Visiting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

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If you are a spectator, athlete, or media professional, there are a few things you should know about visiting the UK for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

If you are a spectator you may need to obtain a visitor's visa to enter the UK. Processing times for visas are usually 15 working days; However, you can apply for a visa up to three months before your planned date of travel.

A special visa has been created for athletes, coaches, officials, and accredited media called the Olympic/Paralympic Games visit visa (OPVV). This multiple-entry visa is valid from the date of issue until 8 November 2012. As an OPVV visa holder, you can stay in the UK for up to six months on each visit.

Athletes, coaches, officials and accredited media are selectively accredited by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). To qualify for an OPPV, you must have an official written letter from LOCOG inviting you to visit the UK for a purpose related to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Family members are not allowed to apply for an OPPV.

The cost of the OPVV visa is GBP76. This is the same price as a visit visa.

If you are a Media professional (journalist, broadcaster, or crew Member) from outside the European Economic Area and are not accredited, you will need to obtain a different type of visa to come and work in the UK.

Non-accredited media professionals should apply for a 'Employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation' work visa; You should leave enough time to complete the application process before you need to visit the UK. You can apply for this work visa up to three months before your intended visit to the UK.

Please note that according to the UKBA, this visa requires knowledge of English.