Residence Permit cards and a map of the EU on the Euro banknote

Differences between Andorra residence permits

Daiva Ulyavichute Daiva Ulyavichute 12 May 2021
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Fans of skiing are probably aware of intimate Andorra, one of the world's five smallest countries.

And the fact that the Principality has no access to the sea does not affect its rating as one of the most popular and beloved states among travellers worldwide.

Beautiful Andorra nature, fresh air, stunning landscapes will make you fall in love at first sight. Almost 300 days a year, sunshine makes the climate comfortable for living and recreation.

Each year the popularity of Andorra as a country for permanent residence is increasing.

However, people come here not only for the scenic views and ski resorts. There are several reasons why the Principality has found its appeal to foreigners:

• The development of business and bringing it to an international level

• Low taxes and a flexible tax system

• High quality of life

• Affordable prices

• The ability to get a Schengen visa under a simplified scheme

• High level of Healthcare System

• Access to European education

• Free travel to neighbouring countries-Spain and France.

• Low crime rate

• Political stability

You must agree, these are desirable benefits for the sake of which you can consider Andorra as a place for a comfortable haven.

In this article, we will look at the types of visas, the nuances of obtaining them, and a residence permit in Andorra - what is it and who is eligible.

How to get Andorra visa?

flag of andorra

The Principality of Andorra is so tiny that it does not have its airport and consular offices in other countries. Due to the open borders with Spain and France, you can enter the country from one of these states.

If you intend to visit Andorra for tourism purposes, you need to obtain a Schengen visa (double or multishengen) at any visa centre of the consulate of Spain or France. Visa to Andorra is a Schengen visa.

Required documents to obtain a visa:

1. Passport (international passport) and photocopies of all pages. Please note that your passport must be valid, not less than six months after the end of your planned trip to Andorra. In addition, if you have other visas, including invalid ones, photocopies of their pages will also be required.

2. 2 colour photographs 35x45mm.

3. Questionnaire filled out in English.

4. Proof of employment/study. If you are not formally employed, prepare to provide a sponsorship letter and sponsor's income certificate.

5. Proof of financial solvency (bank or card account statements). The amount is based on a daily budget of 60 euros per person.

6. Medical insurance (for the amount of 30 000 euro).

Visa to Andorra is issued only after undergoing a compulsory procedure dactylography (fingerprints). It is executed directly in the Andorra visa application centre where the applicant applies. The data is stored for five years, at the end of which you must repeat the action.

Do not forget to pay the consular fee of 35 euros and the service fee of the visa application centre (their amount depends on the country in which the Andorra visa application is made).

Immigration to Andorra

embassy of andorra

So, you've decided to change your place of residence and studied the advantages and disadvantages of living in the country: an important step ahead - immigration to Andorra. Let's consider the ways of relocation and the nuances that accompany them.

1. By work visa

The most difficult of all possible ways. Andorra is a tiny country. The Andorra population here fluctuates around 70 thousand people. Therefore, the rule of employment in the first place is to provide jobs to residents, the second - the EU citizens, and in the last place - the rest of the non-residents. If you are a member of a profession in dire need of employment in the country, you can make an exception.

2. Other ways:

- Passive residence permit

- active residence permit

- Immigration to Andorra for scientists, professional athletes and artists.

We have already written about the pros of living in the Principality. As for the minuses, there is only one, but very significant. Namely, to obtain citizenship of the country, an immigrant must live for 20 years in Andorra, the last 10 of which are permanently absent. Unfortunately, dual citizenship is not allowed, so those who have decided to become citizens of Andorra will have to give up their native citizenship.

Residence Permit of Andorra

stamping

Indeed by now, every reader of this article is wondering, "what is a residence permit?"

A residence permit is a permit to live in a country. When we talk about a European country with an excellent quality of life, housing, roads, education and medical care, willy-nilly begin to imagine pictures of the possible comfortable life in a place with the best environment, world-class ski resorts and the longest life expectancy.

By the way, it is worth bearing in mind that the pace of life in Andorra is calm and measured, more like a country holiday. Those who are used to the hustle and bustle of the city can quickly get bored here.

In the Principality, you will not find skyscrapers, ample shopping and entertainment centres, an abundance of cafes and restaurants. And the lack of industrial enterprises, factories, and plants result from the fact that the country is rightly ranked among the first in the world for air purity.

Let's look at the main differences between types of residence permits.

Passive residence permit

passports

The most popular immigration option, which can be divided into several types:

1. Residence permit for investors without the right of employment. The total amount of investment must be at least 400 thousand euros. For 50 thousand euros, you need to pay a deposit in the Central Bank (plus 10 thousand for each dependent). The remaining savings within six months after obtaining residency must be invested in any of the following ways:

• in real estate (documented proof of ownership or lease of real estate will be required)

• Securities issued by the government of the Principality

• deposited in a local bank account (proof of financial standing will be required)

2. Residence permit for owners of international business. Suitable for those who have a business outside Andorra but would like to reside in the Principality. There are several conditions to obtain this type of residence permit:

• The main office must be registered in Andorra

• The organization has to conduct at least 85% of its activities outside the Principality

• At least one employee must be a resident of Andorra

• A bank account with more than 50,000 euros

3. Residence permit for scientific and educational work. It can be granted to those who plan to carry out non-profit activities in science, culture and sports. To obtain it, you need documents confirming the relevant qualification.

A passive resident must reside in the country for at least 90 days per year. In addition, he/she must not have a criminal record and be under 18 years of age.

The applicant needs to conclude a life and health insurance contract or a pension contract.

A residence permit without the right of actual employment allows its holder to become or not to become a tax resident of Andorra at his discretion. 

Andorra residence permit has its validity period. Passive residence must be renewed: the first three renewals - every two years, the fourth - for four years, the fifth - for ten years.

Active residence permit

stamping

It gives the right to work. Get an active residence permit for Andorra can be in two ways:

1. Get a job as an employee. The advantages of this method are that the contributions to the Social Security Fund in the first year of employment can be reduced by 50%, and if the annual income of 24,000 euros or less, you will not have to pay income tax.

2 - Opening a business in Andorra. The conditions are as follows: you must be the company's head and own at least 21% of the shares issued by it. A bonus, in this case, will be the absence of taxation on dividends paid to you from these shares. Setting up your own company can take up to ten weeks. But once the business is up and running, all immigration procedures must be completed within a few days. And to prove his willingness to be involved in investing in the Andorran economy from the applicant will be required to deposit 15 thousand euros to the account of the Andorran National Institute of Finance. When closing the business, the money is returned to the owner.

Active residency involves staying in the country for 183 days a year. It is valid for a year, after which it must be extended: the first two times for two years, then for 5 and 10 years.

Property in Andorra

It is no secret that many people prefer to buy property in Andorra because of the low taxes and the relatively low housing prices. The cost per square meter varies from 1 to 5 thousand euros.

Thus, you can buy a two-bedroom apartment with furniture for 150-200 thousand euros at the ski resorts. For prime housing with a view of the mountains, you have to pay 400 thousand euros.

If, as a resident, you decide to sell the apartment bought to get a residence permit, be prepared to prove the fact that you are renting or intend to buy another house. But to help those who are only going to get a residence permit will not register in their apartment.

As you can see, the benefits of immigration to the Principality of Andorra is more than enough. Among other things, the country can be proud of:

 - The implementation of a system to improve safety on the roads, resulting in the installation of audible signals at crosswalks of busy streets

• hosting entertainment events such as the Winter and Historic Rally

• subsidies of up to 9 thousand euros for the purchase of ecological vehicles

• conversion to electronic documents for the protection of nature and the environment

• democracy, freedom of speech and press freedom

• National sales are open to all citizens of the country, which promotes shopping tourism

• Catalan language courses are available free of charge

• Increase in the construction of new apartments and

• apartment buildings

• Increase in the minimum wage and pensions

As a result, this makes Andorra's reputation at an international level very attractive to those planning to immigrate. And the projected growth of the country's economy will improve the financial condition of residents of the Principality.

We hope that this article was helpful to you and that you got an answer to the question of "residence permit in Andorra - what is it and who is eligible?" as well as the difference between the passive and active residence of the country.

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Daiva Ulyavichute

Daiva was born in Lithuania, but almost all her conscious life she lives in Belarus - the most beautiful region of lakes, forests and fields. She has always liked to put her thoughts on paper, whether it was keeping a diary or a school essay. By the way, while she was still a schoolgirl, Daiva wrote a children's book. No less critical hobby in her life is travelling and visiting new places. The nearest and the main goal for Daiva is the dream of a miniature house by the sea in picturesque Spain. The list of countries she visited includes such countries as Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Bali, India, Sri Lanka, Spain, Montenegro, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Russia.

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