Renewal procedures - living in Andorra relocation guide

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Renewal procedures

Renewals: The procedure is constantly being revised

Since the subject of renewals is such a hot topic, this new page is dedicated to the procedures.

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 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.

Renewals can be done a month either side of the renewal date as a rule but this is one area where Immigration are quite flexible!

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 be procedurally difficult in the details.

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 Immigrations 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.

I have not included the detailed requirements they 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:

• Residence certificate (Comú)
• Copy of passport(s) if changed since last renewal
• Completed and signed application(s)
• Bank deposit certificate for % of min wage
• Health Insurance certificate(s) * see NOTE below
• New Passport photo(s)
• Rental payment or utility bill
• School letter(s) if with children
• Current Residency card (s)

If under the new law and in Category A you must also provide continuing proof of the extra investment ( NOTE that this is an ongoing argument with the Minister to change their interpretation of investment. We are constantly arguing that an investment is made on the date it is made and the current value is irrelevant and should not be a matter for Immigration, just another example of a very dynamic renewal procedure). If you invested in property for Category A then they will need continuing proof of ownership.
If under the new law and in Category B then you will need to produce all of the accounts and annual returns for the company
If under Category C they need continuing proof of your continued professional career with written contracts.
If in Category D you will need the points indicating your CASS contributions.

NOTE * You will require private medical insurance to satisfy the Immigration requirements for medical coverage in Andorra. The wording of the specific declaration that they require though contains THREE separate insurances and the translation from Catalan causes problems. In effect you require three insurances, namely medical, incapacity and old age. The latter causes the main problem in that insurance against old age simply does not exist. In this latter two policies, they are requiring all residents between the ages of 18 and 60 to have these extra covers. Incapacity is quite straight forward and may well be covered in by a medical insurance policy but old age will not be. For this final category of insurance, they require proof of a pension plan, and proof that is by having signed the pre-mentioned Immigration declaration that simply refers to insurance against old age! 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 1,300 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 890 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 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.

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 inportant 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. No funds have ever been intended to be blocked on account as some banks have insisted 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 ?

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. For those of you at Andbank we have worked a solution for this first renewal under the "ingressos" rule but it does involve remitting funds to satify the requirements. If you are with Andbank and you fall into this category  please contact me for details on this. If you are with other banks then 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. I am also discussing the possibility of foreign bank certificates that may also help some to resolve this. A point to note in that the renewals that I have recently completed the issue has all been solved relatively easily so there is no need for a mass panic.

Under the new law ( after July 2012) where the bond is 50,000 the following may be affected:

Those in Category B
Those in Category C
Those in Category A other than those who have opted for the 350,000 euros investment with the bank ( who can clearly issue the certificate in this situation), where for example you have purchased a property.

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  but you may need to act now.


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