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Renewals are due at varying intervals

And it does depend when your residency started, your nationality, old law or new law, and which category you are in. Suffice to say for those in the system the renewal date is indicated on the residency card below the photograph. For those in the process or considering applying for residency please note the following renewal periods:

All passive residencies are now renewable after the first 2 years, then after the next 2 years, then 3 years and finally every 10 years from there. If you are French, Spanish or Portuguese your renewal periods will be 2 years, 3 years and every then 10 years thereafter.

Active residencies (Category D) are renewable after 1,2,2,2  and then every 10 years thereafter unless you are French, Spanish or Portuguese i which case it is 1,2,2 and then every 10 years.

Compte Propi renewals now are coming under more police scrutiny...

Immigration have informed us that every renewal, not just the first renewal, for active residency Compte Propi (Category D) will now have police checks. This normally involves an unannounced visit to the registered property by the police who then ask quite simple questions on the local environment, such as local restaurants, supermarkets, and matters that somebody who lived there would quite clearly know. They also check with the neighbours to confirm movements or not as the case may be.

As it stands electricity consumption is not required to be provided as is the case with passive residents, however from newspaper articles it seems that these may well be being checked by the police. Furthermore they say as electricity can be controlled from anywhere in the world, they are actually now looking at water consumption which they say cannot be controlled from anywhere (well it can!!).

There have obviously been recent cases that have caught out people abusing the system,  no need to panic but more care is advised in this area. The most important part though is to ensure you have an actively trading company with accounting and tax returns. You are required to be here 183 days per year so if you are away when the police visit you have a legitimate reason but be prepared to prove the rest of it on your return!

Police resources also come into question,  as when they were checking just first time renewals, the time for approval in some cases stretched over 3 months.  With Brexit and UK passports, the Andorra residency card can be a lifeline for Schengen exemption.
Renewals are normally done a month either side of the renewal date as a rule but this is one area where Immigration are quite flexible! The absolute minimum months before renewal in exceptional cases is three months before renewal date. Legally if no renewal is done 12 months after the renewal date then the residency is automatically cancelled.

Strangely also you do not have to be present in Andorra for your renewal I can do all of that without you having to return to Andorra.

Renewals are increasingly becoming more complicated due to Immigration's ever changing interpretation of the law and the requirements. What used to be a straight forward exercise can now prove to have  devil in the detail.

I have for many years warned residents against arbitrarily changing medical insurances and bank accounts without seeking advice. There are some minefields in there. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page I have included the latest change in interpretation of Immigration which in my opinion they have very wrongly decided to backdate. Please be aware if your renewal is due or will become so in the next year or so.

As an overview of renewals all documents that are required are obtainable locally, further police reports etc. that were required at the initial application are not required. Below is a list of what Immigration do require BUT there are a number of details in each of the requirements for which Immigration's requirements have changed.  This is really due to prevent people either cancelling their rental contract and/ or medical insurance, keeping a minimal balance to keep the bank account open, and generally using residency without adhering to the requirements. I am constantly reminded that the law says at all times for the duration of your residency you must have full continuous medical insurance, and in fact in that one medical declaration there are THREE different types of insurance not just health insurance (for those ages of 18 to 60).

Renewals: More changes!

Recent changes are in red below

I have only included the general requirements as the nuts and bolts are complicated to put on paper with a number of variations depending on the circumstances, but you will be required to produce in the correct format and with the details they require the following documents which are common to all types of renewal unless otherwise indicated:-
  • Residence certificate (Comú)
  • Copy of passport(s) if changed since last renewal
  • Completed and signed application(s)
  • Bank deposit certificate for 300/400/500 % of min wage (depending on the number of dependants) (Does not apply to Cat D active). Please refer to the case study here to explain in full.
  • Health Insurance certificate(s) all THREE insurances (ages 18 to 60) must have been continuous since application/last renewal * ( see Note 2 below) (Does not apply to Cat D active)
  • New Passport photo(s)
  • Rental payment (if applicable) - Ensure you have your FULL name and FULL address as the reason for transfer (Does not apply to Cat D active). Note that:- As of October 2019 for any new rental contracts they MUST be in the name of the principle applicant ONLY.  A joint rental contract now between husband and spouse is likely to be refused. Please do not ask me for the logic here.
  • If you have purchased the property,  a Notary certificate to prove continuing ownership.
  • The last electricity bill from the company *(see NOTE 1 below) and also the bank payment receipt for that invoice. (Does not apply to Cat D active)
  • School letter(s) if with children which covers all of the years since application/last renewal
  • Current Residency card (s)
If you had residency prior to 2012 the above is all you will require, if under the "new" law of 2012 then you will need, depending on category:-

  • If under Category A you must also provide continuing proof of the extra investment in place and without any gaps, whether bank funds, property investments or the increasingly popular investment in the share capital of a  local company.

  • If under Category B then you will need to produce all of the accounts and annual returns for the company. This has also been expanded to require proof that the invoices issued were for companies outside Andorra ( Minimum 85%), and also to prove whether or not you have a local employee. This category is now extremely complicated for renewal.

  • If under Category C they need continuing proof of your current professional career with written contracts. Please note that when you cease to be a competitive sportsman/entertainer etc. you will be required to change to Category A and that then requires the 600,000 investment, there is no second lane here.

  • If in Category D you will need the points indicating your CASS contributions and also the company tax returns for the years from the last renewal or initial approval. If they are not yet available then you will be required to sign an undertaking to present them to Immigration when they are available.

* NOTE 1 :  They used to accept phone bills, now they will only accept the last electricity bill, and it must be in your name and not in that of the owner for example. If your renewal is becoming due and you do not have an electricity bill in your name, then get one organised ! Please also note that the electricity bill MUST be in the name of the principle applicant only,  so if a married couple then do NOT put in joint names, the same applies for rental contracts.

* NOTE 2  The three insurances are illness, incapacity and old age (pension plan). We can obtain all of these policies in Andorra where the declaration is guaranteed to be signed and the cost for all three insurance will start at around 1,900 euros annually. Please note that the pension plan portion of the insurance is fully refundable with profits at your 60th birthday. Residents under 18 and over 60 years old only require health insurance which can start at around 1,600 euros. If you have existing medical cover from an International insurer it may be possible to use this for medical and incapacity but Immigration are now making this very difficult administratively, it is best to speak to me first.

Changes to the wording of the bank certificates - IMPORTANT

It was considered that new requirements dictated by Immigration and backdated had been solved but there potentially may remain an issue which you all as passive residents may need to address before your next renewal. The new requirements involve the bank certificate and the 300%, 400% etc of the minimum salary that is required for renewals for passive residents (only).

Originally Immigration required the bank to state that as of "today"( the issue of the bank certificate) there is in the account  the percentage of funds required. Now after a long struggle with the banks to agree on wording  they have decided to require the banks to state that in each of the past (however many) years since the last renewal there must have been annual "ingressos" into the account equivalent to the percentage required. "Ingressos" can be defined loosely as funds paid in, Immigration had demanded that the banks state "rendes" or earned income : The banks stated clearly to Immigration that they could have no knowledge of the source of funds and could not be drawn to make that statement. Immigration therefore insist on the word "ingressos" in each of the years since the last renewal. In practice this means that all transfers/deposits into the account, regardless of source or purpose, and any investments on account have to add up to more than the percentage required in each year so the bank can conform to this new wording.

Please click here for a simple case study to explain...

Alternatively if you have had bank investment funds then it may be possible for the bank to issue the certificate, you need to speak with the bank as early as possible before your next renewal  if you think you may struggle with this requirement.

The important date in considering funds for that particular year is the date of the last bank certificate which in each case I need to obtain from Immigration and I will notify you. This date is an important part of the wording for Immigration, but for your rough calculations it may be assumed that it is a few weeks prior to the issue of your current card. None of these funds (ingressos) have ever been intended or required to be blocked on account as some banks used to insist on as Immigration accept that the funds are income and is there to be spent but they wanted to strengthen the requirement for proof of annual income  as required under the wording of the law.

So where does that leave the passive resident who is as always facing renewal ? For those facing 2 and 3 year renewals there is now NO flexibility and you will be refused renewal.

For those facing a 10 year renewal and under the old law ( which changed in July 2012) and where the bond was 30,000 euros you will be affected if you have not had investment funds, or deposits, or turnover on the account for each of the years since the last renewal date. For those of you, as we were all told we could do, who have kept a bare minimum balance over the years and have as done before only transferred the funds to the bank for the issue of the bank certificate under the old "today" rule, you may this renewal have a problem with the  balance on the previous 2 or more years. There may be a solution for this first renewal under the "ingressos" rule but it does involve remitting funds to satisfy the requirements but you need to speak directly to your account manager. For some this may be a more than annoying decision by Immigration and the fact that it is back dated arbitrarily is unjust and probably unlawful but until someone brings this before a judge, there are no avenues of appeal. There is also a possibility of a foreign bank certificate and also even a tax return in a third country if it serves to prove the minimum income requirement. NOTE:- For those who are facing one of the 10 year renewals where you were under the old residency scheme they have shown compassion (!) and there may be flexibility but this is not guaranteed. For those on 2 or 3 year renewals there is now no longer any flexibility and your renewal will be refused.

For the future the banks clearly expect you  to pass through the account during each year more than the equivalent minimum salary percentage required, and for those facing renewal next year I would advise a transfer in as soon as possible to cover this calendar year. As stated above it does not need to stay in the account and can be spent each year but you may need to act now.

The Andorran minimum wage 2024

The increases in the Andorran minimum wage have been announced and that increase will affect the requirements for passive residents who are required to maintain annual deposits into ( and out of if necessary) of 300% of the minimum wage upwards depending on the family dependants ( 400% for a married couple, 500% with one child etc.)
Passive residency bank requirements

A case study on the minimum income requirement for passive residents:-

Mr X received his residency approval on 1 October, 2020 and his renewal is due on first of October 2022. He has a wife and one child in his family and is therefore required to produce a bank certificate for 500% at renewal on first of October 2022.

When Mr X applied for residency he will already have submitted the 500% certificate as part of those papers and that therefore he has already satisfied the income requirements for that application year of 2020 (and that applies to all new residents who produce a certificate in any calendar year at application).

For the calendar year 2021, Mr X will be required to show new deposits into the account to satisfy the minimum threshold of 500% of the annual income which in 2021 and EUR 67,228.04. It is not enough to keep the balance from the year before, it must be new money that is seen to be going into the account in order for the bank to be able to issue the certificate.

Mr X renewal due in October 2022 will require the bank to also certify that in that year 2022 he has also received the minimum income of 500%.. With the current inflation at high levels these figures can increase dramatically so you need to keep a watch on the minimum salary and minimum requirements. 500% in 2022 rows to EUR 72,020, a significant increase that may catch the unaware by surprise.

These deposits into the account can be withdrawn and spent as they are treated by both bank and immigration as income so during the year your actual balance may not reach that threshold but just be aware that it is the sum of the deposits in that year that count. You can make one deposit and spend it afterwards or you can make 50 deposits during the year it makes no difference.

If you have a significant investment with the bank, particularly Category A where you have bank investments then it is easy to negotiate with the bank to use this investment as part of the income but you need to speak directly to the bank manager and clear that and any other year you have in doubt. This is also the case where for example the account balance is say 150,000 EUR, banks have different interpretations but 150,000 will be sufficient to prove definitely 2 years, maybe 3 years or even more depending on the bank.

In summary, your initial year of application or of the last renewal will already have been proven, then that year +1 and+2  and so on in the intervening years where renewal is not due must be watched carefully, and in the final calendar year when the renewal is due the correct minimum requirement must also be put into that account for that year regardless of which calendar month the renewal falls due on.

Let Jane take the strain

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