France has started issuing digital Schengen visas for the Olympics, making it the first country to do so.

France has emerged as the pioneering European Union member state to implement digital visas and transition the visa application process entirely online for athletes, journalists, and delegations attending the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This decision aims to streamline visa procedures and ensure timely issuance of visas for participants, preventing any potential mix-ups in the current visa center processing. France’s new system, dubbed the “Olympic Consulate,” commenced operations on January 1, 2024.

The Ministry of Interior of France disclosed plans to process approximately 15,000 visa applications from international athletes, 9,000 from journalists, and numerous delegations from foreign countries participating in the event. This shift to digital processing is essential to meet the timeframe demands for successful Games organization.

Under the new system, all eligible applicants for a digital France Schengen visa will submit and process their applications through the France-Visa platform. France anticipates issuing around 70,000 online visas to athletes, journalists, and delegations, with digital visas integrated into their accreditation cards, eliminating the need for visa stickers on passports.

Scheduled from July 26 to August 11, 2024, and August 28 to September 8, 2024, France’s Olympic and Paralympic Games anticipate hosting over 1.5 million attendees from across the globe. With 15,000 athletes, over 9,000 accredited journalists, and a massive influx of spectators, France is preparing for an unprecedented influx.

For those planning to attend the Games in Spain, it’s advisable to ensure they meet entry requirements and secure tickets in advance. Ticket sales for all sports have commenced, with over 400,000 tickets available, ranging from €5 for the cheapest seats to €3,000 for finals tickets.

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