Andorra, one of the European microstates, is a landlocked nation situated between Spain and France.
Although the government of Andorra does not impose visa restrictions on foreign citizens, Schengen Area policy applies de facto.
This is because Andorra does not have its own airport and, therefore, can only be accessed by Spain or France, both of which are Schengen Area countries.
As a consequence, visitors from outside the EU eligible for visa-free access to the Schengen zone need to be prepared for the launch of the ETIAS visa waiver.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System is expected to launch toward the end of 2022 to boost security and safety across the Schengen zone. Once it becomes mandatory, travellers will be required to register for ETIAS before departing for Andorra.
Andorra in the EU and the Schengen Area
The Principality of Andorra is not part of the European Union however there are some agreements between the EU and the European microstate.
Significantly, there is a customs union between Andorra and the EU. The agreement, which was signed in 1990, means that Andorra is considered an EU state in the realm of trade in manufactured goods. Agricultural products are not affected by the arrangement.
Andorra uses the Euro as its official currency and was granted permission by the European Union to issue its own coins.
Andorra is not one of the 26 Schengen Area countries however Spain and France are. It is only possible for international travellers to access Andorra through one of these neighbouring countries which means that the same visa requirements apply de facto.
As a result, third-country nationals eligible for visa-free access to Europe need to register with ETIAS for Andorra.
How to apply for ETIAS Andorra
Passport holders must obtain the essential travel document before departing for Andorra.
ETIAS is fully electronic, eligible citizens should complete the online form with the required personal information and passport details, including:
- Full name as it appears on passport
- Date of birth and birthplace
- Passport number, issue date, and expiry date
- Email address and other contact details
To successfully complete the Andorra ETIAS form, a few health and security-related questions must also be answered. The ETIAS visa waiver fees are then paid using a credit or debit card.
On submission of the ETIAS request, the applicant’s data is automatically screened against Schengen Area security systems to check that they do not pose a risk to the public.
In most cases, the ETIAS for Andorra will be granted at this stage and digitally linked to the traveller’s passport. An email notification is also sent.
In the unlikely event that there is a hit in one of the systems, the application will undergo manual review to assess whether the individual can cross the Andorran border.
Passport requirements for ETIAS Andorra
A biometric passport issued by a visa-exempt non-EU country is needed for ETIAS Andorra. To meet the ETIAS requirements, the passport should be valid upon arrival in the Schengen Area.
The ETIAS visa waiver cannot be transferred from one passport to another. If the passport expires before the ETIAS, a new visa waiver must be obtained before heading to Europe.
For the same reason, anyone applying for ETIAS with dual citizenship must use the same passport to register for the permit and enter Andorra.
Travel information about Andorra
The Principality of Andorra is one of the smallest countries in Europe, measuring 180 square miles and with a population of around 77,000.
Despite its size, the microstate is a popular tourist destination. Winter sports, summer sunshine, and low-tax shopping are just some of the reasons why Andorra is worth visiting.
Given that there is no airport in Andorra, overseas visitors fly into Spain or France, 2 of the most visited countries in Europe, before completing the journey overland.
The closest French airports to Andorra la Vella are:
- Toulouse-Blagnac Airport: 120 miles, 2 h 42 min by car
- Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport: 106 miles, 2 h 44 min by car
The nearest Spanish airports to Andorra la Vella are:
- Girona Airport: 124 miles, 2 h 36 min by car
- Barcelona-El Prat Airport: 128 miles, 2 h 36 min by car
On arrival at any of the above airports, the traveller’s passport will be scanned by Spanish or French border authorities. An ETIAS authorisation is essential to enter the Schengen Area nations and continue the journey to Andorra.
What is Andorra known for?
Andorra is best known for its mountain and ski slopes. The largest ski resort in Andorra is Grandvalira which offers over 100 slopes suitable for beginner to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Away from the slopes, Andorra boasts a number of charming villages such as Ordina, Pal, and La Massana.
The country is home to the largest thermal spa in Europe, Caldea. The resort offers wellness and health facilities and visitors can enjoy the thermal spring water in the form of waterfalls, jacuzzis, and hydromassage jets.