Category D (known locally as "Compte Propi") was last modified on 25th April 2019.
Active residency by company formation differs from Category B. Any person who holds more than 20% of an Andorran Company and who exercises the role of Director can apply under this category. There is as from 2018 a deposit requirement of 15,000 euros per applicant. The requirement is that you must stay for a minimum of 183 days per year, and develop the business in Andorra. This means there is an intentional distinction between this category and Category B and we will need to discuss in more detail.
For example under this category you would be expected to maybe employ persons locally, and/or open a dedicated commercial premises, a shop or restaurant, import and sell goods locally. In other words Andorra will become your principle place of business and you will be expected to live and work here with a degree of permanence. Before the deposit requirement in 2018 the time spent here and business development was more of a grey area and this is the only category that the police continue to monitor. My advice is in spite of the deposit requirement and the specification of 183 days per year is that the police may still continue to monitor this category not so much for time spent here but for business development in Andorra, but that is just opinion.
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.
The stages involved in applying for Category D can be broken down into five stages and they are:
1. Opening a bank account. At this stage it is important to secure a personal account and also in principle a company account. The banks need to know before you start that a company account for your area of business will not be in one of their restricted areas of compliance. This extends to the geographical disposition of both the nature and movement of products, clients and other AML considerations. I can assist and advise on this important area.
2. Forming the company: My associate lawyer and accountants will advise you through the process. 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 at this stage:
- An Apostillised/Legalised police certificates from your country of origin, passport and last country of residency ( We can discuss whether all of these will be required) and,
- An Apostillised copy of your passport,
I will advise you on this. You will be required to appear in person before the Notary unless you have granted powers to the lawyer to act on your behalf. The Notary after the application for company formation is approved will take 10-14 days then to produce the registration documents.
3. 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 for the certificates.
4. 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 (2019) €464.62 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.
5. 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.
Once the company has been formed and registered by the Notary as in step 2 above then at this stage we can we can then apply to Immigration for residency.
For applicants under Category D - the applicant must provide:
From outside Andorra:
- Apostillised/Legalised Police certificates from your country of birth, country of current passport and in some cases the country of your last residency before Andorra. Some personal circumstances can be complicated but I can guide you through all of the obtaining and verification of correct stamps both with my database of records and client s documented experiences and with those at Immigration. This will be one of the first areas we will need to discuss. Please note here that for company formation approval you need these police certificates and then 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.
- Apostillised/Legalised proof of civil status. This will be a marriage certificate, divorce certificate or a single declaration form as appropriate, again we can secure these documents often very easily. There are further restrictions on documents validity which we again will discuss. Civil Unions and partnerships now may also be recognised. You should note that Immigration does not recognise the status of "partner" nor fiancé (e).
From inside Andorra:
- Produce the company formation documents
- Produce a rental contract or title to a property that complies with Immigration requirements.
- 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 AFA for payment of the Government deposit of 15,000 euro per shareholder. This transfer must be made in advance of the application and does involve its own complications if not done correctly.
- (Later) Provide to Immigration the company documents and the local license to operate from the Parish.
- (Later) Provide to Immigration 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 at least at the initial renewal due to police checks made. This is the only category that is monitored although since the deposit of 15,000 euros was added it is not known if checks will continue. The documents required are obtained locally and the process is quite straightforward.
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