New Residence for Digital Nomads in Andorra: Key Features
Key aspects of the new visa permit category for Digital Nomads in Andorra
New Andorra law on Digital Nomads: key aspects
Nowadays, economic activities are increasingly present in the digital space. Many activities even take place solely in this space through technologies that allow remote working or conducting business in a delocalised manner. Likewise, this reality is increasingly being carried out by entrepreneurs who want to optimise their time and resources to generate value for their clients.
Digital Nomads are one of the most popular business actors in the world and the importance of these entrepreneurs has been increased after the COVID 19 crisis. Navigating for the web, you can find very useful information such as Conde Nast Travellers; Nomad List (this is particularly accurate and complete) or Visa Guide World.
It is quite interesting to see that, according to these guides, Andorra is the top country in terms of Internet Speed (156 mb/s); Safety and it is very good ranked in quality of life and other key aspects.
This is why taking into account the need to diversify the Andorran economy. With the desire to offer a secure and predictable legal framework in which local and foreign investors can place their trust, the Parliament of Andorra approved the digital economy, entrepreneurship and innovation (from now on, the “Digital Economy Act”). This law proposes a regulation covering a wide range of issues related to the promotion of the digital sector, support for entrepreneurship and the promotion of innovation.
In this sense, aspects such as, for example, the possibility of creating special economic zones within the national territory that can offer spaces where established companies can have and generate competitive advantages or the creation of test areas where entrepreneurs can develop innovative products and services are some of the measures regulated by this law. Likewise, it also aims to generate an ecosystem that feeds back into the generation and growth of innovative companies that position Andorra as a competitive country when it comes to undertaking economic activity in the digital space.
In this sense, the Digital Act also focuses on physical spaces, such as complementary common spaces, shared workspaces, and incubators and accelerators to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the country. Those who may choose Andorra to establish themselves can develop their business projects. It also focuses on digital institutions, such as open access to data and document and data exchange gateways, which must support the digital transformation in which we are immersed. Only by providing the Principality with a flexible, modern and agile regulation that facilitates the development of business initiatives that add value to the Andorran economy as a whole will it be possible to generate the competitive advantages necessary for Andorran companies to be able to take on their projects with guarantees, both within and beyond its borders.
Andorrra Visa for Digital Nomads
Of all the measures introduced by the Digital Act, one of the most noteworthy is creating a new residence permit for digital nomads. Specifically, the Law devotes an entire Title to regulating “Immigration authorisations for digital nomads, entrepreneurial visas and other immigration measures to promote the digitalization
The first matter to solve is: What is a Digital Nomad in Andorra according to Law?
The law does not define this concept, but we can define a Digital Nomad as an individual dedicated primarily to IT/Digital world that, as a consequence of the new technologies, can work remotely from a wherever place.
By means of an amendment to the Andorran Immigration Act, in addition to increasing the amounts of the deposits that must be paid to apply for self-employed residence and work permits (active) and non-working residence (passive) to €50,000 and €600,000 respectively, the Digital Act introduces new types of residence in the Principality of Andorra for foreigners who contribute to the development of the Digital businesses, entrepreneurship or innovation in the Principality of Andorra. Specifically, these foreigners are those who do not require a specific geographical location to carry out their work and use telecommunications and technology and those chosen to participate in the programme for foreign entrepreneurs promoted by the ministry in charge of the economy.
At the same time, it relaxes the criteria for the granting of immigration authorisations for work without residency for workers who contribute to the development of the Digital sector, entrepreneurship or innovation in the Principality of Andorra so that the foreign worker in question, contracted by a legally constituted company in Andorra, does not necessarily have to have a fixed salary of more than three times the minimum wage in force at any given time.
Finally, it also promotes the relaxation of the criteria for the granting of residency and self-employment authorisations so that the foreign person concerned does not have to deposit the amount of fifty thousand euros (€50,000) with the Andorran Financial Authority at the same time as the application for immigration authorisation is submitted, if the Andorran company constituted under which the immigration authorisation is requested has been constituted for a purpose that promotes the Digital development, entrepreneurship or innovation in the Principality of Andorra.
Types of workers (self-employed or employees) who may apply for this new type of residence permit
Foreign persons who do not require a specific geographical location to carry out their work and who use telecommunications and technology:
a) Employee under contract with an employer established in another country.
b) Self-employed workers who provide services to persons or entities not resident in the Principality of Andorra.
c) Self-employed worker who carries out a professional activity for the benefit of a commercial company or another entity established in another country in which he/she has a shareholding or forms part of its administrative body.
Requirements for obtaining a residence permit for a digital nomad OR DIGITAL NOMAD VISA
To obtain an immigration residence permit for foreigners who contribute to the development of digital development and entrepreneurship, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
1) Obtain a favourable resolution from the ministry in charge of the economy for being considered a person who carries out their work does not require having a specific geographical location and uses telecommunications and technology, or have obtained a favourable resolution to participate in the programme for foreign entrepreneurs promoted by the said ministry.
2) Proof of sufficient financial means to allow the applicant and his/her dependents, or those of his/her spouse or stable partner, to reside in the Principality of Andorra for the duration of the residence.
3) Justify and have in force in Andorra coverage and insurance for illness and disability for the applicant and the dependants, or for the dependants of the spouse or stable partner during the whole period of validity of the residence.
4) Documentary proof that the applicant is the owner or tenant of a property in the Principality of Andorra.
5) Commitment of the applicant to establish his/her principal and effective residence in Andorra for at least 90 days per calendar year, as well as to maintain in force the insurance contract indicated in point 3).
The procedure for obtaining the corresponding decision referred to in point 1), as well as the details of the financial means to be accredited shall be established by regulation. In this respect, the Law requires the Government of Andorra to approve the regulations necessary to implement and apply the measures within a maximum period of one year from its entry into force.
Family reunification for holders of the residence permit for digital nomads
The foreigner holder of a residence immigration permit for foreigners who contribute to the development of the digital economy and entrepreneurship may apply for family reunification on the same terms as holders of other types of residence permits in Andorra once he/she has been legally and effectively and permanently resident in Andorra for three months.
The persons who may be reunited are the following:
a) The spouse or the member of the stable partnership.
b) Their minor children and the minor children of the spouse for whom they have legal guardianship and custody.
c) Their children of full age and the children of the spouse of full age, for whom they have legal guardianship or are under their protection in a similar institution.
d) Dependent relatives in the ascending line who are at least 65 years old or retired.
e) Other persons than those mentioned in the previous letters when the applicant exercises legal guardianship or has them under his/her protection in the framework of another similar institution recognised by the Andorran legal system and not contrary to the national public order, provided that both parents have lost or have been extinguished their parental authority.
Critical questions about the new residence permit for digital nomads:
Who will be able to apply for this new residence permit?
Foreigners who do not require a specific geographical location to carry out their work and use telecommunications and technology and those chosen to participate in the programme for foreign entrepreneurs promoted by the ministry in charge of the economy.
How can I prove that I do not require a specific geographical location to work and that I use telecommunications and technology?
Through a resolution of the ministry in charge of the economy through a procedure established by regulation within a maximum period of 1 year.
Do I have to meet any other requirements?
In addition to the above resolution, you must have a dwelling in Andorra, sign a commitment to reside in Andorra for a minimum of 90 days per year, have sufficient financial means and have a valid insurance contract for the applicant and those who come with him/her to the Principality of Andorra.
What documentation is required?
In the absence of determining the requirements and details by regulation, especially for the accreditation of economic means and the possibility of working from any place, in the same way as for the rest of the residence permits, the applicant will have to provide the passport, the apostilled criminal record certificates of his/her country of birth, nationality, last residence and other countries in which he/she has resided.
Is it necessary for Digital Nomads to deposit the amount of €50,000 with the Andorran Financial Authority?
No. Suppose the applicant comes as a self-employed person and sets up a company in Andorra with this residence permit. In that case, it will not be necessary to deposit this amount with the Andorran Government as long as the purpose of the company set-up is to promote the digital economy, entrepreneurship or innovation in the Principality of Andorra.
Am I only eligible for this residence permit if I come as self-employed and incorporate a company in Andorra?
No. The types of workers covered by the Digital Economy Act also include employees contracted by a company from another country and self-employed workers with a shareholding in a foreign company who form part of its administrative body.
If I obtain the residence permit for digital nomads, can I bring my wife and children to Andorra?
Yes, this new residence permit also allows family reunification, just like any other residence permit.
Can my family come with me immediately?
No. The holder of the digital nomad residence permit must first have stayed legally, permanently and effectively for three months before being able to apply for family reunification.
Notwithstanding the above, any tourist can legally stay in Andorra for a maximum of 3 months per calendar year, so in practice, there is no problem for the whole family to move at the same time and, after the tourist permit has expired, then apply for reunification.
For any further questions or clarification on the new Digital Economy Act and the new residence permit for digital nomads, please do not hesitate to contact FINTAX ANDORRA, as well as to book an online consultation. We have organized a webinar for next Friday, 23rd, 2023 with 3 Digital Nomads to talk about the pros and cons of this new option and other alternatives. If you are interested, you can book a ticket for the webinar Digital Nomads Andorra.