Andorran residency guide: All you need to know about residency categories and the application process

Andorran residency guide: All you need to know about residency categories and the application process

Relocating to Andorra, one of Europe’s smallest nations which offers some of the world’s most favorable residencies in terms of taxation, does not need to be a complicated affair. The following guide will help you understand Andorran Immigration Laws, decide which of Andorra’s two main categories of residency permits will best meet your needs and detailed information on how to apply for residency will also be provided.

 

An in depth summary of Andorran residence permits

Overstaying the Andorran tourist period

A residence permit or “residency” is intended for retirees or individuals who wish to reside in Andorra for more than 90 days. If an individual stays in Andorra for less than 90 days they are considered to be a tourist and neither a visa nor a permit is required. This is due to the fact that Andorra is not part of the European Union nor has it signed the Schengen Agreement. The only way into this tiny nation which is shoehorned into the border between France and Spain is by road, and a recently established heliport, which means that there are boarder controls between these three countries. Upon entry non-EU tourists may be asked for the visa that granted them their initial entrance into the EU.

According to Immigration Laws, those wishing to overstay the Andorran tourist period must apply for residency. Andorran residency permits are split into two main categories: Passive Residency which does not require a work permit and Active Residency which does require a work permit.

The three subcategories of Passive Residency in Andorra

The Non-Working Residency, otherwise known as a Passive Residency, has gained in popularity over the past few years because it is a way for those who do not work from a fixed address to obtain a more favorable tax situation. This category requires you to sign a declaration stating that you will reside in Andorra for a minimum of 90 days per year. However if you stay for more than 183 days you are counted as a resident for tax purposes. Many foreigners immigrating to Andorra who have successfully obtained Passive Residency opt to stay in the country during the winter season, enjoying the country’s rich array of winter sports and spend the summer along one of France or Spain’s picturesque Mediterranean coastlines. This residency status is split into the following three subcategories each having specific application requirements:

I. Individuals of independent means

II. Business owners who live in Andorra but operate businesses elsewhere

III. International sports and science professionals and celebrities from the performing arts

Type I: Andorran residency for individuals of independent means

This residency category caters to individuals that have significant investments or savings, allowing them to live in Andorra without working. The three categories mentioned above share many similarities in terms of required documentation (see the list of residency requirements provided in the chart below).

This category differs from the others in that, once one’s application has been approved, the government requires documentation proving that the individual has invested a total of €400,000 in Andorra. It should be noted that the government allots you six months to provide documentation of investments in Andorra. Investments can be made by purchasing property, Bank Bonds, Sovereign Debt, non-remunerated deposits at the Institut Nacional Andorrà de Finances or shares in an Andorran Public Company. NB: Mortgaged property cannot be used to satisfy this property purchase requirement.

Paying this investment by purchasing property is by far the most popular option. Many have chosen Andorra over other popular havens due to its lower property prices. An apartment in the Andorran city center averages at approximately €2,761 per square meter whereas in Monaco, the average price per square meter is €44,522, a hefty sum for even the wealthiest of individuals.

Type II: Andorran residency for professionals with an international client base

The second subcategory of Passive Residencies in Andorra allows an individual to reside in Andorra while operating a business, however they must conduct a minimum of 85% of their business outside of the country. This internationally focused business must establish its main headquarters in the Principality of Andorra and can hire only one employee. If the company wishes to employ more than one individual they must change their residency status to an Active Residency, granting the company a working permit.

Immigration Laws state that in order to apply for this residency category one must provide the following:

1. Provide documentation showing a financially sound business plan for the company they wish to run

a. Existing company moving to Andorra: documents demonstrating the company’s financial situation including the income and costs for the last full year must be provided

b. New company wishing to establish itself in Andorra: a business plan covering the next three years must be provided. This must include a report giving details on the company’s prospective activities along with any supporting documents used to create this three-year business plan.

2.  A curriculum vitæ showing the individual’s academic training and work experience in the field accompanied by documents supporting the information provided in the CV

Type III: Andorran residency for internationally accredited scientists, athletes and performing artists

Relatively new Immigration Laws created this residency category which is meant to encourage individuals with culture-stimulating professions to choose Andorra as their European home base. Internationally renowned scientists, artists, athletes and performing artists may be interested in applying for this residency. Along with the other Passive Residency requirements provided in the chart below, the individual must provide documentation supporting the fact that they are internationally recognized for their talent. This includes the following:

A curriculum vitæ stating the individual’s academic training and professional experiences in their field. A list of prizes, awards or any other proof supporting their recognition in the field should be included

• Any documents corroborating the information provided in the individual’s CV

Documents showing any income earned from the activity within the last year

The following chart provides a list of documents which all three of the Passive Residency categories require and recapitulates each categories’ specific requirements as of 2015:

All three Passive Residency permit categories require
  • A minimum stay of 90 days
  • Applicant must be 18 years of age or older
  • Passport or national ID
  • Certificate of Civil Status
  • Proof of welfare coverage (insurance policies covering health, disability and old age)
  • Title deeds for any property owned in Andorra or proof of intentions to purchase property
  • Applicant must pay the government €50,000 and €10,000 for each dependant
  • Certified proof of a clear criminal record from their country of birth and any country previously resided in
  • A medical exam completed in the month following their application submission
  • Proof of sufficient means to cover family and individual needs – four times the current Andorran minimum wage
Individuals of independent means
  • Above mentioned investment of €400,000 in Andorra
Internationally focused businesses
  • Above mentioned business plan and CV
Internationally renowned scientist, artist, etc.
  • Above mentioned CV and proof of earnings in the specific field of activity

A note on naturalization: Andorra does not accept dual citizenship. If you would like to adopt the Andorran nationality you need to give up your existing nationality. Individuals that have been married to an Andorran for 3 years and those that have resided in the country for 20 years are eligible for Andorran citizenship by naturalization.

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