Mauritius announced plans to open a citizenship by investment scheme against donating to Sovereign funds in Budget 2018 speech in an attempt to opening up the country and economy to foreign investment.
Citizenship by Investment
Economic Development Board (EDB) will manage two citizenship schemes to attract High Net Worth individuals who satisfy defined criteria and after due diligence.
Scheme 1: This scheme will offer the opportunity to obtain a Mauritian passport provided they make a contribution of USD 500,000 to the Mauritius Sovereign Fund. For their spouse and dependents, they will have to make an additional contribution of USD 50,000 per passport.
Scheme 1: This scheme will offer foreigners the opportunity to obtain Mauritian citizenship provided they make a non-refundable contribution of USD 1 million to a Mauritius Sovereign Fund. For their spouse and dependents, they will have to make an additional contribution of USD 100,000 per member of family
The Mauritius Sovereign Fund (MSF) will be managed by the Mauritius National Investment Authority. Any withdrawal from the Fund will be used to meet disbursements for new capital projects and public debt repayments.
The proposals of implementing citizenship by investment scheme is still in the pipeline and not implemented yet.
Residence by Investment
Mauritius offers both residence and permanent residence permits for investors.
1. Permanent Residence
Permanent residence permit is issued to investors, whose company’s turnover exceeded MUR 15 million annually or an investor having invested USD 500,000 in a qualifying activity. This permit is valid for 10 years and renewable.
List of qualifying business 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.
2. Residence permit
- Investor: Initial transfer of USD 100,000 and the business activity should generate an annual turnover of at least MUR 2 million for the first year and cumulative turnover of at least MUR 10 million for the subsequent two years.
- Professional: Basic salary should exceed MUR 60,000 monthly. However, the basic salary for professionals in the ICT Sector should exceed MUR 30,000 monthly.
- Self-Employed: Income from the business activity should exceed MUR 600,000 annually for the first two years of activity and MUR1.2 million for the third year, with an initial investment of USD 35,000
- Real Estate Investors: Non-citizens holding a residential property under the Property Development Scheme including the Integrated Resort Scheme or the Real Estate Scheme (the acquisition value of which is at least 500,000 USD) is eligible to apply for a Residence Permit.
Citizenship for Investors
Mauritius offers quickest path to naturalize for citizenship to investors. The section 9(3) of the Mauritius Citizenship Act an investor may be naturalized as a citizen of Mauritius if:
(i) he has invested a sum of not less than $500,000 US dollars in Mauritius;and
(ii) he has resided in Mauritius for a continuous period of not less than 2 years preceding the date of his application
Under ordinary naturalization, commonwealth citizens may acquire citizenship after 5 years of living in the country.
The processing of citizenship applications takes upto 12 months.
Mauritian citizens have visa free access to 145 countries, as of 2019. These countries include EU schengen area, China, Russia and United Kingdom.
Mauritius allows dual citizenship for citizens by birth.
Any person who has acquired citizenship by Naturalisation may be deprived of that citizenship if the Naturalisation has been obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact.