After reading about the marvelous and beautiful Andorra, you’ve finally made the decision of moving to the country to start enjoying the Andorran lifestyle.
However, moving to another country requires a massive amount of research to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Practical things such as how to get to the country from the airport and where to find properties for sale (or rent), or more “human things” like finding friends and welcoming communities is essential to anyone considering starting their life in a new country.
Here we present a comprehensive guide on how to achieve your plan of moving to Andorra as efficiently as possible.
How to Get to Andorra
The first thing you should consider is that getting to Andorra is not as straightforward as other countries.
Andorra is a landlocked country without airports, so the only way in is through the borders with Spain or France.
If you plan to travel frequently from your home in Andorra, you’ll probably find this detail troublesome since you’ll have to take a three-hour bus from either Barcelona or Toulouse, the nearest cities with large airports to the border of Andorra.
If you’re moving to Andorra from the USA, the easiest way to get here would be booking a flight to either the Barcelona Airport in Spain or the Toulouse – Blagnac Airport in France.
They have the highest amount of flights available and once there you’ll find several bus routes and car services that will take you straight to Andorra.
The bus ticket from either Toulouse or Barcelona to Andorra will cost you around €15.
Getting Residence Status
Once you’re in the country, the first challenge you should tackle is your residency status.
There are two main ways of acquiring residence in Andorra, passive residence and active residence, the main difference between them is whether you’re going to work in the country or not.
The process to acquire residency is straightforward, but one thing you must know is that all official documentation is in Catalan and you’ll need to fill out several forms to apply for residency.
Where to Live?
Andorra is a beautiful country with a little piece of perfection for every taste — from small tranquil towns surrounded by nature to a busy capital with modern buildings.
However, if you’ve come as a tourist and haven’t had the time to explore the country thoroughly, you might feel overwhelmed by the different options.
We know how difficult it is to start exploring a new country to find that place, so we’ve compiled a list with the best places to live in Andorra, so you can narrow down the search according to your needs.
Renting & Buying Properties
Now that you’ve decided where to live, you can start taking a look at the property market in Andorra.
Luckily, you’ll find that the process of buying real estate in Andorra is quite easy and there’s a broad range of options available in the country, from small apartments to luxurious villas and chalets.
Whether you’re going to buy or rent, we have already covered these subjects in our guides:
- Andorra’s Property Prices
- Where to Find Property for Sale
- Andorra Real Estate: Everything You Need to Buy & Sell It
The Andorran Tax System might be the most significant benefit of living in Andorra – you’ll have to pay a maximum rate of 10% taxes of your personal income.
However, be aware that applying for tax residency in Andorra requires you to have Andorran residency and stay in the country for at least 183 days.
The first thing you’ll notice about Andorran taxes is that the personal income tax rate is much lower than the rest of the world, which when coupled with a low import tax rate, makes the cost of living more accessible for everyone.
Opening a bank account in Andorra is as simple as in any other country, you’ll just have to provide your personal documentation and be a resident of the state.
There’s plenty of information about this topic in our guides about banking :
Andorra has one of the most welcoming societies in Europe.
Between the vacationers attracted to ski resorts and the increasing number of immigrants, Andorrans have lots of experience welcoming newcomers to their country.
As well, you’ll find expat forums, communities and social groups that host useful discussions about strategies for getting by in Andorra.
If you have children or are considering starting a family, the transition to Andorran education is relatively simple. First of all, education is free for Andorran residents, meaning you won’t have to worry about tuition fees or finding a private school that fits your budget.
Not only is it free, but the education standard is also one of the best in Europe, with most schools teaching the four main languages of the country (Catalan, Spanish, French and English).
However, if you’re keen on finding an international school in Andorra, there are great options available — we have a guide about the benefits and details of the Andorran School System in case you need more information.
There isn’t much difference between the countries in the first tier of healthcare systems. But if you come to Andorra from a country that isn’t in that group, you may be positively surprised by Andorra’s system.
You’ll be delighted to hear that Andorra’s Healthcare system is supported by a government-run insurer (CASS). It covers a significant portion (or, in some cases, all) of a medical bill. Salaried workers in Andorra are required to pay into the system.
Finding a Job
Everything seems great thus far, but how about getting an actual job? How difficult is it to get a job in Andorra as a foreigner?
The job market in Andorra is constantly growing thanks to the large influx of tourists that come each season. That means you’ll usually find a variety of jobs available, especially in the tourism sector.
However, to work in Andorra you need a work permit. They can be acquired through the Official Immigration Department and the process is similar to residency permits.
One thing to keep in mind is that there’s a quota of residence permits per year. It was recently increased to 900, but if you’re moving to Andorra you want to wait several months for the next year’s quota to start.
Moving to Andorra from the USA
You’ll find that our wonderful country has dozens of advantages compared to the USA. For example, you’ll find that the tax rate is much lower than what you’re used to, and the cost of living is also lower, so you’ll have more money available to spend on yourself.
From when the US accused Andorran banks of money laundering, banking has become slightly harder for American expats here. You’ll undergo a thorough examination of your financial background, in an effort to avoid future accusations.
Perhaps the biggest benefit when coming to Andorra from the USA is the healthcare system. All salaried employees are covered by insurance, compared to the US where many face expensive, out-of-pocket fees.
And After You’ve Moved to Andorra?
Once you have settled down, found a place to live, rented or bought property, sent your kids to school… Are you wondering what to do next? Well, there are dozens of options!
Living in Andorra is a fantastic experience. It is possible to enjoy a busy urban café in morning and be on the slopes skiing in the mountains that same day.
Appreciating the joys of Andorra is only part of the advantages since you’ll also benefit from the tax system, the healthcare, the community, and so on.
Hopefully, this guide made the process of moving to Andorra easier, but if you have any other doubts about the process let us know, and we’ll gladly help you.