Commonly advertised as a tourist paradise, Andorra, the hidden gem of the Pyrenees, turns out to be a great place to find work and spend either a ski season or a lifetime.
And while some have come for “just one winter”, many expats have found this country as an excellent place to settle down, benefiting from the low taxes, an excellent healthcare system and high standard of living.
Renowned for its beautiful landscape and multicultural society, Andorra has long held the now debated title of “tax haven” while retaining a peaceful lifestyle.
But while it’s an easy country to love, finding a job in Andorra as a foreigner is not so easy. In this article we will provide several tips and answers about finding a job as a foreigner.
Do Your Research Before Arriving
Chances are that if you’re reading this article you’ve already visited Andorra and are considering spending more time in the country. But if you’ve never been or lack accurate information about the country’s legal system you’ll be at a disadvantage when looking for a job.
The first issue that arises when looking for a job in Andorra is the capacity of work permits allowed per year. Currently, as of April 2018, only 900 work permits will be assigned to foreigners until October 31st. November starts the winter season where a new job quota will be published.
However, there are some jobs that are excluded from this quota:
- professionals of accounting and financial services,
- transport and production services,
- employees of libraries and post offices, and
- taxi drivers.
If you’re planning to work in hospitality or tourism industries, you’ll be constantly dealing with a public that’s oblivious to the environment and wants accurate information about the country, so it may be best to come pre-educated on the country.
If you wish to be contracted by an Andorran company, you’ll need to have all your legal documents up-to-date. Our guide on Active Residency details what is needed to permanently stay in Andorra, but much of the same applies to work permits.
Work permits are granted to those who:
- are contracted with a legal Andorran company
- have accommodation and effective residency in Andorra (even if temporary)
You must submit your application while there are available permits according to the quota established for the period.
After that, you’ll have to sign and deliver several forms to the Department of Immigration along with government-issued information from your country of origin. To avoid disappointment when applying, it’s best to be over-prepared. Bring along your:
- Original and photocopy of your valid passport
- Apostilled certificate of criminal records (police report) of your country of origin, no longer than 3 months old
- Document showing proof of accommodation
- Marriage certificate
- Curriculum vitae
For more information about the legal requirements, head to the official government immigration department. Notice that the website is in Catalan, as are all legal documents of the country. It’s most likely that your employer will take care of the bulk of this process, but the certificates will be on you to provide.
The official language of Andorra is Catalan, however, the borders and relations with Spain and France are so close that most of the population speaks Spanish and French.
Notice that with the large number of foreigners that have settled in the country two more languages are commonly heard throughout Andorra: Portuguese and English.
If you’re looking for a job in Andorra, knowledge of Catalan is ideal as legal contracts are written in the official language, though it is possible to get away without it. Being fluent in at least two other languages spoken throughout the country will give you a clear advantage when applying for jobs and dealing with clients.
Andorran Industries in Need of Workers
Hospitality Industry: Hotel & Bar Jobs in Andorra
Some 80% of the country’s employees worked in the services field in 2017 with tourism and commerce as the largest sectors.
Tourism is the main source of revenue for Andorra, in 2016 8 million people visited Andorra and the expectation for 2018 is above 10 million visitors.
With this mind, you can expect that most job offers for foreigners are in this field. In a country of only 80,000 people that receives 10 million visitors a year, there’s bound to be available jobs in the services field.
Having training and experience in hospitality, gastronomy and similar professions will help your resume stand out from the rest.
There are over 150 hotels in Andorra and this number continues to grow each year, meaning there’s almost always a job available in this field.
Thanks to the success of the booming tourism industry in Andorra, there are over 1,500 retail stores in the country.
Similar to hospitality, if you have experience in retail, there’s likely a job here.
But while it may be possible to get away with an English-only speaking job at a hotel in Arinsal, you’ll need at least 2, if not 3 languages to get a retail job in Andorra la Vella or Escaldes.
Seasonal & Winter Jobs in Andorra
During the winter season – December to April – the ski resorts swarm with tourists and the job offerings triple. This might be an excellent season to find a position in Andorra, in the above-mentioned bars, restaurants, hotels and ski resorts.
Hundreds of jobs directly and indirectly related to this business become available in Winter, from ski school instructors to cleaners. Recruitment typically begins in November, so arriving early may be worthwhile. If you’re looking to find a job here, this is the perfect time.
Large resorts like Vallnord and Grandvalira allow foreigners outside of Andorra to apply for seasonal jobs. Take a look at their contact pages for more information on the jobs currently available.
There’s a small caveat on seasonal jobs in Andorra; the work contract. Be sure to read the fine print on any contract for a seasonal job since some of them state that your residency and work permit is only valid for 7 days after the contracted period ends, meaning you’ll have to rush and find another job immediately.
English Teaching Jobs in Andorra
With such a large influx of tourists, Andorrans are constantly seeking to learn new languages. Though the Andorran school system is multilingual already, demand for English teachers is here.
If you’re a native English speaker and have experience in teaching, it’s worth contacting schools and other institutions about available positions.
Keep in mind that applying for a teaching job in Andorra will likely require a TEFL qualification, and a degree in language or education wouldn’t go astray.
Are There Any Other Jobs Available?
Of course, there are jobs available in Andorra, but remember that in such a small country dedicated to tourism the options are limited. Professional work is always sought but the competition will be fiercer.
At the time of writing, there are several job positions in administration and finance available. If you can speak fluent English (and ideally a handful of other languages), and have a passion for selling, the real estate industry could be a good option too.
The option of working online is always available for any country, so if you have a job in this field Andorra could be an excellent option to call home, since the internet connection is considered one of the best in Europe, with up to 300mbps.
Notice that even though you’re going to be self-employed – or your profession works with international clients—you’ll still need legal permits; follow the instructions on Andorra’s official immigration department website or the guides on active and passive residency we’ve published.
Where to Find a Job in Andorra
Amongst popular options to find jobs is the buscofeina portal, a website dedicated to posting positions online. Be aware that it’s in Catalan and so are most of the jobs currently published.
The Government official labor department website also offers a list of jobs available: https://www.treball.ad
Other websites with job advertisements are:
- Seasonworkers: Dedicated to seasonal jobs in ski resorts
- Expat Community: Various job positions are offered in this community
Another option when looking for a job here is the traditional one: newspapers. A quick glance at the classifieds section of a local newspaper will give you a breakdown of available jobs.
The advantage of finding a job before getting to Andorra is that Human Resource departments of the company employing you will help you a lot in obtaining a work permit and registering you in the social security and healthcare system, CASS.
While Andorra’s many beauties and benefits make it the perfect destination for travelers looking for a place to settle down, keep in mind that it’s a small country – the government is focused in regulating foreign immigration and labor.
For this reason, work permits are limited, so if you’re looking for a stable job it can be difficult to find one quickly. However, if you’re qualified, confident in your skills and willing to go above and beyond to find a job, you’ll likely find Andorra a great place to spend a season, or the rest of your life.