The Andorran government needs to change the law on immigration to be in line with the current economic and social situation, says the general counsel SDP (mixed parliamentary group), Victor Naudi Zamora

The Government of Andorra presented to the parliament of the Principality amendments to the law on immigration of May 31, 2012 (Projecte de llei qualificada de modificació de la Llei 9/2012, del 31 de maig). The SDP general councilor of the Mixed group, Victor Naudi Zamora speaks to about the government’s proposals to improve the legislation of Andorra (Pyrenees):

“On May 31, 2012, the Andorran General Council passed the law of 9/2012 amending the Immigration Act, which modernized the regulation of passive residencies. The passive residence has become a “non-profit residence” (“residències sense lucrative activity”). At the same time, two new types of immigration without the right to work have emerged that allow specialists in the field of international projects, scientists, sportsmen and cultural personalities to live in Andorra.

On October 10, 2013, the law was further amended due to the widening of the range of immigration permits with the right to work for non-residents. The goal is to enable Andorran businesses to hire people who work and live outside of Andorra.

Now, the government needs to change the law again, in order to be in line with the current economic and social situation. In particular, the new bill will give students the right to reside temporarily. This applies to students from countries which have an agreement with Andorra concerning education programs with the opportunity to work. It is assumed that this category of citizens can work a maximum of 16 hours per week.

The duration of the temporary immigration permit for young people with a job opportunity is six months maximum and this period cannot be extended. The permit is valid for students aged 18 to 25.

The changes will also affect Article N27, which regulates the temporary work permits and temporary immigration for employees from foreign companies. This authorization can only be extended until the end of the employee’s job, of which motivated the issuance of this permit. The permit may be renewed each time for a period not exceeding six months.

Changes will affect Article N38, which regulates the activities of private entrepreneurs. A work permit for persons belonging to the category of foreign investors may be issued if the private entrepreneur owns at least 10% of the registered company in Andorra.

A private entrepreneur who aspires to this category of authorization is required to hold a management position in a company. Within three months from the date of registration of the application for an immigration permit, a private entrepreneur belonging to this category, is required to deposit 30000 euros in the National Institute of Finance of Andorra (INAF). This amount remains in the form of a pledge in case of non-respect of the obligations contracted in the Principality of Andorra. Its aim is to limit workers who come to Andorra in the context of small companies or sports clubs. Authorization does not allow them to change or find another job. For example, some salaried football players were abusing this standard by working in other sectors, something they weren’t allowed to do because of quotas. This amendment has nothing to do with that of private entrepreneurs who register companies in Andorra as SLU (Sociedad Limitada Unipersonal).

The amendments to Article N96 “Investments in Andorran Assets” provide for a new type of passive residence – a non-profit residence in the territory of Andorra. In this case, a resident can work and make profits in other countries. In this case, the applicant must make a deposit to INAF for an amount of 50000 euros. The principal applicant is also required to pay 10,000 euros for each employee who will obtain a similar resident status without the right to make a profit in Andorra. The deposit is returned in the cases of cancellation of the authorization, but there remains the right to withhold the amount in cases of non-compliance with the obligations stated in the Principality of Andorra.

Similar changes have been made to Article N99 and concern specialists in the international professions, sciences, culture, and athletes. In order to obtain a residence, candidates belonging to this category must also make a deposit to INAF for an amount of 50000 euros plus 10000 euros for each employee.

People in this category can create businesses to manage their assets, with a 50% or bigger stake. They may also continue to develop their own professional activities, provided that their main clients are people who do not live in Andorra. This requirement must be met for at least 85% of the services provided by the resident in the fields of science, culture, and sports.

Family members have the right to family reunification and residence with the applicant. Family reunification takes place in one year and is confirmed three times every two years. This is extended to seven years after a residence permit is issued for ten years.

The amendments were presented to parliament in October of this year. Until 6 December, the amendments are being discussed. Then, the parliamentary commission will vote and after, the amendments will be submitted to the vote of the General Council. The question should be resolved in February-March 2018.”

See also Andorra banking system

See also Andorra business guide

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