Earlier this month, we travelled to France for a meeting with Stuart Andrew, minister for sport and culture at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Paris. With the 2024 Olympics fast approaching, we’re on a mission to seek special dispensations in compliance with the latest French working directives for work permits and visas. Rigging the Games is a monumental challenge, of course. But in order for us to ensure a smoth, timely and cost effective procurement process for the necessary permits and visas needed to meet the contract requirements, the hard work starts now.

Firstly, - work permits. All our personnel – included those posted to France and freelancers will require permits. Secondly - visas. Given the uncertainty of travel within the Schengen region beyond the employment period with Unusual Rigging, we are currently assuming that most of our team may exceed the 90 day stay limit. We will potentially have people in the country from March through to October who will not be covered by the accreditation period and, unless they are in a role during the Games, will not qualify for accreditation anyway.

Therefore what we are requesting is;
  • a suspension of the 90 day rule from January 2024 until October 2024 to accommodate the Paris 2024 project
  • guarantees that work permits and visas applied for the Paris 2024 project will be approved, given they are exclusively for the project’s delivery
  • that freelancers are considered subcontractors and obtaining work permits for them might require direct contracts with Paris 2024. We ideally need an exception to be made for these applications, considering they are solely for the delivery of the Paris 2024 contract
  • a reduction in documentation requirements. Given that the work is solely for delivery of the games, streamlining the extensive documentation requirements for regular work permits would be incredibly useful
  • a waiver on the requirement for in-person visa filings. This poses huge logistical challenges and costs
  • expedited processing. Given the time sensitivity of the project, condensing and expediting the processing time for work authorisations and visas would be invaluable.
  • a single point of contact to assist in problem solving and managing the progress of our visa and permit applications. 
Along with two other companies we had the unique opportunity to present what we do directly to the minister and voice our issues with the current work permit/ visa process for the 2024 Games. Stuart Andrew was very engaging and took detailed notes about the issues we had, which were consistent with the other companies in the room. With us all on the same page, this gave the point strength in showing the importance of finding a resolution to these concerns.

We understand the importance of compliance with French regulations but acknowledge that a successful Paris 2024 Olympics project hinges on a seamless visa and permit procurement process.