There’s a vast difference between residing in a country and truly being part of it.
Once you’re a citizen, you won’t need to renew residence permits or abide by residency rules such as staying for set periods of time within the borders for fear of losing it.
Moreover, you’ll also gain rights in the country like voting and applying for administrative or political positions.
In this article we’ll run you though the challenges of citizenship by investment in Andorra, and how you can go about becoming a citizen here.
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Getting Citizenship in Andorra
Being legally recognized as a citizen in Andorra is reasonably challenging since the principal requisite for adults is residing in the country for long periods of time.
There’s no easy method to obtain nationality, such as one where you make a generous deposit to the government and you’re given a passport a few months later. Unlike countries such as Malta and Montenegro, Andorra doesn’t have a citizenship by investment program like this.
Despite that, it is still possible to become an Andorran citizen.
Dual Citizenship in Andorra
As you will see in the rules for obtaining Andorran nationality, the main issue with Andorra is that the principality does not allow double citizenship.
You must first renounce your country of origin’s citizenship if you wish to acquire Andorran nationality and there are no exceptions to this rule. Any attempt to gain citizenship in another country could cause the government to revoke your citizenship back in Andorra.
Citizenship by Origin (Birth)
Unlike other countries that award the child nationality just by being born in their territory, Andorra requires at least one of the parents to be a citizen or legally residing in the country for ten years for the child to be eligible.
In the case that your child is born before you have resided in Andorra for ten years, provisional citizenship is awarded. Once the child reaches 18 years old he or she must confirm nationality to the Government.
If your child is born abroad, but either you or your spouse is Andorran, then your child also is eligible for citizenship. However, he or she must reside for at least five years in the country if you aren’t currently living in Andorra by the time of application.
Citizenship by Naturalization
Any foreign individual that complies with the following requirements is eligible for Andorran Citizenship:
- hold residency in Andorra for 20 years, either through active or passive residency, or
- complete your studies in Andorra’s school system and reside in the country for ten years, and
- renounce your original nationality, and
- have a clean criminal record.
Once you’ve fulfilled these criteria, the Ministry of Interior of Andorra will handle the rest.
Keep in mind that if you didn’t complete any study in Andorra, you will have to undergo a written test in Catalan about the country, and will need to complete an oral interview in Catalan.
Citizenship by Marriage
Andorran citizenship can also be acquired by foreigners who have married an Andorran citizen, as long as they fulfill the following:
- Your spouse must be an Andorran Citizen
- You must reside for at least three years in Andorra before or after the celebration of the marriage
- Proof that you’ve renounced your original nationality
- You must live with your spouse for the full during of the application
- Have a clean criminal record
As with any other form of naturalization in Andorra, you’ll have to undergo a written test and an oral interview in Catalan during the application process.
Children of Naturalized Citizens
Parents can apply for their children’s citizenship during their application, so you won’t have to wait until you’re a full-fledged citizen and make another request for your child.
If you have children aged 18+ who are unmarried, they can also acquire nationality if they have resided in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.
On the duality of nationalities in children, the government issues a temporary nationality until the parent, or the child once turning 18, can prove they have renounced their country of origin’s citizenship.
Citizenship in Andorra: Not a Simple Task!
As you can see, Andorra’s citizenship requirements are simple, but take some commitment. For adults, there are two main ways of obtaining citizenship;
- marriage, or
Keep in mind that you’ll need to stay in the country for at least three years to be eligible for the citizenship for marriages, and 10-20 years for naturalization.
If you’re looking to have children or have one already, you don’t have to worry about different processes and applications, when you apply for citizenship you can also apply for your children.
The only obstacle you’ll face when acquiring Andorran citizenship is renouncing your current nationality since the Principality is strict on this point, but for some, the permanent benefits of living in Andorra are well worth this price.