The France will have an "Olympic consulate" to centralize from January 1 all visa applications filed by members of the "Olympic family" for the Paris Olympics, announced Thursday to AFP the Ministry of the Interior.
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The objective of this "consulate" - which will not be materialized by a physical entity - is to prevent visa applications from Olympic delegations or international athletes from being drowned in the flood of files in prefectures, already congested, and being processed on time.
The authorities estimate at "nearly 70,000" the applications that will be processed "from January 1, 2024" in Nantes, where the sub-directorate of visas is located.
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The Olympic consulate" will make it possible to "directly examine the applications for short-stay visas submitted by members of the +Olympic family+ in anticipation of their participation in the Games," the Ministry of the Interior said.
Some 15,000 athletes are expected in France for the Olympic Games (26 July-11 August) and Paralympic Games (28 August-8 September).
Concretely, applications will go through the France-Visas platform, which allows in particular to collect biometric data of applicants "throughout the network of consulates and service providers," the same source said.
The device will allow the France to test, for the first time, visas "dematerialized", since they will also be "incorporated" directly into the accreditation card "members of the Olympic family", said the Directorate General of Foreigners in France.