Cancellation of Residency and Recovery of the Bond
The following only applies to passive residents who have paid a bond to the Government upon initial application. Those on active residency have an easier task to cancel, simply because no refund is applicable.
Under the laws of Andorra upon departure you are required to cancel your residency and may apply for a return of the initial bond paid to the Government on application. The cancellation process is complicated but procedural for me. Please do not just think that they will refund the bond to you upon surrender of the residency card. In fact, what they do if you choose to voluntarily go to Immigration is take your card and you sign a cancellation agreement. Sadly, this document makes no mention of any bond refund nor how to apply for it. I advise not to go voluntarily to Immigration, speak to me first. In fact, Immigration do not need to know anything until we are ready to present the documents of which there are many as below.
Some examples of difficulties of "too early" notice of cancellation may include:
• Where you are changing category for example to Category D active residency: If you have notified Immigration and have cancelled your residency then they will make you undergo foreign investment approval for company formation since you are no longer a resident but classed as a foreigner. If you are changing categories there is a specific sequence to be followed.
• Ski passes, maybe you would like a last season on skis so no need to cancel that part just yet
• Driving licenses and car exports all need to be considered
• Insurances need to be cancelled at the right time in case of a change of circumstances where you now need to continue the residency but have failed to keep medical insurance.
Overall, cancellation can be a minefield, so please seek advice from me in the first instance.
Documents that are required for cancellation are aimed at proving you are leaving no debts around the country before the file can go to Immigration and then on to the Ministry of Finance for a bond refund. This entails certificates of no debt from all of the Parishes, utility companies, numerous Government departments, hospital, CASS (strangely as you would have had private medical insurance), the Courts, College of Lawyers, and other entities. This process can take 2- 3 weeks or so. Once we have those documents then we approach Immigration with the cancellation request after a final confirmation with you that you still wish to proceed.
Once Immigration have processed the paperwork and be advised it is not one of their priorities over new applications and renewals, it is passed to the Ministry of Finance for refund payment.
The refund can ONLY be made to the account from which the payment originated, so if you have moved banks since then that option is not available. Alternatively, you personally can collect the cheque once available at Immigration or you can grant powers to us to collect on your behalf if you have already left Andorra. The refund time is a lottery and can be from 1 month to 4 months.
Please be advised that once the papers have been submitted to Immigration you have in effect cancelled your residency. That means for those of you who are under the old law, where the bonds were 30,000 euros, if you wish to or need to re-apply you will require 400,000 euros for something you originally had for 30,000 euros, so make sure the decision will not come back to haunt you!
Cancellation should be a last resort; residency can still be retained in most cases regardless of your physical location!