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Moving to Andorra: A Complete Guide to Andorra Immigration

By
Jose Maria ALFIN
on
October 28, 2022

Moving to Andorra comes with numerous tax benefits. Get the facts and details with a complete guide Moving to Andorra Immigration | Fintax Andorra

Do you ever wish you could pick up and move somewhere else? If life stresses you out, you may want to look into Andorra immigration to see if the small country is correct for you.

It may be in the mountains, but Andorra has much to offer people. Consider how to move there and why you should determine if it's the right choice.

Keep reading for more.

Know How to Get to Andorra

One of the most critical steps in Andorra immigration is getting to the country. No matter where you're moving from, you can't fly directly into Andorra.

You will need to fly into La Seu Urgell, which is 20 minutes from Andorra, and you can fly there from Madrid. Then, you can take a bus to the Andorra border and cross into the country.

Andorra doesn't have an airport or train station, so the bus is the only way to get in and out.

Understanding how to get to Andorra can help you plan for your move. That way, you'll have time to get to your new home and settle in before you start work or school.

Apply for Residency

‍Next, you'll need to decide if you want to apply for Andorra passive residence or active residence permit. Passive residence (or administrative residence) requires you to stay in the country for at least 90 days and invest €400,000 in Andorran assets.

Alternatively, you can get a permit to run your own business. You'll need to have €15,000 and your own company.

A third option is to get a work permit through an employer in Andorra.

Active residence (or tax residence) requires you to spend more than 183 days per year in the country. It requires that Andorra is your centre of vital interest and economic interest.

However, you can work in Andorra and take advantage of healthcare and the low tax rates. You'll get a tax residency certificate after six months of living in Andorra.

How to Choose the Type of Residency

Consider any exit tax you may have to pay where you currently live. You should also consider whether you're moving to Andorra alone or with your family.

Knowing where you'll earn the majority of your income. The passive residence may be a better option if that's not Andorra.

Look For a Job

Unless you start a business or continue your current self-employment in Andorra, you'll need to find a job. Getting a job can help you get a work permit to make money after moving to Andorra.

You must apply for the residence and self-employment program if you're self-employed. Andorra allows 900 people to live in the country annually through this program.

You can also look for a job in the country. In that case, your employer will take care of organising your seasonal work permit, so you shouldn't have to worry about it.

The tourism sector is an excellent industry to work in when you live in Andorra. However, you don't have to work in tourism to fulfil the Andorra visa requirements.

Apply for a Work Permit

If your employer doesn't help you apply for a work permit, you'll need to do so yourself. You will need to provide a copy of your passport and your CV and photos.

Andorra also requires a housing status certificate to ensure you have somewhere to live. That way, you can move to the country and settle without searching for housing.

Married couples should also provide a copy of a certificate of their marital status. All of this can help make your case for pursuing Andorra's active residence so that you can live and work there.

Research Places to Live

To ensure you have all of your documentation to apply for residency, look at potential places to live. You can find apartments, houses, and other types of residences.

If you already have a job offer, consider how far away you want to live from work. Andorra is very small, so you may not need to live in the same city as your job to have a short commute.

Maybe you want to live in the capital Andorra la Vella, or in a smaller town. All cities and towns can be great locations, but the place for you depends on your situation.

Decide if You'll Buy or Rent

As you plan your relocation to Andorra, consider if you want to buy or rent a property. Buying can be an excellent choice if you plan to stay in Andorra long term and pursue Andorra active residence.

However, renting can also be a fantastic choice, especially when moving to Andorra. You don't have to worry about buying a home in an area you don't like.

If you find you want to move within Andorra, you can do so when your lease ends. Consider the pros and cons of renting and buying a home to make the best choice for you.

Consider Opening a Bank Account

An Andorra tax advisor may tell you to open a bank account once you get to the country. That way, you can receive money from a job or from local clients for your business.

You will also be able to access your money in Euros, the local currency. Even if we're reaching the end of cash, having a local bank account offers many benefits.

For example, some of the money you earn from an Andorran bank deposit won't be subject to taxes. Having a local bank account also means you won't have to deal with currency conversion whenever you want to buy something.

Transfer Your Money

After you set up your bank account, you should transfer enough money to support yourself. Then, you'll be able to pay for housing and other expenses before you get your first local paycheck.

You can also transfer extra money if you want to jump into cryptocurrency investing. You'll be able to work with a cryptocurrency advisor in Andorra to help support the correct currencies.

Even if you don't want to invest in cryptocurrency, having the extra money available is helpful. You never know when something may go wrong and delay a paycheck.

Think About the Languages

You may be able to get by in Andorra if you only speak English. However, it helps to learn at least a bit of Catalan, Spanish, or French, the country's most common languages.

Catalan is the official language, but Spanish and French are somewhat similar. Learning one or more languages may help you stand out when applying for jobs since employers won't need to translate things.

Knowing the language will also help you get through the visa application yourself. You won't have to hire an interpreter to help you understand the questions on the forms.

Prepare for Healthcare Costs

One of the biggest differences you may experience after moving to Andorra is the healthcare system. Americans will have to get used to paying into a government-run health insurance program.

The program covers over 90% of Andorran residents, including all salaried employees. You'll have to purchase private health insurance if you don't have coverage.

In either case, the cost may be a bit more than you're used to, especially if you're healthy. However, you won't have to worry about your health costs going up and down from month to month.

Fortunately, the government of Andorra program can cover you if you get sick when travelling to Spain, France, or Portugal. You should inform the government of your travels to ensure they'll reimburse you for your expenses.

Review the School System

If you have or want kids, you should look at the Andorran school system. Luckily, Andorra has some of the best schools, and your children can attend school in the country for free.

Most schools teach in Catalan, French, Spanish, and even English. That can help your children get accustomed to the languages in the area, but they can learn in a language they understand.

The country has public and private schools if you prefer to send your child there. However, you can't homeschool your children if they're residents of Andorra because they have to attend school from ages 6 to 16.

Andorra also offers maternal education to children between three and six years old. Teenagers 16 to 18 can enrol in upper secondary education, but those programs aren't required.

If you currently have or plan to have kids, you want to move somewhere that will offer them a great education. Andorra is an excellent place to raise your children and set them up for their futures.

Each city has public schools, and your child can learn various languages. If you want to start their education early, maternal education is an option, though you don't have to do it.

Upper secondary education is another optional form of schooling. After your child turns 16, they can finish school or continue learning to prepare for college or university.

You don't need to worry about the cost of your child's schooling through the free school system. That can help you save more money to use for other things.

Pack Your Belongings

The last foremost step before moving to Andorra is packing and shipping your belongings. If you have significant investments that you want to bring, you may want to talk with an Andorra lawyer.

They can help you explore your options for transferring or selling investments. If that's not a concern, you can simply pack all of your stuff as if you were moving domestically.

Be sure to consider what items you want to keep with you during the trip to Andorra. Then, you can pack those in a carry-on or in a suitcase that you check when you get to the airport.

You may need to sell your home, car, and other items that you won't bring with you. If you'll be a passive resident, you might choose to put the items in storage.

Why Move to Andorra

Even if you understand how Andorra immigration works, you should consider why you should move there. The country may not be massive, but it offers plenty of benefits.

That way, you'll be able to determine if Andorra is the right country for you. If so, you can then look into the various cities in the country to find your perfect job and home.

Here are some of the best reasons to move to Andorra.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other European countries, Andorra is an affordable place to live. You may be able to save almost a third of your money if you move to Andorra.

Individuals and families should live comfortably without needing a massive income. That means you can afford to work less and spend more time doing things you live.

Food and housing are relatively affordable, as are healthcare and other services. Plus, Andorra's location makes it easy and affordable to travel to other parts of Europe.

Barcelona makes for an excellent day trip, while Toulouse and other cities in France and Spain are great weekend getaways. If you don't want to worry about money, Andorra may be your place.

Low Taxes

Of course, you also enjoy paying less tax in Andorra (in this link you can try a simulation through our calculator). This is good for employees and entrepreneurs, so you can save more of your money to spend on housing or food.

Alternatively, you can put more money into cryptocurrency or other investments. A good blockchain advisor in Andorra can help you decide how much to invest and where to put your money.

That way, you can invest in things taxes don't apply to, saving even more money. And you'll be able to enjoy living in Andorra, or you can move and pay less in exit tax.

The Andorran Government is committed to maintaining the tax rates at the current level.

One of the safest countries in the world

Andorra claims to be one of the safest countries in the world, and the claims hold up. The country has almost no violent crimes yearly, and some people will even return your purse if you leave it behind.

Residents may leave their cars unlocked when they go shopping. Firearms are hard to obtain compared to other countries, which keeps gun use rates low. Low unemployment also helps minimise crime.

Another factor that makes Andorra safe is the border patrol. You can only enter from a few points, and the country checks you thoroughly to make sure you're safe to enter.

Of course, it's impossible to guarantee that no crime will ever happen. However, the odds are much lower in Andorra than in many other countries.

Gorgeous Views

If you like nature, you'll love living in Andorra. Its location in the middle of the Pyrenees Mountains makes Andorra the perfect place to go hiking or rafting, and you can partake in winter sports.

Even if you don't want to do a ton of physical activity, you can go sightseeing in various cities. There are also plenty of parks for you and your family to visit, so you can explore plants and animals.

You may even be able to get a home with a beautiful view of the mountains. Andorra can be an excellent location for people who love nature.

Progressive Healthcare

Healthcare systems vary between countries, and Andorra's is one of the most progressive. It's one of the top five healthcare systems in the world, and it's up there with Switzerland and Norway.

The country has a relatively high ratio of doctors to residents, at four doctors per thousand people. That can make it easier to book an appointment when you need care.

While you do have to pay into the system, you can benefit from plenty of coverage. Andorra's program covers maternity care, and it helps with hospital costs and checkups.

It can be hard to get used to the system, especially if you're moving from the United States. However, you may find it's more convenient, especially since it covers emergency care in certain other countries.

Welcoming Community

Moving internationally is a big decision, especially if you want to move alone. Fortunately, you will meet a welcoming community of people to help you settle in.

People in Andorra are nice to new people who come from different cultures. You may be able to find other people from your country to help you get to know the area.

The small population allows you to meet people more efficiently, and many people speak various languages. While it helps to learn Catalan, you don't need to when you first move to Andorra.

You can also find a nice tax advisor in Andorra to introduce you to the financial system. Then, you can set yourself up for success in the country.

Great Education System

If you currently have or plan to have kids, you want to move somewhere that will offer them a great education. Andorra is an excellent place to raise your children and set them up for their futures.

There are public schools in each city, and your child can learn various languages. If you want to start their education early, maternal education is an option, though you don't have to do it.

Upper secondary education is another optional form of schooling. After your child turns 16, they can finish school or continue learning to prepare for college or university.

You don't need to worry about the cost of your child's schooling through the free school system. That can help you save more money to use for other things.

Growing Economy

Low tax rates and thriving tourism industry have helped Andorra's economy grow. You have more buying power due to lower taxes, so you can buy items that come into the country.

Andorra has also become a more popular tourist spot, which helps the economy. There are hundreds of hotels and restaurants, which is excellent if you want to work in that industry.

However, the industry helps the country bring in more money. That way, you can enjoy free schools and good healthcare for as long as you're a resident.

Andorra's economy will probably never surpass that of a massive country. However, it's good to know that it's growing since that means it will most likely be an excellent place to live.

Fast Internet

If you need to use the internet often, Andorra can be a great place to live. A lot of homes there have modems that support faster connectivity, so you can communicate with people throughout Europe and the world.

Every home has fibre internet, which can run faster than dial-up and cable connections. Businesses also have great internet, so you can work from a restaurant or run your business with the internet.

Whether you want to work remotely or enjoy some Netflix after work, Andorra's internet can meet your needs. It's a great choice to become a passive or active resident.

As you look for somewhere to live, ask about the internet connection. Then, you can make sure you'll be able to stay in touch with people back home.

Andorra Immigration Made Easy

Moving abroad takes a lot of planning, but it comes with many benefits. If you're thinking about Andorra immigration, be sure to start planning as soon as you can.

Then, you can obtain the necessary documents and find a job. Soon enough, you'll be able to pack your bags and fly into Spain or France before taking a bus to Andorra.

Do you need help with the legal aspects of moving to Andorra? Learn about our services and contact us for a consultation.

Have you ever thought about packing all of your belongings, leaving familiarity behind, and moving to an entirely different country? Can free healthcare and education benefit you or your family members?

If the ex-pat lifestyle intrigues you, you may want to consider moving to the adorable and forward-thinking country of Andorra. Readers, beware: You may just want to relocate to Andorra after learning more about this European treasure!

Andorra is one of the best countries to work remotely, but plenty of in-person employment opportunities are also available. This guide explains everything about living in Andorra, including obtaining an Andorra residency.

Where Is Andorra?

Where Is Andorra? This small country is the 6th smallest in Europe and is landlocked between Spain and France. It is nestled in the picturesque Pyrenees mountains, providing crisp mountain air, excellent fishing opportunities, and plenty of winter sports activities.

The history of this tiny nation is traced back to the 13th century. Its history and beautiful landscape draw in about 8 million tourists per year.

Getting to Andorra

Due to its landlocked location and small stature, Andorra has no airport. However, this isn't as big of a problem as it sounds.

The closest airport to Andorra is La Seu d'Urgell in Spain, only a 20-minute cab ride away.

The largest nearby airports are Barcelona, Spain, and Toulouse, France. Both are about 2.5 hours away, so plan accordingly if you fly into one of these larger airports.

You can take a local bus or a private car directly to Andorra from these international airports.

The Community

So who lives in Andorra? As of 2022, the population of Andorra is 77,006, which makes it one of the smallest countries in the world.

The inhabitants are people from many different ethnic backgrounds, including other European country residents, Americans, and individuals from the Philippines. Most historic immigrants into the region were French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English and these demographics still comprise much of the population today.

Andorra has attracted skiers worldwide, and many have chosen to expatriate to this country to ski year-round. Some expatriate individuals once visited the country as tourists but have since moved to Andorra full-time. Others have immigrated to this country from other European countries for a higher-paying job or are chasing seasonal ski resort work.

There is also a large demographic of other retired people from all over the world who have chosen to relocate to Andorra for retirement. Given that the country is small and quiet, many individuals around the age of 60 have chosen to live in this country permanently to enjoy their leisure, non-working time.

Although Andorra is tiny, there is always something to do. The local schools host regular events and celebrations such as community breakfasts or Christmas school plays. There are also outdoor adventure club groups that meet routinely to explore Andorra's exquisite outdoors.

The Benefits of Living in Andorra

Below are multiple benefits of relocating to Andorra. Read here to learn more about the top appeals of the country.

Safety

Andorra prides itself on having an exceptionally low crime rate. It's not a rare occurrence for residents to leave their purses or phones unattended in this country, and the locals even claim that it is one of the safest countries in the world.

Only two roads lead out of the country, and the borders use surveillance highly, further reinforcing a high sense of security.

Andorrans are generally welcoming and friendly to tourists, and robberies are rare. Safety is one of the most important deciding factors when choosing a country to relocate to. Because of Andorra's guaranteed security, it is no doubt a hot spot for expatriates.

High Standard of Living

For its size, Andorra is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. The unemployment rate is also among the lowest globally at only 1.7%. It is easy for seasonal workers from nearby European countries to work in Andorra.

Even though Andorra is not in the European Union, it still uses the Euro. The minimum wage is 1,157.87 euros per month, which may not seem like a lot compared to other countries, but it is a good wage relative to the cost of living. You end up saving more money than spending while living in Andorra.

However, those with highly competitive jobs will earn much more than the national standard. For example, doctors earn 11,500 euros per month, lawyers earn 7,860 per month, and professors earn 5,580 euros per month.

Another benefit of relocating to Andorra for the high standard of living is a free education and free healthcare.

The real Estate market is in good momentum and increasing year after year. if you want to know more about that, please check our blog about steps to buy a property.

Cost of living

To put the national minimum wage into perspective, we will provide examples of how much it is to live in Andorra. Compared to other European countries, you will find lower living costs in Andorra and lower taxation.

You can find a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a parking garage in Andorra for 950 euros a month.

A standard meal will cost 9-15 euros, a gym membership with plenty of amenities will cost around 35 euros a month, and an annual ski pass is 180 euros a month.

So although the national minimum wage for entry-level jobs may not seem like much, the low cost of living provides plenty of wiggle room to afford fun activities, splurge purchases, and plenty of paycheck money saved.

Shopping in Andorra is also very inexpensive. Many products in Andorra are duty-free, so shopping in this country is cheaper than in other European countries.

The country offers over 2,000 stores to shop for just about any product, ranging from economical to luxurious.

Education

Public education is free, and there are schools in nearly every town in Andorra that international students may attend. Most classes are taught in the national language, Catalan, but some are also available in English, Spanish, and French.

Private schools are also free for Andorran residents. International students must pay for college, but the fees are very affordable. They typically range from 1,500 to 4,000 euros per year.

Leisure activities

There are so many Andorra outdoor activities. One of Andorra's most favoured winter sports is skiing. Skiers come from around the world to experience the fresh snow and the steep slopes of Andorra's Pyrenees mountains. As a result, ski resorts thrive during the winter and offer plenty of employment options.

Residents and tourists anticipate each year's winter skiing and snowboarding season in Andorra. The Grandvalira Resort is the most popular ski resort and offers 130 miles of skiable terrain.

Hiking is also another popular recreational activity in Andorra's Pyrenees mountains. You really get to experience the Andorra climate and geography while hiking. Trails wind by lakes, up steep mountain passes, and through wildflower meadows.

There are over 70 hiking trails in Andorra. The most popular include Coma Pedrosa, a strenuous 8.5-mile hike that goes through valleys and past lakes and refugees; Estanys de Tristaina, an easy 2.3-mile walk leading to a lake; and Pic de Casamanya, a challenging 4.6-mile hike that offers 360-degree panorama views of Andorra from the summit.

Mountain biking trails are accessible from late spring until late fall in Andorra. Many ski resorts turn into mountain biking trails when the snow melts and several backcountry trails.

If you need a little encouragement or have never biked off-trail before, Singletrack Safari is a mountain bike tour company in Andorra that plans the route for you, and they even provide lodging on overnight trips.

With over 20 crag locations, outdoor sport rock climbing is popular in Andorra in the summer months. This is a great way to get up close and personal with the towering Pyrenees mountains and truly experience the beauty of Andorra from an intimate climbing trip in the backcountry.

Andorra is a pristine location for Horseback riding. This is one of the best ways to experience a new country, as you will ride past the untamed beauty surrounding you. Andorra has multiple equestrian centres and plenty of guided horseback riding tours.

One of our favourites is this Panorama Trail Beach to Beach tour, an 11-day ride throughout Andorra and the neighbouring countries of Spain and France. This ride covers nearly 220 miles and is ideal for nature and adventure lovers.

There are many lakes in Andorra which provide excellent fishing excursions. This is a fun leisure activity that the inhabitants of Andorra love during the summer months.

We admire that the fishing in Andorra is regulated because it controls and protects the marine life. There is a maximum number of fish allowed per person per day. The fishing season officially lasts from March to November.

Pathway to European Citizenship

Andorra citizens can freely live between Spain, France, Portugal, and Andorra due to a special arrangement. They can even receive free healthcare and education and gain employment in any of the three other countries.

An Andorran passport means that you have access to 167 countries and even open, visa-free entry into Russia. Andorran citizens may also move freely in between the Schengen Zone.

Obtaining Residency

Moving to Andorra is perfect for many expatriates because income tax is not a deciding factor. Those wishing to move to Andorra have to apply for a residency permit for either passive or active residency.

A passive residency is a way to go for those who wish to obtain a resident status and receive the tax benefits but do not want to live in Andorra for the majority of the year. With this, you must be in the country for at least 90 days at a time, have money in a national bank, and have private health insurance.

As opposed to the 90-day active residency, an active, ongoing, and permanent residency also requires a minimum stay of 183 days (6 months) a year in Andorra.

There are four categories for obtaining permanent residence here.

1. Category A: invest 350,000 euros into Andorra. Buying a house or property is the most popular way to do so. You must also pay a 50,000 euro bond to the Andorran government.

2. Category B: start a company in Andorra and pay a 50,000 euro bond to the government.

3. Category C: be a world-class athlete, scientist, or personality.

4. Category D: start a company requiring more than 3,000 euros or invest in an Andorran company, owning 20% or more.

After living in Andorra for 20 years, residents and expatriates are eligible for naturalisation for citizenship. This period is reduced to 10 years for individuals who graduated from an Andorran university.

Work permits are also issued by the government and paid by the employer for all short and long-term residences. These permits are good for six months, and you are eligible for a full-time work permit after this period.

The Next Step

Now that you know where Andorra is, how to get there, who lives there, the available leisure activities, and how taxes and residency permits operate, you are ready to take the next step and either visit or relocate to Andorra. Andorra is a perfect retirement country, and obtaining residency is more accessible than most other countries.

Check out the rest of our blog for more information about living in Andorra. We hope you enjoy your time in this beautiful country.

Many things must be considered before taking a decision. Exit Tax and the differentials make the option interesting to HNWI or UHNWI or people with sufficient financial resources. SPECIALLY INTERESTING IS THE TAX TREATMENT ON CAPITAL GAINS DERIVED FROM FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS.
But, as we always say, there are many factors (not only personal but economical, exit tax and many personal circumstances).

immigration and Andorra is an exciting option, but the individual should consider all the pros and cons before deciding on this movement.