Expatriation: moving to the Principality of Andorra

Going to live abroad remains a big project on all levels. It could be essential to prepare for it a few months or even a year in advance. Between the administrative procedures to be carried out and the discovery of the host country, nothing should be left to chance. Do you want a change of scenery or more mobility? Do you want to study in another country? A career change? There are many reasons to make this project a reality! 

What if you decided to move to Andorra? In order to prepare your move properly, what information do you need to know before leaving (safety, climate, geographical location, local businesses, etc.)? Can the procedures be done online? What insurance is required ?

French expatriates:
where and how to expatriate?

To expatriate is to leave to live far from one’s homeland. The scope of the project lies in the very meaning of the term. It is a decision that must be thought twice about. Expatriation is an experience that will mark a lifetime. For you and your family, if you decide to do it together.

Roc del Quer

Whether it is for professional or personal reasons, the details that go along with it should not be taken lightly. In the end, moving abroad is always about starting a new life. You might as well prepare for it so that it will be the best one. 

 The French community abroad in a few figures 

erAccording to the figures presented on the website of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, there will be nearly 1,614,772 individuals registered in the Register of French nationals established outside of France on January 1, 2022. The previous year, there were nearly 1,685,638 registered on January 1, 2021. 

However, as registration in this register is not mandatory, these data do not allow us to know exactly how many French people live abroad. However, it can be estimated at around 2.5 million worldwide.

A high concentration of French expatriates in Europe and the G20 countries 

Europe and the G20 countries are among the preferred destinations for French expatriates. Among the top 5 countries, we essentially discard : 

  • Switzerland: 175,000 expatriates, 
  • The United States: 136,533 individuals registered in the register of French citizens outside France, 
  • The United Kingdom: 144,084 French people registered on January 1er 2021, 
  • Belgium: 67,000 French expatriates established in 2021, 
  • And Canada: 94,940 registered in the registry where Quebec is often chosen. 

The case of other countries 

Apart from these 5 countries, we can also find a significant number of French expatriates in Germany, Morocco, Spain, Israel or Algeria. They choose a country because of its cultural and historical wealth. Approximately 59.24% of the French community has settled in a G20 country. Only 8% are in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean. 

Andorra is a country that is becoming more and more attractive for French people considering moving abroad, even though it is not part of the European Union. The reasons are multiple if we only mention its beautiful landscapes. But that’s not all! It is also one of the countries with a 0% delinquency rate. Not to mention the advantageous tax system it offers, including a maximum tax rate of 10%. 

Expatriating to Andorra: reasons to settle down

processus d’installation

Andorra is one of the most popular destinations for French expatriates. A particularly advantageous fiscal framework is one of the reasons for this craze. The income tax is indeed from 0 to 10%. Companies are also subject to the same regime. Andorrans do not have to pay social security contributions or wealth tax and there are no taxes on the transfer of assets. 

Apart from its very attractive tax situation, there are other reasons to consider: 

  • Affordable cost of living (attractive housing, free water, cheaper electricity compared to other European countries, high purchasing power, etc.), 
  • Safety, 
  • Geographic location, 
  • The richness of its landscapes, etc. 

Choosing a country to expatriate and the steps to take 

Where to expatriate? There can be no precise answers. Everything depends on the needs and aspirations of each person. As for the steps to take, it would be wise to be accompanied. Our Gestoria can help you as a future expatriate from Andorra. Our team is available to give you sound advice in order to speed up the administrative procedures thanks to our vast network of professionals.

Preparing for a change of country, the key to a successful expatriation

There is no better advice for a successful expatriation than to prepare well in advance. Moving to a foreign country is not just a matter of packing your suitcase. You will essentially have to go through several phases. There will be decision making, preparation, adaptation and expatriation.

The first thing to think about is getting information about the country of expatriation. If we can’t know everything and foresee everything before leaving, at least we will have an idea of what to expect once we arrive at our destination. The conditions may indeed be different for women, people with children, entrepreneurs, etc. At this stage, you should find out about its cities, schools, health facilities and access to care, opportunities for your spouse, etc.

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Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to start preparing. Depending on your destination country, the steps to take are not the same. You may have to think about :

  • To the move,
  • To the visa application,
  • Looking for housing or school if you have children,
  • The cost of living in your destination country,
  • To the social protection to be considered,
  • When opening a bank account,
  • And many more.

If all the basic details are already well planned, joining French-speaking networks can also be a great help. This option can also help you build your social life. You will not have to stay in your corner, especially if you are not yet fluent in the language of the country where you have expatriated. Being far from family and friends, it is not uncommon to lose your bearings. It is a good way to open up to others.

Accompaniment in the installation process: each type of profile has its own expatriation

As each type of profile corresponds to a specific expatriation model, it would be more thoughtful to be accompanied by a specialized firm like ours. Women who wish to follow their spouse will not have the same steps as a person looking for a job. The same goes for a family with children.

If you are moving to Andorra for your work, you will not have to follow the same procedures as a sportsman or an entrepreneur. Your profile will be that of an employee. If you are only going to live in this foreign country for a short period of time, your installation process will not be the same as that of a retiree. An expatriation support firm will be able to provide you with judicious advice.

Becoming an expatriate in Andorra: choosing your residence permit

For an expatriate in Andorra, it will also be a question of choosing a residence permit. There are several possibilities and the results depend on your status. The process is international in most cases, but there are some particularities in Andorra.

To become a tax resident in Andorra, the expatriate has several options. In summary, there are two main ways to do this:

The active residence

This type of residence permit is intended for people who work in Andorra. It is also called working residence. It is intended for men and women who are employees, entrepreneurs or business creators.

In this case, you must be employed as an employee. The creation of companies can also be one of the reasons that can help you to obtain an Andorran tax residence. However, for the creation of companies, certain conditions must be met.

This residence permit is therefore granted to people with a certain degree of mobility who come to Andorra to develop a professional activity, especially independent. For this, however, it is necessary to stay for at least 183 days.

The passive house

The passive residence is made for people who do not have a job or who do not have a lucrative professional activity. It is ideal for people who wish to make investments. These can be real estate or financial investments.

These individuals must be present in Andorra for a period of at least 90 days per year. Different statuses can be adopted for passive residence. For people with international recognition, we speak of category C. This applies especially to top athletes, researchers involved in relevant research, artists, etc. For people who are unemployed or not in gainful employment, the passive residence will be category A.

The different stages in an expatriation

No matter where you plan to relocate, you will have to go through several stages. Whether it is to change careers and experience international life or to enjoy a better life, every expatriate will eventually have to :

  • Choose your destination,
  • Gather testimonials and opinions,
  • Compare the country of expatriation to your country of origin,
  • Search for work or career opportunities, or find out about universities for a student,
  • Find a place to live,
  • Provide payment solutions adapted to the host countries,
  • Take out health insurance,
  •  Organize the move.

The various phases of an expatriation

You probably don’t know it, but an expatriate often goes through different phases. It would be interesting to understand them in order to better cope with them once you reach each stage.

The phase of wonder or the “honeymoon” phase 

The expatriate is in the process of discovering the country. He is not yet in direct contact with the culture and daily life of his host country. At this stage, he is living the euphoria of his new life. But, reality will soon show itself. 

The routine 

The moments of joy will soon give way to the daily reality. The routine comes to settle. It is at this moment that we realize if we made the right decision or not. 

Culture shock 

If routine can be difficult for some, it is sometimes followed by a culture shock that is even harder. The expatriate may feel uprooted and may be tempted to isolate himself. This is why it is important to integrate communities in one’s country of origin.  

The adaptation phase 

As the expatriate gradually comes to understand the behavior of the inhabitants of the foreign country, he or she begins to adapt. 

The maturity phase 

After a period where the expatriate has settled in the foreign country, he begins to acclimatize more and more. At this point, he becomes more open to his outside world. 

In order to think serenely about your expatriation project, it is recommended to call upon a professional to accompany you and facilitate the process. 

The importance of using an expatriation agency for your installation in Andorra

The labor code, the conditions for elections, international communication and other details are still particular to the Principality of Andorra. If you wish to expatriate with your family, for your retirement, for a simple trip or other, you will have to meet different conditions. Our Gestoria will be able to give you the advice you need, in the case of a move to the Principality. The steps to expatriate in Andorra are indeed different from some countries like Canada or Germany. 

Starting a new life in another country is not a project that can be done overnight. A good preparation is necessary. Following a simple guidebook is not enough. Before your departure, it is in your interest to organize not only your trip, but also your installation. If you are an expatriate from Quebec, France or other G20 countries, a study of your file is required before your departure. 

In the case of an expatriation to Andorra, there are very few steps you can take online. You will have to go to the country to sign the papers and submit your application. That’s why calling our Gestoria will make your task much easier. Our team has the necessary skills to help you in the preparation of your immigration file in Andorra. We can put you in touch with our partners, tax specialists, lawyers, accountants and other experts.

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