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HomePEOPLEFrance Sets Milestone! Becomes First Nation in EU to offer Paperless Schengen...

France Sets Milestone! Becomes First Nation in EU to offer Paperless Schengen Digital Visas, Details

By introducing digital Schengen visas, France becomes the first country in the EU and achieves a major milestone in the visa process.

France is the first nation in the EU to offer paperless visas. France has begun issuing digital Schengen visas as of January 1, 2024, making it the first nation in the EU to do so. This action is taken in advance of the planned 2026 full digitalization of Schengen visa procedures.

Digital Visa Rollout for 2024 Olympics

French authorities intend to issue some 70,000 digital visas in advance of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic events in Paris (July 26 to August 11 and August 28 to September 8). But not everyone will be able to apply because of the limited number.

Eligibility Criteria for French Digital Schengen Visa

Two categories of non-EU nationals who require visas for entry may be eligible for the French Digital Schengen visa, according to French authorities.

Special Visa Category for Olympic and Paralympic Families

Individuals from the Olympic and Paralympic families submitting an accreditation application via the appropriate committee. Members of the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, as well as international federations and national committees, comprise this group.

Members of the Olympic Games organising committee, national associations, athletes, credentialed journalists, judges, coaches, sports technicians, medical professionals, donors, and patrons are also included in this group.

For this category, the application process is remarkably simple. They won’t need to gather paperwork, wait for a scheduled time, or pay the standard Schengen Visa costs. They must bring their passport and a valid accreditation certificate from the OCOG when they arrive at the visa centre at the appointed time.

Formal Visitors Invited by Olympic or Paralympic Committee (OCOG)

More formal visitors that the Olympic or Paralympic Committee (OCOG) has invited. Those who have received an invitation from the OCOG to attend the games must fill out an application for a visa on the France-Visas website and provide the necessary paperwork.

“They should also provide a letter of invitation from the OCOG. No fee payment is required for this category either. Providing biometrics – fingerprints and photo – at the visa center, is a must for both categories,” as reported by VisaGuide. On the other side, fans who want to watch the games will need to apply for a standard Schengen Visa.

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