Family Relocation with Children
Relocating your family and children is nothing to be feared. The schooling process is easy and friendly and is obligatory from the age of 5 through 16 years, and there is the great advantage of your child becoming fluent in many languages. Please see my section below on schooling in Andorra.
There is before the schooling, the business of the residency application. This must be done by means of a family application and is quite straightforward in the majority of cases. Note that each child is a family member from the day he or she is one day old, so the bond will cost € 10,000 per child (unless you applied under the old residency scheme where the bond will remain at € 7,000).
Firstly you will need to produce the birth certificate which must be apostillised or legalised, and must state the names of both parents. You will require a record of vaccinations, known in some countries as the Family Book, and a letter from the current doctor or pediatrician that the child has had the necessary vaccinations and in his opinion is in good health.
You now also need a letter from the current school confirming that the child has been in education in the past year.
The child will not undergo a further medical nor of course will they require a police report if under 18 years of age.
With single parent applicants the process is complicated somewhat by the necessity of having to prove custody of the child. This can be done by the necessary court orders and or certificates but also these will need to be Apostillised or legalised. This may need to be explored in advance with Immigration prior to applications being lodged. However most cases are straightforward, and after the Immigration process the Government will require the necessary enrolment documents to prove the obligation of schooling.
Please note that "home schooling" is not permitted under Andorran law.
If you intend relocating with children please contact me for a definitive checklist, each circumstances are different.
Unique to Category D family grouping by dependents can only be applied for after 12 months of residency by the head of household, and this now applies to ALL nationalities. This means for a husband and wife team with or without children, unless each have 11% or more of the company shares, or are a Director of the company only one can apply. So once again structure of the company is important depending on plans.
Further new minor regulations require insurance for child dependents that was not required before, and a new bank certificate of 100% of the minimum wage here ( about € 11,500) for each child which is their way of proving you have sufficient funds for supporting the children.
Another procedural point is that you cannot apply on behalf of child dependents until your own ( and your spouse) applications are approved. Unlike passive residency which can take up to 6 weeks, the cards for active residency normally take about 3 days. It is possible to get residency for the head of household and children at the same time but if the spouse is not a shareholder he or she will have to wait 12 months. Of course we have to prove effective custody in that both spouses agree for the children to live with one parent in Andorra, but that can be easily done.
This ruling is important and will affect you if you have children in your family unit.
A child will only have his residency extended to the day before his or her 25th birthday, irrespective of parents renewal date. Prior to that date you must apply to have the child (now counted as a new individual adult) registered as a new adult and individual.
This then means that IF the original family unit applied under the old passive residency law, then either the child or parents on his behalf will be required to pay a new bond of €30,000 (i.e. an additional € 23,000). The child will require an own bank account and have a bank certificate of deposit isssued in his name. On the plus side as a sibling, he or she will be allowed to continue to live in the same address.
IF you applied under the new law, then Immigration are not only going to require an increase in the bond (from €10,000 to € 50,000) but also a new and individual investment of €350,000. This could take the form of the share of a property, but all families that apply MUST be aware of these rulings and take action way before the due date.
If under Category D active residency presumably the way around this is for the company to employ the dependent or pass to him or her 10% or more of the company shares. He or she then should be able to apply for a residency permit.
In addition to the French, Spanish and Andorran schools available in most parishes, there is also an independent school where most english speaking expat children attend. The medium of many subjects is in English, but children will very quickly become fluent in most if not all of the three main languages in Andorra, Catalan, Spanish and French.
There is in Andorra only one independent fee paying school.
It is easy to secure a place for your child in this independent school called the Col.legi Internacional Del Pirineu (roughly translated into the International School of the Pyrennees). The school is located in the La Massana valley at the village of Aldosa, and is for children from 6 to 18 years old. The primary school is from 6 to 12 years and thereafter the children progress to senior school.
The fees for the international school are €750 for a one off enrolment, then €670 per month with additional and optional monthly costs of €140 for food and €150 for transport to and from the school. If more than one child enrols then there is a 10% discount offered.
In addition to all the usual education and exams, a variety of winter and summer sports and activity camps are organised.
I can arrange for parents to meet the director for preliminary visits. I can also arrange for introduction to the state schools if desired.
Please click on the logo to the left to go to the school website.
Once you are fmiliar with relocating children and education in Andorra please return to the application process.