a free quote with the link below.

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