Mauritius “opening to the world” was the key message announced by the Minister of Finance in the National Budget 2020-2021 on June 4.
In response of the fast-changing global economic landscape and the rise of FinTech, the Government of Mauritius have set up various schemes to foreigners who wish to move to Mauritius, invest in real estate, work, live or retire in Mauritius.
Our close partner, The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Mauritius recently issue a detailed guideline.
The different schemes when moving to Mauritius:
1) Occupation permit (OP) – for Investor, Professional and Self-employed
2) Residence Permit (RP) – for Retired Non-Citizen and the acquisition of property
3) Permanent Residence Permit (PRP)
4) Acquisition of Property in Mauritius for foreigners
5) Dependents of an Occupation Permit (OP) or Residence Permit (RP) holder
1. Moving to Mauritius with the OCCUPATION PERMIT (OP)
As said previously the Occupation Permit (OP) is a combined work and Residence Permit (RP) which allows foreigners to work and reside in Mauritius under the following 3 specific categories:
A non-citizen is eligible to apply for an Occupation Permit as an Investor if they satisfy any of the following conditions:
(a) An initial transfer of an equivalent USD 50,000 in freely convertible currency in the bank account of the company under which the application will be made;
(b) An existing investor with a net asset value of at least USD 50,000 and a cumulative turnover of at least MUR 12 million during the 3 years preceding the application.
(c) An investor who intends to bring in high-tech machinery and equipment as part of the investment of at least USD 50,000, must transfer a minimum of USD 25,000 and the remaining balance in terms of high-tech machinery and equipment.
Regarding the renewal of an Occupation Permit for Investor, the company should generate a minimum gross income of MUR 4 million per year as from the third year of registration.
Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for an Innovator Occupation Permit under the following 2 options:
Option 1: No minimum investment is required; however, a submission of an innovative project needs to be submitted to the Economic Development Board
Option 2: Register with an incubator accredited with the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council
In the 2020-2021 budget, the government has reiterated its commitment to develop specific sectors such as pharmaceutical, high-precision manufacturing, and food processing and put specific measures in place to attract foreign talents.
As from September 2020, the minimum salary requirement has been decreased from MUR 60,000 to MUR 30,000 (approximately USD 800) for Professional Occupation Permit (OP) holders in those specific sectors of focus. All sectors (excluding ICT) remain at a minimum salary requirement of MUR 60,000 (approximately USD 1600).
Professionals may also apply for a Short-term Occupation Permit for a period that does not exceed more than 9 months. The Occupation Permit may be extended only once for a period not exceeding 3 months.
Right to Invest by Professional
A Professional may invest in any business if he/she is not employed, does not manage the business and does not derive any salary or employment benefits from the business. The Professional may also hold shares in a business where he/she is employed provided that the Occupation Permit holder is not a majority shareholder.
A Self-Employed should operate a one-person business activity, working exclusively for his/her own.
- A Self-Employed should make an initial transfer of USD 35,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency to his/her local bank account in Mauritius.
- For renewal, the business activity should generate a business income of 800,000 rupees per year as from the third year of registration.
2. Moving to Mauritius with the RESIDENCE PERMIT (RP)
Mauritius has long been recognized as a leading African property market for foreign investors. While enjoying the exceptional location of a real estate property as well as our legal framework, foreigners may apply for their Residence Permit (RP), through the purchasing of property through various schemes.
While Residence Permit used to be 3 years, the new budget has extended the Residence Permit (RP) to 10 years for retired Non-Citizen with the possibility to Permanent Resident Permit after having held their permit for 3 consecutive years.
2.1 Retired Non-Citizen
Foreign nationals aged 50 years or above can choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit (RP). In order to apply for the Residence Permit (RP), retirees need to meet the following criteria:
- A Retired Non-Citizen should make an initial transfer of USD 1,500 minimum (or the equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency) to their personal local bank in Mauritius.
- Each year, the retired Non-Citizen should submit to the Economic Development Board the evidence of a monthly transfer of USD 1,500 minimum (or at least USD 18,000 per year) during the 10 years’ validity of the Residence Permit (RP).
Note: With the new law, a holder of Residence Permit (RP) as Retired Non-Citizen can invest in any business provided that he or she is not employed in the business, does not manage the business, and also does not derive any salary or employment benefits from the business.
2.2 Residence Permit and acquisition of property in Mauritius
With the new residency law, Mauritius offers more flexibility than ever for Retired Non-Citizen to acquire property in Mauritius.
- The minimum investment amount for an investor to obtain the status of Permanent Resident as an owner of immovable property under the existing scheme has been reduced from USD 500,000 to USD 375,000
3. Moving to Mauritius with the PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT (PRP)
To qualify for PRP, you either already hold an existing permit, or you wish to invest in Mauritius with the 2020-2021 budget. Working and living in Mauritius has been made easier for foreigners by extending the Permanent residence Permit from 10 years to 20years.
The following categories are eligible for the Permanent Residence Permit:
(a) An investor who holds a valid Occupation Permit for at least 3 years with a minimum annual gross income of at least MUR 15M or the aggregate turnover of his/her company has exceeded 45 million rupees for any consecutive period of 3 years;
(b) An investor who invests at least USD 375,000 in a qualifying business activity as per list below:
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, Initial Public Offerings.
(c) A self-employed who holds an Occupation Permit and where the business income exceeded MUR 3 million for three (3) consecutive years;
(d) A professional having a valid Occupation or a Work Permit for at least 3 years and whose monthly basic salary exceeded MUR 150,000 for three (3) consecutive years immediately preceding the application;
(e) A retired non-citizen who has held a Residence Permit for three years and has transferred USD 54,000 for a period of three years.
4. Acquisition of Property in Mauritius for foreigners
Investing in real estate in Mauritius is been made easier allowing foreigners to acquired land for residential purpose.
- Non-citizen holders of a Residence Permit, Occupation Permit or Permanent Residence Permit will be allowed to acquire one plot of serviced land not exceeding 2,100 m2 for residential purposes within The Smart City scheme under conditions.
- Construction of the residential plot by a non-citizen must be completed within 5 years.
5. Moving to Mauritius with dependents of an OP or RP holder
Spouse (including Common Law Partner of the opposite sex) parents of OP/RP holder and children, including stepchildren or lawfully adopted children, under 24 years may also apply for Residence Permits (RP) for a duration not exceeding that of the OP or RP holder. To be able to proceed with the application of the residence permit, the dependent should possess a valid tourist visa. If the dependent wishes to work in Mauritius, he/she should either apply for a Work Permit or an Occupation Permit (OP).
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