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:
- You know Mauritius and are sure you want to be permanently based here
- 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.
- 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:
- You are 50 years old or more
- You are not intending to work or be employed in Mauritius.
- 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.
- Investor Permit (10 years)
- Professional Permit (3 years)
- 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.
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.
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.
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