Citizens of the Principality of Andorra are used to traveling freely within the Schengen member nations of Europe just by presenting their valid passport for short trips under 90 days’ duration.
There is an exception, however, with Schengen nations France, Spain, and Portugal. All 3 states allow Andorran nationals to visit their countries for longer periods of time, whether for residency, work, or both.
There has been a lot of confusion in Andorra regarding the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). Particularly concerning how its implementation in late 2022 may affect Andorra, its nationals and foreign residents traveling to the Schengen member nations.
Traveling from Andorra to a Schengen Nation
Andorra was initially announced as an ETIAS eligible country, meaning that it would have been a mandatory requirement for Andorran passport holders to hold a valid travel authorization to cross the border into the Schengen Area.
However, Andorran government authorities have officially confirmed that their nationals will not be required to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization to cross the Schengen border.
Like 3 other European microstates —Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City—, Andorra is not part of the European union nor the Schengen Agreement.
Nevertheless, Andorrans are considered exempt from the obligation to carry an ETIAS travel authorization for travel through the Schengen Area.
Therefore, citizens of the Principality of Andorra will still be able to effectively travel freely to the Schengen Area, after the ETIAS is scheduled to come into full force by the end of 2022.
ETIAS Benefits for Andorran Nationals
Even though Andorran passport holders will not be required to obtain an ETIAS in order to travel to its neighboring countries, they will still benefit from the ETIAS.
Perhaps the main advantage of ETIAS for Andorrans is the increased overall security in the Schengen Area, and, as a consequence, in Andorra as well. All other travelers from visa-exempt nations —except Andorran, Monegasque, Sammarinese, and Vanticanien passport holders— will have to obtain an ETIAS mandatory travel permit in order to enter the Schengen Territory from late 2022 onwards.
Since Andorra has no international airports and is landlocked between Schengen countries, all foreign visitors to Andorra will have passed by Schengen security in order to arrive to their final destination. This ultimately benefits Andorrans because the European Union’s travel system will have prescreened all visitors coming to Andorra. The ETIAS will deny access to individuals considered to pose a risk for Europe and prohibit them from legally entering the Schengen Area.
The ETIAS is being set up by the European Union in order to strengthen security checks on passengers currently allowed to enter the Schengen Area visa-free. The ETIAS and its security procedures, in turn, will grant authorities access to the data of all visa-exempt Non-Schengen travelers so they can screen their information and cross-check it against multiple security databases.
The pre-screening of travelers from visa liberalization countries —including foreign nationals visiting Andorra— will speed up border checks for citizens who do not pose a risk to the security of the EU and allow authorities to block access to individuals seen as a threat to the EU.
The ETIAS visa waiver has multiple advantages for both Andorran citizens and Schengen residents alike:
- ETIAS is not a traditional visa, it is a travel authorization that can be obtained entirely online, saving applicants time and hassle
- ETIAS will help identify any security or irregular migratory risks posed by visa-free visitors transiting through the Schengen Area en route to Andorra
- The Smart Borders Systems created alongside ETIAS will facilitate crossing borders into the Schengen Area for the great majority of passengers who do not pose any risks to the EU
- The ETIAS and Entry Exit System (EES) data recollection will respect citizen’s fundamental rights and data protection principles
Andorrans who wish to work, study or live long-term in a Schengen member nation will have to apply for a traditional visa at the embassy of the country they wish to reside in.
ETIAS Authorization for Andorrans with dual Citizenship
Andorran citizens with more than one valid passport due to dual nationality will have to choose which passport they would like to travel to the Schengen Area with.
Dual citizens from Andorra with a second passport from an ETIAS required country may travel with their Andorran passport without the need to apply for a travel authorization.
However, should the Andorran passport be expired, and the traveler visit the Schengen Area with their second —ETIAS required passport— they will then have to make sure to apply for an ETIAS before their trip.
The ETIAS application will require the traveler to fill out the following details of the chosen passport:
- Passport number
- Passport issuance date and country
- Passport expiration date
The personal information the applicant introduces in the ETIAS form has to coincide exactly with the data printed on the passport used to apply.
The ETIAS will remain electronically linked with the specific passport used during the application and will not appear when the traveler visits a country on their other passport.
Therefore, it is very important to make sure to travel on the same passport used for the ETIAS request.
ETIAS for Andorran Citizens - FAQ
Can Andorrans work in Europe with an ETIAS?
An ETIAS travel authorization grants holders permission to take part in business activities in the Schengen Area of Europe, including Spain and France.
Andorrans traveling to the Schengen Area on their Andorran passport do not need an ETIAS. However, Andorrans with dual citizenship can take business trips of up to 90 days’ duration in the Schengen member nations on an ETIAS.
Passport holders of Andorra are granted permission to reside and work in 3 Schengen countries: France, Spain, and Portugal. However, this special grant is unrelated to the ETIAS.
Andorran national who wish to reside, study, or work in a different Schengen country than the 3 mentioned above, will have to visit an embassy or consulate for this nation in order to request a student or work visa.
Unlike the ETIAS —which grants entry into all 26 Schengen nations— EU work visas are country-specific and requirements may vary from one to another.
Diplomatic personnel of the country of choice can inform Andorrans in regards to the documents required as well as processing times and other conditions for work visas.
Andorran citizens found working in the Schengen Area on an ETIAS may face serious consequences. Some of these include the revokement of the ETIAS, fines, or even deportation.
Additionally, since working on an ETIAS with an Andorran passport is a breach of the visa waiver conditions, it may also hinder the possibility of obtaining a new ETIAS in the future.
How much time can Andorrans spend in France, Spain or the rest of the EU?
Andorran passport holders are granted special conditions by 3 member states of the Schengen Area — France, Spain and Portugal. These 3 nations allow Andorrans to reside and work in their territory.
However, all other Schengen nations allow Andorrans to visit for up to 90 consecutive days without having to request a visa.
Additionally, during this stay in the rest of the Schengen Area, Andorrans are not permitted to work nor enroll in university to obtain a degree.
Furthermore, once the 90-day limit for Andorrans in the EU runs out, they will have to exit the Schengen Area, either by returning to Andorra, or by visiting a third country that is not a Schengen member.
Andorrans traveling on a third-country passport with an ETIAS due to dual citizenship will, however, have to abide by ETIAS regulations.
This includes departing the Schengen Area once the 90 days allotted run out, as well as being granted another 90-day stay at the end of every 180-day period.