Category D Active Residency
Category D (known locally as "Compte Propi") has recently been updated on 13 June 2018.
Previously, there was no bond requirement for this category, only an undertaking to work and live in Andorra with a degree of permanance and to develop the business in Andorra. This proved to be difficult to police and the police were indeed checking to verify compliance with these rules which seemed to have their subjective interpretation.
It is as yet unclear what the applicant will get in return for the newly required bond of 15,000 euros at the time of application but it is clear the police will continue to check and they will need proof of the applicants stay here together with checking the books of accounts and annual returns. The required stay is now 183 days per year as opposed to a minimum of 90 days for passive residency categories.
Any person holds more than 20% of an Andorran Company and who exercises the role of Director can apply and that includes spouses etc.
This category is a work permit category and you are subject to all the rules and regulations as a full working member of the society. Implied in this is that you must then be a fiscal resident and that brings into play the IRPF liabilities on world wide income if applicable. Please refer to the IRPF page if you have not yet been made aware of tax implications.
Also to be aware of in this Category is that a spouse cannot apply until after 12 months has passed from the approval of the head of household, however if the spouse is made a 20% or more shareholder then they can apply together. The spouse though will be required to be working as a director of the company and also be required to contribute to CASS ( The social security system) and as a shareholder/director you will be required to pay CASS as an "autonom" and at autonom fixed rates ( see below).
There are several stages involved in category D and they are:
Forming the company: My associate lawyer and accountants will advise you through the process and also you may refer to my sister website at www.andorrancompanies.com. Within this process there is the company foreign investment approval stage and the Notary stage where the company is then approved and this may take 4 - 8 weeks. You will need to supply Apostillised/Legalised police certificates and an Apostillised copy of your passport, I will advise you on this. You will also be required to open a bank account and appear in person before the Notary. The Notary after the application for company formation is approved will take 10-14 days then to produce the registration documents.
Obtaining the local trading license (Obertura de Comerç): Once the company is formed the Parish in which the company has its registered address will need to approve a trading name and make an inspection of the premises ( and this can be a residential apartment subject to a few conditions such as the permission of the landlord and a designated area within the apartment of 20 square meters, inter alia) ( This may take up to 2 weeks). We can apply for residency while this step is under way by signing an undertaking to produce the required company license, you have 3 months to do so.
Applying to Immigration for a work permit for the shareholder(s): If all the documentation is correct ( see below) then a work permit can be issued in a matter of days. Note however that in many cases you may well need new police reports since Immigration requires an original and it must be in date, with a 3 month expiry this often means a fresh application.
Applying to CASS: This is the local social security system which applicants are obliged to join. As a company Shareholder/Director you will be required to contribute to CASS as an Autonom. This means that your contribution is not linked to salary but is fixed monthly and from April 2016 the CASS contributions increased from 20% to 22% in respect of salaried employees and also for the cost of an Autonom which is now (2017) €449.10 monthly for each Shareholder/Director. There is generous relief that can be applied for, for example there is a 50% discount automatically for the first 12 months of a new business, as well as levels of turnover and other factors after the initial period. Please note that now they count the date of approval of residency for the CASS to begin automatically so a delay in application to CASS will result in back dated contributions.
Once the company has been formed and registered by the Notary we can then apply to Immigration for residency ( this can be done after the Notaryl stage, we can provide Immigration with the local trading license and CASS later).
For applications to Immigration under Category D the applicants must:
- Produce a rental contract or title to a property that complies with Immigration requirements.
- Provide the appropriate police certificates legalised/Apostillised as required, and we will need to discuss this to determine exactly which police reports you will need and how to obtain them. Please note here that for company formation approval you need these police certificates and again for Immigration. In many cases if there is a delay in the formation process you may NOT able to use the same certificate and you should be prepared to apply for a second set of certificates as and when the time for the residency application approaches.
- Provide evidence of civil status: I can advise on this relatively simple process of obtaining the correct Apostillised/ Legalised Marriage certificate. You should note that Immigration does not recognise the status of "partner" nor fiancé (e). If you are single then a local form is all that is required.
- Provide all of the local documents which I can complete for you. You will also require a basic medical interview normally the day following the application.
- Produce the bank transfer slip to INAF for payment of the Government bond of 15,000 euro per shareholder.
- (Later) Provide the company documents and the local license to operate from the Parish.
- ( Later) Provide the proof from CASS that you have commenced contributions.
If you intend relocating with children, please see my section for relocating to Andorra with a family where extra documents are required in support of children'a application.
The residency in Category D is granted initially for a period of 1 year, then for 2, 2, 2 and then every 10 years. At renewal you do not have to be present, although under this category I advise that you are here due to checks made. The documents required are obtained locally and the process is quite straightforward.
www.andorrancompanies.com and www.livinginandorra.com are my two websites designed and maintained personally to offer you advice and assistance on all legal matters and a full package of relocation and company formation in Andorra. Please feel free to contact me for any questions you may have.