Your passport can mean the difference between travelling freely to pretty much any country in the world or being restricted by red tape and visa requirements. In some cases, there may even be places you can’t visit because of the passport you carry.
For this reason, a lot of people will look to get a second passport to make travelling easier. After all, who doesn’t want to get up and leave for the airport on a whim?
But while citizenship in Andorra means visa-free travel to 168 countries, you’re about to find out why it’s probably not the silver bullet you’re looking for.
Let’s see what it takes to get citizenship in Andorra. We’ll look at the pros and cons of an Andorran passport, the common paths to acquiring one, and more.
How Hard Is It to Get Citizenship in Andorra?
Getting Andorran citizenship is a doable but extremely lengthy process. You can’t simply buy your way into the country. Andorra doesn’t have a ‘citizenship by investment’ programme like Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, and many other countries.
Essentially, you have to really want it, because getting citizenship here takes time. And even then, depending on your personal circumstances, it may not be the right option for you.
Drawbacks and Advantages of an Andorran Passport
Let’s start with the biggest drawback: Dual nationality is strictly verboten here.
Getting an Andorran passport means renouncing your own citizenship. Which in turn means waving goodbye to any benefits you may have had access to in your country of origin.
For some people this isn’t an issue, but if you already have a strong passport already, it’s not the best value proposition. If you’re comfortable with it however, gaining citizenship in Andorra does offer some sweet benefits.
Along with the freedom to travel visa-free to 168 countries around the globe, your children will automatically be eligible for an Andorran citizenship as well.
Depending on where you’re from, giving your kids the gift of location freedom, which typically brings with it better career prospects, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a really big advantage.
3 Ways to Get Citizenship in Andorra
If you’re wondering how hard it is to get Citizenship in Andorra, there are essentially paths:
- Maintain residency in Andorra (active or passive) for 20 years
- Be born in the principality, then complete at least 10 years of study in Andorra’s school system
- Marry an Andorran citizen (after three years you’ll get citizenship)
For all of the above, a clean criminal record is a prerequisite. Without one, you may as well look elsewhere immediately.
One final detail is that unless you completed your studies here, you will be required to complete a test about the country and undergo an interview.
Historically this interview required you to learn Catalan, but I’m now told that there’s an alternative option in English.
Like most countries, Andorra’s looking for new citizens to be ambassadors—this isn’t a cash grab.
How Does Citizenship by Birth Work?
Jus soli or birthright citizenship doesn’t apply in Andorra. For your child to be eligible for citizenship here the law requires that at least one of the parents is either a citizen or has been living in Andorra legally for ten years.
Should your child be born before you have lived here for ten years the government will award them a ‘provisional passport’. Once they turn eighteen they must then confirm their citizenship to the government.
In the event that your child is born outside of Andorra, eligibility hinges on either you or your spouse being Andorran. Should this be the case they’ll still need to live here for a minimum of five years (if you’re not living here) before applying.
What About Children of Naturalised Citizens?
Given how lengthy the Andorran citizenship process is, you’ll be happy to know that you can apply for your children’s citizenship in tandem with your own.
Should your kids be eighteen or older they can still become citizens provided they are single and have lived in Andorra for at least five years prior to submitting their application.
This is also the one area where dual citizenship is acceptable, albeit temporarily. The Andorran government will grant the child citizenship until such time that you (or your child once they turn eighteen) can provide proof that they’ve renounced their country of origin’s citizenship.
Andorran Citizenship: Is It Worth It?
While there are certainly countries that make it harder to gain citizenship, Andorra might just hold the title for having the longest naturalisation process.
Whichever way you slice it, 20 years is a long time. And let’s not forget that you’re also required to renounce citizenship with your country of origin. That’s a big ask.
However, if you’re comfortable breaking ties with your country of origin there are some distinct advantages to making Andorra your home forever.