Schengen visas: France becomes first EU country to issue paperless visa! Know rules, eligibility, other details | Mint
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Business News/ News / Trends/  Schengen visas: France becomes first EU country to issue paperless visa! Know rules, eligibility, other details

Schengen visas: France becomes first EU country to issue paperless visa! Know rules, eligibility, other details

France has started issuing Digital Schengen visas, with plans to distribute approximately 70,000 digital visas for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris.

Schengen visa gets digital (AP)Premium
Schengen visa gets digital (AP)

Since January 1, 2024, France has initiated the issuance of Digital Schengen visas, becoming the first country to hand out these visas in the European Union. This move precedes the anticipated complete digitalization of Schengen visa processes set for 2026. 

In preparation for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris (July 26 to August 11 and August 28 to September 8), French authorities plan to distribute approximately 70,000 digital visas. However, due to the limited allocation, not everyone will be eligible to apply.

Who can apply for digital visas to visit France?

According to French authorities, two groups of non-EU citizens needing visas for entry may qualify for the French Digital Schengen visa:

1) Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Family applying for accreditation through their respective committees.  

This group includes International Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee members, international federations, and national committees. Olympic Games organizing committee members, national associations, athletes, judges, coaches, sports technicians, medical personnel, accredited journalists, senior executives, donors, and patrons are also part of this group. 

The process of application is significantly easy for this group. 

They won’t have to wait for an appointment, collect documents, or pay the normal Schengen Visa fees. They will have to show up at the visa center on the scheduled time, and provide their passport, and valid accreditation certificate issued by the OCOG.

2) Other official guests invited by the Olympic or Paralympic Committee (OCOG).

People who have been invited by the OCOG to attend the games will need to complete a visa application with France-Visas website, and collect the documents listed there. 

“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.

Can spectators apply for digital visa?

Spectators who wish to attend the games, on the other hand, will have to apply for a regular Schengen Visa.

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Sanchari Ghosh
Sanchari Ghosh is a Chief Content Producer with LiveMint. She covers news, human interest, epidemiology and personal finance stories
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Published: 03 Feb 2024, 06:03 AM IST
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