LIVING, WORKING, GETING EDUCATION AND HOW TO BUY, SALE PROPERTY IN ANDORRA


ANDORRA

Andorra is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Created under a charter in A.D. 988, the present Principality was formed in A.D. 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a monarchy headed by two Co-Princes – the Spanish/Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell and the President of France. Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi) and a population of approximately 85,000. Its capital Andorra la Vellais the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 meters (3,356 ft)above sea level. The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken Andorra has an alpine climate and continental climate. Its higher elevation means there is, on average, more snow in winter, lower humidity, and it is slightly cooler in summer. There are, on average, 300 days per year of sunshine. Standard of living Andorra's tourism services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually. It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the de facto currency. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1993. The people of Andorra have one of the highest life expectancies in the world and as of December 2014, according to The Lancet, have the highest in the world, at 81 years in 2013.

Economy

Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP. An estimated 10.2 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's relative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of adjoining France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its tax haven status, also contributes substantially to the economy (the financial and insurance sector accounts for approximately 19% of GDP). Agricultural production is limited—only 2% of the land is arable—and most food has to be imported. Some tobacco is grown locally. The principal livestock activity is raising domestic sheep. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra's natural resources include hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, and lead. Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but enjoys a special relationship with it, such as being treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products. Andorra lacked a currency of its own and used both the French franc and the Spanish peseta in banking transactions until 31 December 1999, when both currencies were replaced by the EU's single currency, the euro. Coins and notes of both the franc and the peseta remained legal tender in Andorra until 31 December 2002. Andorra negotiated to issue its own euro coins, beginning in 2014.

Education

Children between the ages of 6 and 16 are required by law to have full-time education. Education up to secondary level is provided free of charge by the government. There are three systems of schools – Andorran, French, and Spanish – which use Catalan, French, and Spanish, respectively, as the main language of instruction. Parents may choose which system their children attend. All schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, but teachers in the French and Spanish schools are paid for the most part by France and Spain. About 50% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools, and the rest attend Spanish or Andorran schoolsThe Universitat d'Andorra (UdA) is the state public university and is the only university in Andorra. It was established in 1997. The University provides first-level degrees in nursing, computer science, business administration, and educational sciences, in addition to higher professional education courses. The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science, the latter having a PhD programme. The geographical complexity of the country as well as the small number of students prevents the University of Andorra from developing a full academic program, and it serves principally as a centre for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities. The Virtual Studies Centre (Centre d’Estudis Virtuals) at the University runs approximately twenty different academic degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in fields including tourism, law, Catalan philology, humanities, psychology, political sciences, audiovisual communication, telecommunications engineering, and East Asia studies. The Centre also runs various postgraduate programs and continuing-education courses for professionals.

Process of buying Property

Future property owners in Andorra have to pay an amount of 4% for transfer tax, 0.5-1 % for legal fees, 190 € for the necessary documents for state permission. Finishing procedures and transfer take a period of 2-3 months. Being a property owner, a residence permit can be requested.