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Visas, Residency, Immigration and Documentation

Andorra - Visas, Residency, Immigration and Documentation

Due to the high ratio of foreigners to Andorrans in the Principality, the Govern d'Andorra has introduced selective methods of admitting new residents into the country. Residence permits, called residencias, are available to applicants, retired or otherwise, who have an address in the Principality and who genuinely wish to reside in Andorra and become an active member of the community. The applicants must be in possession of a private income sufficient that he/she need not seek remunerative employment within the Principality. Once the applicant has been accepted, his residencia is issued for a period of one year, renewable after the first year for a period of 3 years. Applying for a residencia is a fairly lengthy procedure and must be conducted in the official language, Catalan.

Applications for residencias are handled by the Immigration Department of the Police.

Each application is considered independently following guidelines dictated by the current legislation on residents passius.

Anyone spending over 183 days in any calender year in the country is by default a resident and is expected to apply for a residencia. A resident is therefore understood to reside in the country for at least 183 days in any calender year.

A resident must have a bona fide address which may not be an hotel or post box.

Someone who is not officially resident is by default a tourist. A tourist may own a property in Andorra and enjoy it for a period of up to 183 days per year. This rule has not been strictly enforced in the past and there is at present no active policy of checking people in and out of the country.

Residence Permit Application Procedure

1. The applicant must provide himself/herself with a residential address in the Principality.

2. The applicant must personally open a bank account in the Principality; this cannot normally be arranged by a third party.

3. A yellow form of application must be collected from the police Immigration Department. This form must be completed in Catalan and submitted together with the following documents (originals or notarized copies only):

a. Passport (photocopy).
b. Birth Certificate.
c. Marriage or Divorce Certificate.
d. Certificate of Good Conduct from the police in your country of origin.
e. Proof of income/pensions from bank or other institution.
f. Proof of an address in Andorra. Title Deed.
g. Two passport type photographs.
h. Proof of a Private Health Plan.

The application can take some time to process although a formal receipt is given on presentation of completed documentation. During this time applicants are advised to keep in touch with the immigration authorities, particularly before and after leaving Andorra for trips abroad.

The following are the amendments/explanations to the law governing residents passius and applicable to all new residents and existing residents who are not pensioners:

- New residents will not have to pay an annual tax. There will be no assessment of income or assets and no inheritance tax.

- Foreign residents, individuals and heads of households, will be required to deposit the sum of 24,000 Euros with I.N.A.F., the Andorran Finance Agency. There is an additional deposit of 6000 Euros for the spouse. The deposit is returnable on leaving Andorra or giving up the residencia. The deposit does not earn interest. A further deposit of 6000 Euros is payable for any other dependent, e.g. each child under the age of 18, parent-in-law etc.

- Persons residing in Andorra for more than 183 days per year will be considered as residents and subject to current regulations.

- New applicants must show that they have an annual income of not less than three (3) times the minimum annual salary level stipulated by Andorran Social Security regulations, at present this is 9402 Euros per annum. This amount is increased by a factor of one for each dependent. We have been informed by Credit Andorra that if they are asked for a certificate to substantiate this requirement then they must have a similar amount in cash in the account in Andorra. This will naturally attract interest at the current rates. However, clients may choose to provide acceptable evidence to the immigration authorities e.g. statement of pension income.

- New residents must provide proof of a private healthcare insurance cover on a par with that provided by C.A.S.S., the Andorran Social Security System.

- Certificates of Good Conduct - British nationals must register with the Honorary British Consul in Andorra, currently Mr. Hugh Garner, and get a certificate of registration from him.

Think hard...do you really need a residencia? If you cannot or do not wish to spend 183 days in the year here you can probably get by with 'tourist' status.

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