Invest in Mauritius from USD 375,000 for permanent residence

Invest in Mauritius from USD 375,000 for permanent residence

There are many ways to invest in Mauritius. It is an open economy for foreign investment. Due to the success of the offshore sector in Mauritius, there are very large sums of money flowing through Mauritius to Africa and beyond and some of it ends up invested directly in Mauritius.

Why invest in Mauritius?

Investing in Mauritius can give permanent residence and even citizenship. There is no capital gains tax, no tax on dividends and no tax on an estate upon death. The economy and government are stable in Mauritius. There is a proper system of land registration and as it is a small island, there are some very interesting investment opportunities. It sits strategically between Africa and Asia. The population is educated and it is a very safe country.

How can I invest in Mauritius?

There are very few restrictions for investing in Mauritius. One can buy a property, invest in the stock market, set up a company and bank account without coming to Mauritius. A foreigner can wholly own a Mauritian company and Mauritius is welcoming to foreign investment as long as compliance checks are completed. Someone can buy a property and set up a company without coming to Mauritius.

Invest in real estate in Mauritius

Real estate in Mauritius is thriving! There is huge demand for both rentals and investing in real estate. There are many schemes that foreigners can buy into, some of which have permanent residence if you spend over USD 375,000. Permanent residence is included with the Property Development Scheme (PDS), the old IRS and RES schemes and now the benefit is afforded to an apartment that is at least Ground plus 2 levels as long as the cost of the residence is at least USD 375,000.

Where to invest in Mauritius real estate?

We are often asked where to invest in Mauritius for real estate. The most popular region to invest in Mauritius real estate is the North around Grand Baie. This contains a large proportion of the expats on the island. Grand Baie has many developments and the North in general has a large coastline, with developments scattered everywhere, but never too far from the action. The West of Mauritius is also popular with expats and it has a thriving expat community. The South and East of the island have some more expensive options and tend to be popular with those who are holidaying or retiring in Mauritius.

Can you buy land in Mauritius as a foreigner?

There is land for sale in Mauritius for non-Mauritians. It is only however in very specific circumstances can a foreign buy land by itself in Mauritius. Foreigners have been able to buy land in Smart Cities to build their own villas for a couple of years through a special provision that is not due to last much longer. The person must already have a permit but this is not difficult to organise in advance. Foreigners can also buy serviced land in Mauritius in certain estates in much the same way.

What is the PDS scheme for foreign investment.

How much money do you need to invest in Mauritius real estate?

You can invest in a Mauritian apartment from as little as MUR 6 million which is around USD 150,000. You can buy multiple residences but you only get permanent residence if you spend USD 375,000 on any single property.

How to get a permanent residence permit in Mauritius?

One can get a permanent residence permit as an investor in two main ways. With real estate one can spend above USD 375,000 in the correct schemes such as the Property Development Scheme, the Integrated Resort Scheme or the Ground + 2 Scheme. These give permanent residence whilst owning the property. One can alternatively get a Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) for 20 years by investing at least USD 375,000 in any of the following qualifying activities: Agro-based industry, Audio-visual, Cinema and Communication, Banking, Construction, Education, Environment-friendly and green energy products, Financial Services, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Freeport, Information Technology, Infrastructure, Insurance, Leisure, Manufacturing, Marina development, Tourism and Warehousing and Initial Public Offerings.

About us

We are a boutique consultancy firm that provides a full spectrum of services for those coming to do business in, invest in, or relocate to Mauritius. We are run by British lawyers and are able to match the high expectation of global clients, with a professional service in a cost-effective and responsive way. We understand the needs of our clients who require discretion and confidentiality and can offer many ancillary services to assist with their needs.

What TBI Business Advisors can do for you

  • We will have a Zoom/ Teams call or email exchange to understand your requirements.
  • We can assist with the finding and purchasing of property, and setting up of an entity to purchase through.
  • We will advise on the appropriate permit or visa for coming to Mauritius.
  • We will send a detailed proposal with clear costs, timeframes and explanations.
  • We will assemble the documents and make the application on your behalf.
  • We can assist with setting up companies if you are an investor or just creating a business here.
  • We can assist with relocation tasks such as helping with schools, accommodation, insurance and choosing locations to live in Mauritius.
  • The directors can act as Commissioner for Oaths.
  • We can assist with other business advice and can bring in law firms as and when required.

Please contact us via our website or via email to info@tbimauritius.com.

While every effort is made to ensure that the information given is accurate, the information on this site does not contain legal, tax or any other professional advice. We accept no responsibility or liability due to any information or representation, whether accurate or not, relied upon in the contents. It is to provide the reader with a useful, general, but basic understanding of the different considerations. You must seek local legal, tax or other professional advice before relying on the contents of this site.

Please get in touch to find out more.

Air Mauritius

Mauritius and COVID-19

We are frequently asked by our clients around the world as to the situation in Mauritius. We go through succinctly below the restrictions that there are in place, how COVID has affected business in Mauritius, and where the opportunities in Mauritius currently are.

Lockdown and COVID

Unfortunately Mauritius has just entered a 2 week lockdown as of 10.03.21 with several cases on the island. The last lockdown in Mauritius ended in May 2020 and as a result of that and the quarantine when coming into Mauritius, there has been almost no organic spread since then until now. Mauritius was often described as COVID-safe. This has meant that the children went to school, and everyone else continued going to work, shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, bars and beaches. People were still expected to wear a mask in public but ultimately it was a very enjoyable life. Once the current lockdown ends, as we are on a remote island, we expect that we will go back to the previous freedoms again soon.

There is a 2 week quarantine in a Mauritian hotel for all those flying in from abroad and this has been in place since the borders re-opened last summer. You are confined to a room, although if you spend enough money you can get private villas with swimming pools and gardens to spend your two weeks which makes a family stay more bearable.

The COVID effect on business

Tourism

Needless to say that the restrictions put in place around the world including the quarantine in Mauritius have affected certain industries significantly. As one would expect tourism and all ancillary industries have suffered. There has been a huge increase in Mauritians and expats in Mauritius using the local hotels but this is not enough to sustain the industry for too long. Tourism is a large part of the Mauritian economy and so the country suffers without it.

Hospitality

Without tourists the hospitality industry has suffered. As it has been life as normal for most of us living here, many restaurants, bars and gyms are still being used and many companies are flourishing who have adapted to the change in clients, and the demand for deliveries and online ordering. The hospitality industry still however craves the return of the tourists.

Offshore business

There continues to be demand for company, fund and trust formation as Mauritius remains a stable base, especially for African-centred investment and trade. One does not need to travel to Mauritius to set up a company nor for bank accounts meaning that the Mauritius global business sector continues to thrive and remain relatively unaffected by COVID-19. Many of the special FSC licences are proving to be very popular at the moment from Investment Dealer and Investment Adviser Licences to PSPs and Management Company Licences.

Property

There continues to be a significant demand for property in Mauritius, predominantly from the French and South African markets. There are many buyers on hold until they can visit the properties here but there have been many sales that have gone through by seeing property virtually using good local partners. The fact that purchasing property in Mauritius gives permanent residence to investors and their family if they spend over USD 375,000 in certain approved developments, means that there is a real temptation for foreigners to consider having a second home/ residence, a diversified property portfolio or to actually come and move to Mauritius. Ultimately it is a small island and property has the long-term potential of Singapore. One can even buy land in smart cities as a foreigner and build your own property since the last budget but it is only temporary so buyers are moving quickly.

Relocation

Linked with the property, there are many people moving over to Mauritius at the moment, despite the 2 weeks quarantine. The simplicity of the ‘Premium Visa’ to come and live in Mauritius to work remotely or retire, coupled with the turbulent risks and related restrictions there are around the world, the tropical island with its thriving business community juxtaposed with the beaches and outdoor life is a tempting prospect. Others, particularly from South Africa are making permanent moves including financial emigration and are happy to handle the quarantine to make a life for their families here.

Opportunities

There are clear investment opportunities in Mauritius as the island will always appeal to tourists and expats, there is limited land available and the democratic island remains a safe, stable and beautiful place to live and work long-term. The rupee has suffered a little so there has rarely been a better time to invest in businesses here as many viable companies are suffering due to the lack of tourists and investors can find opportunities from hotels and restaurants to banks and management companies.

Conclusion

Mauritius has been affected through its lack of tourists, but there remain great opportunities in the global sector, to relocate here and avoid significant COVID risks, as well as invest in the future with properties and business still as relevant as they will always be. We are happy to arrange a call or Teams/ zoom, or email us to ask any questions you have.

About

Philip Tsalikis is a practising UK barrister based in Mauritius and registered there as a foreign lawyer. He is the co-founder of TBI Mauritius, a Mauritian consultancy firm with a global reach and network. TBI assists individuals and businesses with their investment, setup and operations in Mauritius and throughout Africa, as well as properties, relocation, permits and residence.

Disclaimer

Our aim with our articles is to make them digestible. We keep them short and relevant but do not update them. They are not designed to be legally relied upon. This article contains no legal, tax or financial advice, all of which should be sought from relevant professionals.

Please get in touch to find out more.

Premium-Travel-Visa-in-Mauritius

The New Premium Travel Visa in Mauritius

With no more than a handful of organic COVID cases over the last 7 months, Mauritius has faced the difficult decision as to how to open up the borders, whilst keeping the country safe. It has maintained its cautious approach and promoted an interesting option for those remote-working individuals or retirees that just want a year (renewable) in a country where there is no lockdown, limited risk, where the sun shines and where the tax is low. The information below on the scheme is from the Economic Development Board, is correct as of the article being written, and we advise that you use the EDB website as your first reference point if considering this.

Background

Mauritius adopted a strict initial approach to the virus and therefore organic spread stopped so long ago that life in Mauritius feels very normal. People go to work, restaurants, schools and gyms and of course the beach.  It is the start of summer and the prospect of an extended stay in a hotel, complex or beachfront villa whilst working remotely is very appealing to many. In order to maintain the low risk, there remains in place, as of now, a 2 week quarantine which is really the only drawback of coming here on a short-term basis. This rule is not as difficult to swallow if one is coming for several months to enjoy the safety of the jurisdiction.

How it works.

Currently a tourist can stay in Mauritius for 3-6 months depending on where they are from, and there are many limitations in what they can do here. With the Premium Travel Visa, someone can stay for up to a year, whether they just work remotely, relax and take a sabbatical, or spend some of their retirement here. The idea in essence is to attract those that want to continue their remote-working life. Swapping the winter of Europe and the turbulence of Africa, for the balmy serenity of Mauritius. Those who are older or at-risk, may also want the safety of a protected island with limited exposure.

What are the conditions?

The applicant needs to show that they can make the stay viable, i.e. proof of funds, insurance, income, accommodation, general immigration criteria. One can’t work locally in Mauritius and therefore the income generated needs to be from outside. One must be from one of the 114 countries listed on the EDB website. The current documentary requirements are:

  1. a valid passport and a passport size photo
  2. copy of air ticket (including return ticket)
  3. Travel and health insurance for the period of stay
  4. Proof of funds (bank statement or bank attestation) to meet the cost of stay in Mauritius (minimum monthly transfer of USD 1500/EUR 1300 as per exchange rate applicable)

Health protocols

All passengers under a Premium Visa will have to go through the sanitary and health protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

All prospective passengers (including children and infants) travelling to Mauritius for the month of November and December 2020 must possess the following documents:

  1. a certificate of a negative COVID – 19 PCR test administered not more than 7 days prior to the date of boarding at the last point of embarkation.
  2. a valid air ticket to Mauritius; and
  • proof of purchase of a travel package including accommodation, on a full board basis, at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine.
    Visit https://booking.mymauritius.travel/ to book quarantine accommodation.

Attention is also drawn to the fact that

  1. any arriving passenger will have to undergo PCR tests on day of arrival, day 7 and day 14 following arrival: and
  2. if a PCR test reveals that a person is COVID-19 positive, he/she shall be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

What are the benefits

The application will be very quick, so once you are set, you won’t need to wait for several weeks like the current Mauritian residence permits. Starting with the basics, Mauritius offers a high-quality work-life balance. You are almost always just a few minutes from the beach, it is hot all year round, the people are very friendly and it is an exceptionally safe place.

Fiscally speaking, the cost-of-living is relatively cheap, domestic help is very good value, and tax is very low. One can intersperse work with golf, scuba-diving, kite-surfing or just relaxing by the pool. There are a number of quality international schools. Mauritius has reliable, fast, fibre broadband. Foreigners can invest in Mauritius, including in the residential property market in certain schemes. Subject to your own jurisdiction’s rules of taxation, then you can utilise Mauritius for your tax residency. You are then only taxed on your income that you remit to Mauritius but independent tax advice is recommended for anyone considering this.

Conclusion

Our view is that the scheme offers a very easy and efficient way to relocate to Mauritius. In order to utilise this, you need to be working remotely or already retired, so that you don’t need to seek local employment. Consideration needs to be given in advance to flights, costs and procedures for quarantine, and the potential split tax year for residency (if this is being contemplated). You will need to arrange quarantine accommodation and post-quarantine accommodation before you apply. We are happy to arrange a call or zoom, or email us to ask any questions you have.

About

Philip Tsalikis is a practising UK barrister based in Mauritius and registered there as a foreign lawyer. He is the co-founder of TBI Mauritius, a Mauritian consultancy firm with a global reach and network. TBI assists individuals and businesses with their investment, setup and operations in Mauritius and throughout Africa, as well as relocation, permits and residence.

Disclaimer

Our aim with our articles is to make them digestible. We keep them short and relevant but do not update them. They are not designed to be legally relied upon. This article contains no legal, tax or financial advice, all of which should be sought from relevant professionals.

Please get in touch to find out more.

Good news for Expats in Mauritius

Good news for Expats in Mauritius

The Mauritius Budget 2020 has arrived and the good news for expats is that it is going to be much easier to move to Mauritius, to live and work here, and to stay here for longer. There is a potentially large pothole in the road if the Solidarity Levy is applicable to non-Mauritian residents but at face value it is not for now. The first thing that must be borne in mind is that some measures announced in Mauritian budgets do not see the light of day. The second thing is that there will still be some amendments before the bill becomes law, so don’t make any decisions based on the new provisions quite yet.

This list of proposed changes below is simply a sample of many changes brought in, that we view will be most relevant to those already on the island, or looking to come here. There are three main ways that the budget will impact expats in Mauritius.

  1. The requirements to get a permit in Mauritius
  2. The benefits of getting a permit in Mauritius
  • The requirements for investing in property in Mauritius

The Requirements to Get a Permit For Expats

Investor Permit

The Mauritian Investor Permit is currently one of a number of ways that a non-citizen can live and work in Mauritius. A new provision would allow the Investor to make only an initial USD 50,000 investment into the Mauritian company rather than the current requirement of USD 100,000.

Professional Permit

The new law would allow someone to get a permit to work in Mauritius in certain specified sectors for a basic salary of at least MUR 30,000 per month, extending the provision currently in place for the ICT sector, as opposed to the MUR 60,000 minimum requirement that exists now. More details will follow for this.

The Benefits of Getting a permit

Retirement Permit

Retirees will get a 10-year permit rather than 3 years.

Parents of permit holders

Parents of an occupation permit holder will now be able to come and live in Mauritius.

Permits through property investment

Currently, by investing in a property in a PDS scheme or equivalent, one can get residence for the investor and their family but this did not give them the right to work. The proposed law removes the requirement for the investor to need a further permit to work.

Permanent Residence

After 3 years in Mauritius on an occupation permit, it looks like it will be much easier to get a Mauritius Permanent Residence Permit. The Permanent Residence Permit itself is going to be increased from 10 years renewable to 20 years.

  • New Property criteria

Minimum threshold

The minimum investment threshold in approved property schemes that give an automatic right to live and work in Mauritius, has lowered from USD 500,000 to USD 375,000.

Smart Cities

Non-citizens who hold a permit can now buy serviced land for residential purposes within a Smart City up to a maximum size of 2,100 m2. There are various conditions attached but ultimately this is the first time that foreigners can actually own land like this in Mauritius in such a way.

Conclusion

There are a lot of positives that will give more confidence to non-citizens who currently are in Mauritius or looking to come over. Having the longevity of permanent residence more easily as well as the Applicant’s parents being able to stay, really opens up Mauritius to many who were on the fence. Wait before making any bold decisions on relocation, and be sure that the final laws enacted are the ones that you are relying on. If you would like updates on any of these points as the changes become law then please get in touch.

About the Author

Philip Tsalikis is a practicing UK barrister based in Mauritius and registered there as a foreign lawyer. He is the founder of TBI Mauritius, a consultancy firm based in Mauritius but with a global reach and network. TBI assists individuals and businesses with their investment, relocation, setup, and operations in Mauritius, and throughout Africa.

Disclaimer

Our aim with our articles is to make them digestible. We keep them short and relevant but we do not update them. They are not designed to be legally relied upon. This article contains no legal, tax, or financial advice, all of which should be sought from relevant professionals.

Please get in touch to find out more.

Residence and Permits-mauritius

Our simple Guide to Residency and Permits in Mauritius

Mauritius has a very diverse ecosystem and is proving a very popular place to relocate to and retire. It is still considered by some across the globe as a honeymoon destination. However, a substantial financial services industry with a focus on FinTech, and bustling real estate opportunities means that there are many business and investment opportunities here. From manufacturing to education and banking to agriculture, this unique business environment, coupled with the safety, stability and beauty of Mauritius, unsurprisingly has many foreigners looking to relocate to these shores.

We have tried to form a relatively simple guide, that can be useful for those at their preliminary stages of seeking to come over. There are several ways that someone can relocate here so we have tried to list most of the main ways, in a format that removes complexity and can be absorbed easily.

1 – Getting residency by investment

Without a doubt, the simplest way to get residence that is as permanent as a property, for you, your partner and your young children, is to acquire real estate in Mauritius that fulfils certain criteria. The basic requirements are that the property is residential, it costs more than USD 375,000, and it is in one of the specific schemes that the Economic Development Board permits such as the Property Development Scheme (PDS). This also allows you to work in Mauritius.

Only however go for this if:

  1. You know Mauritius and are sure you want to be permanently based here
  2. You have enough money to invest in such a scheme, bearing in mind that most of the properties are significantly more than USD 375,000.
  3. You use reputable advisors and firms to guide you as there is a significant variation of quality in this sector.

If you do not fit any one of the criteria above then we would suggest the following order of thought.

2 – The easiest way to get a regular residence permit

Apply for a residence permit as a retired non-citizen. This is a really simple way of moving here without having to commit to any investments here.

Only do this if:

  1. You are 50 years old or more
  2. You are not intending to work or be employed in Mauritius.
  3. You can afford to transfer an average of USD 1,500 per month (this mount has recently been reduced from USD 2,500) into your bank account here.

3 – What if 1 and 2 don’t work for you? An Occupation Permit!

The majority of people who move here do not fit into either category above. They are first in our list as if you satisfy the criteria and you are sure on the decision, then they are easier than the other options.

If you are not coming here to retire, then you will need an Occupation permit, which is a combined work and Residence Permit. Note that this does not permit your spouse or partner to work, and they must seek their own work permit. Your partner and children can however live here on your permit.

The options:

  1. Investor Permit (10 years)
  2. Professional Permit (3 years)
  3. Self-employed Permit (10 years)

1 – Investor Permit

This is a very popular form of Occupation Permit, that allows you to set up, or invest in a business if the main vehicle is a Mauritian company. This could be a management company, a restaurant, a diving school or a construction company. In short, it needs an investment of USD 50,000, which can be used for buying stock, paying rent, paying for staff etc. There are however some derivations of the investor permit, including the Innovator Permit requiring less investment and more focus on R & D in Mauritius

2 – Professional Permit

This allows a non-citizen to work for a company, (that is not his or hers), for a minimum of MUR 60,000 per month or MUR 30,000 per month in the ICT sector. There are many global companies in Mauritius, especially in the financial services sector. With the variety of global and entrepreneurial companies entering Mauritius, the job market is only getting more varied and interesting. There are several recruitment companies here that can help find a job suitable for a Professional Permit.

3 – Self-employed Permit

This requires it to be a one-person business. An initial up-front payment of USD 35,000 is needed as well as a business income of at least MUR 600,000 per year.

Although succinct, we hope that the information above helps those looking at Mauritius for relocation, residence and permits, to find a simple solution for their needs.

Premium Visa

This is a simple way that has recently (late 2020) been added. We cover this option in another article that can be found here.

About the Author:

Philip Tsalikis is a practising UK barrister based in Mauritius and registered there as a foreign lawyer. He is the founder of TBI Mauritius, a consultancy firm based in Mauritius but with a global reach and network. TBI assists individuals and businesses with their investment, setup and operations in Mauritius, and throughout Africa.

Disclaimer

Our aim with our articles is to make them digestible. We keep them short and relevant but do not update them. They are not designed to be legally relied upon. This article contains no legal, tax or financial advice, all of which should be sought from relevant professionals.

Please get in touch to find out more.

Legal Assistance in Mauritius

Beware of the South African expat tax!

Introduction

SA expats will need to make some decisions on their financial future as a tax of up to 45% looms on the horizon through a change in the law. As the founders at TBI are from the UK and based in Mauritius, many of our friends and clients are from SA and have been looking for guidance. If you have any further questions on the article below or would like to be introduced to those who can provide the technical solutions to you, then please get in touch.

This article is intended, in a simplistic way, to illustrate the factors that South Africans must consider, and offer some potential solutions. This is neither legal nor tax advice. Although many South Africans believe that their ties with their homeland are cut, it might not be as simple as that for the South African Revenue Authority (SARS). By March 2020, for those ill-prepared, significant fiscal consequences may await! With the right preparation and guidance, much can be done.

The current law

There is a residence-based tax system in SA. A resident is charged on their worldwide income in SA. Those whose residency is outside SA and are declared a non-resident by satisfying certain criteria are currently exempt from tax in SA for income from foreign employment (earnings).  The basic criteria being someone outside SA for more than 183 days (of which 60 are consecutive) over a 12 month period, all subject to the SARS physical presence test. In short, expat SA residents generally fit into this category.

The change in the law

The amendment to the South African Income Tax Act will come into effect in March 2020. Those from SA that are currently exempt from paying tax in SA may now be taxed up to 45% of anything earned outside SA over ZAR1 million each year. This ZAR1 million likely includes allowances and fringe benefits such as flights and housing.

This amount of tax would be subject to any Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) in place. In Mauritius for example, which has a 15% tax rate and a DTA, the approximate tax payable in SA would be around 30% for anything above ZAR 1 million (on top of tax in Mauritius). We would recommend speaking to a tax lawyer in SA to find out if you are likely to be subject to the expat tax, based on your individual circumstances before you make any decision.

Options

The options below are not intended to be exhaustive, but simply some of the options available.

  1. Financial Emigration (FE)

This is different to emigration which likely would already have been achieved. FE is an administrative process whereby one cuts all ties with SA via the bodies SARB (South African Reserve Bank) and SARS, informing them that you are no longer ‘ordinarily resident’.

One must be sure about this decision, as if the person returns to SA, then there are various fiscal penalties for failed emigration. If one is sure to cut all ties, then there are various other advantages on inheritance and retirement annuities. Potential risks include Capital Gains Tax (Exit Tax) on residential property in SA.

  1. Setting up a tax-efficient structure

This is where you need the help of a corporate service provider and potentially a tax lawyer. There are a number of vehicles that can be used. A popular option is an offshore professional services company in a low-tax jurisdiction taking into account substance requirements. Another option is an investment portfolio as part of a retirement plan. There is no income tax on interest earned and no CGT. Some of our partners are able to guide you on these options and others.

  1. Move back to SA

There is always the option to move back. Despite the turbulent times, SA is still an incredibly beautiful country, that is cheap to live in.

Conclusion 

Seek professional advice, be prepared, and do what is best for your circumstances. If you would like us to introduce service providers who can provide the structures for you, or introduce you to tax experts who can guide you as to your liability, then please get in touch.

About the Arthur:

Philip Tsalikis is a practising UK barrister based in Mauritius and registered there as a foreign lawyer. He is the founder of TBI Mauritius, a consultancy firm based in Mauritius but with a global reach and network. TBI assists individuals and businesses with their investment, setup and operations in Mauritius, and throughout Africa.

Disclaimer

Our aim with our articles is to make them digestible. We keep them short and relevant but do not update them. They are not designed to be legally relied upon. This article contains no legal, tax or financial advice, all of which should be sought from relevant professionals.

Please get in touch to find out more.