Europe immigration. Citizenship and residence: Andorra
Contemporary immigration legislation of Andorra encompasses 2 categories of so called “passive” residence without labor permit (Categories A and C), as well as 2 categories of “active” residence with labor permit (Category B and “active residence”):
Look for details here: residence permit (permanent residence) Category A (residents sense activitat lucrative)
Regular immigration legislation amendments came into effect on November 15, 2013. In accordance to them from the given time “passive” residence status will be given for 2-year term, then for 2-year term again and after that for 3-year term (previously it used to be 1+3+3). Subsequent prolongation (permanent residence) makes up 10 years, after that a resident may apply for the citizenship of Andorra. The prolongation of “active” residence is implemented in accordance to the scheme: 1+2+2+5+10. Further on an “active” resident may apply for the citizenship of Andorra.
Currently the Government of Andorra is preparing the bill, related to the diminishing of the terms of residence before getting the opportunity to apply for the citizenship of Andorra. Andorran legislation prohibits double citizenship and demands the applicant to refuse from his previous citizenship.
The legal base for obtaining the citizenship of Andorra is presented in the Law “On citizenship” from October 5, 1995 (amended by the Law from May 27, 2004).
One may apply for the citizenship of Andorra in the following cases:
European citizenship in Andorra by birth:
A child, born on the territory of Andorra, has the right for the citizenship:
— In case his farther and (or) mother are the citizens of Andorra;
— A child, born on the territory of Andorra in the family of foreigners that have residential status, has the right for getting the passport of citizen right after his/her birth.
The European citizenship of Andorra by “naturalization”:
To get the citizenship of Andorra it is necessary to live 20 years on the territory of the Principality with “passive” residence or 20 years with “active” residence status. Those who get education in Andorra have the right for getting the citizenship after 10 years of living in the Principality.
All categories of applicants should meet the following requirements:
1/ An applicant should be no younger than 18 (husband or wife, children no older than 26 can be attributed to the category of dependents)
2/ The evidences of financial independence
3/ The absence of criminal contacts. Police clearance certificate.
4/ Rented or acquired real estate on the territory of Andorra
5/ The investments in the economy of the country in the amount of 400 000 euro.
6/ Medical insurance in Andorra
7/ The absence of serious diseases (obligatory medical examination in Andorra)
8/ The obligation to live on the territory of Andorra no less than 90 days annually
9/ The preparation of the list of apostilled documents, translated in Catalan (currently this list is being complemented for the citizens of Russia and other countries of Eastern Europe: see the article “The process of preparation and registration of the documents”).
In accordance to the data from January 16, 2016 the total limit for all types of residence permits makes up 500 vacancies:
At that an applicant and his dependents are estimated to be an integral unit. The given amount doesn’t present the annual standard; it can be alternated by the Government of Andorra.
The comparative characteristics of obtaining residence permits in Andorra, other European countries or the USA and Canada, demonstrate an incomparable advantage of “Andorran variant” in all dimensions: the simplicity of the process, guarantees for obtaining residence permit, the amount of invested funds and the spent time. “Passive” residence Category A without labor permit (the minimum invested sum is 420000 euro) or “active” residence type with the assistance in company’s registration (minimum invested sum is about 10000 euro) are considered to be the most popular variants of immigration to Andorra.
Active residence with labor permit offers immigrants the same rights as the rights of Andorran citizens, including medical service and pension maintenance. The only difference between “active” and “passive” residence is the obligation of “active” residents to stay on the territory of the Principality for 365 days annually contrary to 90-day rule for “passive” resident. Nevertheless, unlike in neighbor Spain and France, in Andorra such checks are nominal and are limited mostly to the housing and utility bills enquiries from the side of Immigration Department.
In the near future “active” residence Category B may be annihilated due to the absence of interest from the side of applicants and be substituted by other new categories.