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De facto couple in Andorra: registration before a notary

In many of our articles we have mentioned the common law or stable union of a registered partner in Andorra. Specifically, in our articles where we talk about the ways of living in Andorra or the different types of residence permit Andorrans, we mention this category of the marital status of two people based on non-marital coexistence.

It should be noted that for this formality to be valid in the Principality of Andorra, it must have been formalized in this same country, therefore it is not valid that the formalization has been done in a foreign country, even if it is Spain or France. Thus, in order to process the residence permit for family reunification, this procedure must be completed, which we are going to detail in this article.

Stable union of couple, origin and definition

The legislation of the common-law couple in Andorra was drafted on February 21, 2005 under the name of "Qualified Law 4/2005 of stable couple unions" and was approved on March 23, 2005 in the BOPA. After this, on June 26 of the same year the Regulation on the registry verification by decree, also in the BOPA.

Article 2 of said Law 4/2005 defines the stable union of a couple or common-law partner as the union formed in a lasting way for two people, of legal age or emancipated minors; no kinship in a straight line by consanguinity or adoption and in collateral line by consanguinity up to the fourth degree; who live as a couple and are registered in the corresponding Registry.

On the other hand, article 21 of the Law creates the Registry of Stable Couple Unions, in charge of the civil registrar, in order to initiate the previous file of declaration of the union and to be able to prove this union as well as the eventual extinctions. This registry is constituted as a public institution attached to the department of the central administration on which the Civil Registry depends (article 3 of the Regulation). It is also established that in order to formalize the union, neither of the two members can be united by a marriage bond or by a stable couple union with another person.

Registration of a stable couple union in Andorra

To be legalized as a common-law partner in the Principality of Andorra, the interested parties must appear at the offices of the Civil Registry and prepare a prior file that must be evaluated and authorized in order to register it. The purpose is to demonstrate in a documentary way that the applicants are effectively a civil union of a couple and it consists of an application, which must be delivered duly signed and filled out, and the rest of the documentation provided for in the Law.

Documentation necessary for the file

  • Passport or DNI in force
  • Residence certificate delivered by the Immigration Service in the case of legal residents in the country, or registration in the case of non-residents.
  • Private and protocolized agreement Notarially granted by the members of the stable couple union.
  • Coexistence documentation:
    • In the case of a public document, (notarial deed or foreign registration) this will be sufficient to prove prior coexistence.
    • If there is no sworn statement by two witnesses that they have proof of the duration, at least one year, of the cohabitation (this period is not required when the cohabiting couple has a common child, the existence of which will be accredited by means of Literal birth certificate).
  • Literal birth certificate
    • If you were born in Andorra, it is already in the Civil Registry.
    • If you were born abroad, you will obtain it in the Civil Registry of the place where you were born.
  • Certificate of civil status being Andorran
    • If you are single, it is done in the same Civil Registry by the appearance of 2 documented witnesses.
    • If you are divorced in Andorran Courts: Verify that your divorce is registered in the Civil Registry of Andorra.
    • If you are divorced in a foreign court and the previous marriage is registered in Andorra: it will be necessary for you to request the exequatur of the divorce judgment at the Higher Court of Justice of Andorra, as well as provide the literal certificate of your previous marriage with the marginal mention the fact of dissolution.
    • If you are a widower, you must provide the literal certificate of your previous marriage and the death certificate of the previous spouse.
  • Certificate of civil status being a foreigner
    • Residents must request it from their Consulate. (Spanish the document Fe de vida y estado).
    • Non-residents can request it from their country of origin or at their Consulate.
    • If you have been married before, also bring the literal certificate of the Civil Registry stating your previous marriage, with the marginal mention of the fact of dissolution.
    • The widowers also the literal certificate of their previous marriage and the death certificate of the previous spouse.

About the required documentation

  • Once the Civil Registry confirms that the documents and the file are correct, both of them must go to the Civil Registry to sign the Declaration of will to become a common-law couple in Andorra. In accordance with article 3 of Law 4/2005, Registration will take place after a period of 6 months from the aforementioned declaration.
  • It is not necessary to translate the documents written in Spanish, French or Portuguese, but it is necessary translation into Catalan, Spanish or French of documents written in another foreign language. The translation will be done by an official translator.
  • All documents from abroad must be presented duly legalized using one of the following two procedures.
    • The Hague Apostille. It is a single stamp, for the countries that are part of the Hague Convention.
    • The chain of legalizations, for countries that are not party to the Hague Convention. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the foreign country they can inform you about which departments have to put the chain of stamps on the documents. Note that the last stamp to be affixed will be that of the Consulate (whether Andorran, Spanish or French) accredited in that foreign country, or that of the Consul of that foreign country accredited in Andorra.

Extinction of the domestic partnership

Finally, the legislation itself also establishes that the stable union of a couple is extinguished for the following reasons:

  • By mutual agreement. In this case, both members must jointly urge the cancellation before the Registry by means of a written and reliable notification.
  • By unilateral will. This will must be reliably manifested to the other partner and, subsequently, the cancellation will be requested in the competent Registry, attaching a copy of this notification. This cancellation registration can only be made after 3 months from the date of the reliable notification to the other partner. If it is not possible to do so for reasons beyond the control of the interested party, such as the lack of knowledge of the whereabouts of the other cohabitant, it must be proven before the registrar that you have tried to notify by any means admitted by law.
  • By marriage of one of the partners. The marriage of one of the members automatically supposes the cancellation of the stable union. Regarding the marriage celebrated outside the Principality of Andorra, with the presentation of the marriage certificate issued by the competent Civil Registry, the registration of the cancellation of the stable couple's union will proceed immediately.
  • Due to death or judicial declaration of death. In the case of death or judicial declaration of death of one of the members of the couple, the surviving member or any other interested person must send a copy of the death certificate or the judicial declaration in the Registry, in order to proceed with the cancellation of registration.


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De facto couple in Andorra: registration before a notary

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Andorra Insiders is an information platform about Andorra managed by Abast Global, an Andorran professional consultancy firm for legal, tax and accounting services specializing in the establishment of people and businesses in the Principality of Andorra. More information here.

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