338 days before the launch of the Olympic Games in Paris: from 24 July to 11 August 2024, the French capital will host the XXXIIIth Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games! What is the impact on immigration to welcome the thousands of athletes, organizers and visitors expected? More info in our article!
On your marks….
An “Olympic Visa” and an “Olympic Consulate” had been mentioned by the end of 2022 by the National Olympic Committees (NOC), but this project does not yet seem to have become concrete. That said, the first immigration warm-ups are beginning to show.
1. Issuance of the first work/residence permits
The French government announced in June 2023 that it had already started issuing the first work/residence permits related to the Olympic Games. The applicants, athletes or people in charge of organizing the event, have obtained Talent Passports.
Several categories of work permits can be considered for athletes, and this is determined by their level of practice (professional athlete or not) and the type of remuneration. For a stay of less than 3 months, a professional athlete can also benefit from a work authorisation exemption…which does not exempt him from obtaining an entry visa to France if his nationality requires so.
2. Derogation for foreign students
More than 3,000 security positions are to be filled, and students are particularly targeted by recruiters. However, foreign students holding a valid residence permit (authenticated by the employer) can only use it to work on an ancillary basis up to 60% of the legal duration of working time, i.e. 964 hours (50% for Algerian citizens, i.e. 850 hours). From July 1 to September 15, 2024, the number of hours worked on a position related to Olympic security will not be deducted from this quota.
3. Labour inspection controls
Numerous labour inspection inspections have already been carried out on Games construction sites. Whether they are undocumented foreign citizens or people who do not have the right work permit, a hundred cases of illegal work have been noted, and the employer sanctioned for not having respected the French immigration law … as well as for the deplorable working conditions in which some of the people checked evolved.
A priori, the only measure taken for the moment to manage the influx of future visa applications is that described by this decree (Decree No. 2022-1629 of 23 December 2022 on the competent authorities for issuing visas to members of the Olympic family in the context of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games – Légifrance (legifrance.gouv.fr). According to this text, which concerns members of the Olympic family ( ” any person, member of the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, International Federations, National Olympic and Paralympic Committees, Organising Committees of the Olympic Games and National Associations — such as athletes, judges/referees, coaches and other sports technicians, medical personnel attached to teams or sportsmen and journalists accredited to the media, senior officials, donors, patrons, or other official guests“), two specific authorities are appointed competent to issue these visas, instead of consular authorities.
Employers: anticipate your requests
As explained above, French Consulates and/or their dedicated visa management centres are at risk of being overwhelmed by visa applications, which means concretely:
- Significant delays in getting an appointment
- Longer delays in obtaining the said visa
Measures specifically related to visa processing for the Olympics may be put in place by then, but for all other visa applicants and their employer, anticipation will be key so that your talent can arrive in France on time, the ideal being obviously to plan an arrival 2 months before or after the Games.
Paris and its nearby region will obviously be overwhelmed with visitors during these few days, and the mayor of Paris has planned not to allow moves during this period. Employers, avoid planning the arrival of your talents during this period, otherwise you will have to win the gold medal of the impossible competition: find an apartment for your employee in the middle of the Olympics period!
It should be noted that the foreign authorities present in Paris (Consulates) could also be impacted, as staff may be less numerous, and a possible increase in cases related to the presence of foreign citizens may have to be managed.
Oui Immigration will keep you informed if new measures are taken!
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