The Principality of Andorra is an ideal place to live for anyone who would like to live in a country with vast natural beauty, security, peace and quiet, a high standard of life and minimal taxes.
Andorra’s many special advantages include its magnificent Mediterranean climate with the noted influence of the high-mountain temperatures in the winter, and its wonderful infrastructures in terms of services, transport and telecommunications, which share all the high standards of those of Europe’s top cities.
Residence permits in Andorra
Andorra offers two different types of residency. Applicants can select one or the other depending on the type of lifestyle they seek. Hence, there is a distinction between:
• Active residency: which involves a job / business or professional activity
• Non-lucrative or passive residency
According to the legislation in Andorra, all foreign citizens who work in the country must have a work permit.
Any company in Andorra that hires a foreigner must process the residence permit with the Andorran Ministry of the Interior.
The residence and work permits in Andorra are subject to assigned quotas, meaning that there is a limitation for each area and profession.
As regards the period of such authorisations, for workers with Spanish, French or Portuguese nationality, the specific legislation is as follows: the first authorisation is for one year, with two consecutive renewal periods of two years each. Once those two periods have elapsed, the subsequent renewals are for ten-year periods.
For citizens of other countries, after the first year of issuance of the permit, the three subsequent renewals are for two-year periods. Once those periods have elapsed, the following renewals are for ten-year periods.
Active residence permit: rights and duties
When foreign citizens obtain their residence and work permits, they become subject to a number of rights and duties.
• Access to the national healthcare coverage in the country.
• Family reunification.
• They may make use of the Andorran Employment Service (in the event that they find themselves unemployed or wish to change jobs).
• Access to language resources: Catalan for adults in the Adult Training and Education Area.
• Access to information on any employment-related issue, at the Andorran Employment Inspection Service.
• They must carry their immigration permit with them at all times.
• They must register with the CASS (Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social, the Andorran Social Security Service).
• They must notify the government of any important changes, such as: company/business, marital status, address.
• They must not change the economic sector for which they have requested and obtained permission to work (during the first year). In accordance with international treaties, Spanish, French and Portuguese nationals are exempted from this duty.
• They must register their residential address with the Comú (Parish Council) of the Parish in which they take up residence.
• They may need to register with the Consulate of their country of origin (if necessary).
• They must obtain official recognition of their foreign driving licence with the Governmental Service of Official Procedures.
• They must change the licence plate of any foreign vehicles that they use in Andorra within the first year of residence in the country.
• They must officially cancel their residence in Andorra upon leaving the country.
Non-lucrative residency (also known as passive residency)
This type of residency corresponds to foreign citizens who decide to make the Principality of Andorra their main home, for at least 90 days per year.
Those who opt for this residence model may not undertake any professional or work-related activity in Andorra.
Requirements for non-lucrative residency
• The Principality of Andorra must be established as the main residence for all purposes, with a minimum presence in the country of 90 days per year.
• Those who opt for the non-lucrative residence model must invest at least €400,000 in assets (this investment can be made in real estate; it can be a bank deposit, an investment in an Andorran company; or it can take the form of an interest-free deposit in the INAF (Instituto Nacional Andorrá de Finances, the Andorran National Finance Agency).
• The resident must make a deposit of €50,000 (non-remunerated funds) into the Andorran National Finance Agency.
• For each dependent, the applicant must deposit an additional €10,000 (non-remunerated funds), and such dependents will then be considered non-lucrative residents of the Principality of Andorra.
Non-lucrative residence permits for internationally acclaimed professionals or for applicants of scientific, cultural or sports interest
Both types of non-lucrative residence are set up for professionals who are not nationals of Andorra and who take up residence in the country (with a minimum presence in Andorra of 90 days per year) and either carry out a professional activity with an international scope (those of the former case) or who are well-known in the scientific, cultural or sports world (those of the latter case).
For these types of non-lucrative residency in Andorra, the applicants must meet the following requirements:
• The applicant’s main residence must be the Principality of Andorra and the applicant must effectively be present in Andorra for at least 90 days each year.
• The holder of the residence permit must make a deposit of €50,000 (non-remunerated funds) into the Andorran National Finance Agency.
• The base from which the person carries out his/her activity must be established in the Principality of Andorra.
• For each dependent person, the applicant must deposit an additional sum of €10,000 (non-remunerated funds). Such dependents will then be considered non-lucrative residents of the Principality of Andorra.
• At least 85 % of the professional services rendered must be carried out outside of Andorra.
• The applicant must have at least one employee with an official work contract.
• The applicant must present a business plan with the corresponding feasibility report for evaluation and approval by the Government of the Principality of Andorra.
Andorra, a matchless destination
In recent years, many famous dignitaries have moved their residence to the Principality of Andorra.
Thanks to the magnificent natural environment, well-being and security that it offers, this country has managed to seduce many elite athletes, including Joaquim Rodríguez (Cycling), Aleix and Pol Espargaró (Motorcycle Racing) and Cyril Despres (Dakar Rally).
Most recently, the Baroness Thyssen and her family moved their residence to Andorra after long sojourns and holidays here.