Mauritius has announced important changes to immigration law and golden visa scheme for obtaining permanent residency in Mauritius. Mauritius is among the top three countries in the world with the purest quality of air. The state offers free education and protection for the elderly, greater inclusiveness and negative income tax. Mauritius is a major tourist destination enjoys a tropical climate with clear warm sea waters, beaches, tropical fauna and flora. Corporations are taxed at 15% and there is no capital gains tax and no withholding tax on dividends. Mauritius has strong open economy, favorable tax laws, ease of offshore company formations and a modern and strong banking sector with many international and national banks open for non-residents makes it very attractive for foreign investors.
Mauritius has reduced conditions for permanent residence by just investing USD 375,000 in real estate (instead of USD 500,000). Another big change announced was permanent residence card with now be valid for 20 years instead of 10 years. Mauritius does not have a citizen by investment scheme, only residency is granted to investors.
The Mauritius economic development board sets conditions for residency by investment program and investments. Below are different set of paths available for foreign investors. Investors qualify for OC and PR.
A minimum investment of USD 50,000 in a business activity. Occupancy permit issued for 10 years.
USD 375,000 – A foreign investor who invests at least USD 375,000 in a qualifying business activity. It is a 20-year residency, open to investors, retirees, professionals, self-employed entrepreneurs, and their family.
To qualify for permanent residence for investor must:
- Hold Occupation permit for three years and
- be achieving an annual gross income of at least MUR 15 million for 3 consecutive years preceding the application for the Permanent Residence Permit application or achieving an aggregate turnover of MUR 45 million for any consecutive period of 3 years preceding the Permanent Residence Permit application.
Occupation Permit – Foreign nationals may opt to invest, work, live or retire in Mauritius through various avenues namely the Occupation Permit. It is issued by passport and immigration office of Mauritius.
There are three main routes to secure residency in Mauritius buying a property, no less than US$ 375,000
Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS)
A foreigner can acquire residential properties, like villas, townhouses, penthouses, apartments, duplexes and serviced plots of land in existing IRS projects. The non-citizen and dependents are eligible for a residence permit when he/she has acquired the property at a minimum amount of USD 375,000. The owners may rent the property, become tax resident in Mauritius and face no restriction on the repatriation of funds or revenue raised from the sale or renting of the property. Non-citizens who have a residence permit under IRS will be exempted from an Occupation or Work permit to invest and work in Mauritius.
Real Estate Scheme (RES)
Invest in luxury residential offerings of Mauritius, RES projects offers different type of residences ( Villas, penthouses, duplexes, apartments) located within exclusive albeit smaller residential developments. A foreigner can acquire a residential property in existing RES projects and will be eligible for a residence permit for himself and his dependents if he has invested a minimum amount of USD 375,000 to acquire the RES property. The owners may rent the property, become tax resident in Mauritius and face no restriction on the repatriation of funds or revenue raised from the sale or renting of the property. Non-citizens who have a residence permit under RES will be exempted from an Occupation or Work permit to invest and work in Mauritius.
The Invest Hotel Scheme
This IHS scheme allows a non-citizen investor and individual guests to become an owner of exclusive hotel units located in Mauritius. A non-citizen can acquire a room (or a hotel unit) in new or existing hotels approved under the IHS. The owner thus gets a privileged access to all the facilities of exquisitely furnished luxury resort hotel(s) with amenities like F&B, fully serviced spas and fitness centres, resort-style pools. The unit owner or any person on his behalf may use that unit for a total of 45 days in any period of 12 months, and can also derive an income through the lease back model. If the unit/room is acquired for a minimum amount of USD 375,000, the owner would be eligible for a residence permit.
The minimum investment amount for an investor to obtain the status of Permanent Resident or a holder of an immovable property under an existing scheme to obtain the status of Resident will be reduced from USD 500,000 to USD 375,000. To attract and retain foreign talents and businesses, noncitizens holders of 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 smart cities. This measure will be open for a period of 2 years ending 30th June 2022. The non-citizens will have to complete the construction of a residential building within a period of 5 years. The total area of all plots of serviced land for sale should not exceed 25% of the land area planned for the construction of residential properties
Some of the important changes to the immigration rules
- The Work Permit and Residence Permit will be combined into one single permit.
- The validity of an Occupation Permit (OP) and a Residence Permit for retirees extended to 10 years renewable.
- The minimum investment amount for obtaining an Occupation Permit (OP) will be reduced from USD 100,000 to USD 50,000.
- The minimum turnover and investment requirement for Innovator Occupation Permit are being removed.
- The spouse of an OP holder will not need a permit to invest or work in Mauritius.
- OP holders will also be allowed to bring their parents to live in Mauritius.
- The EDB will be the only agency responsible to determine and recommend applications for the OP.
- Professionals with an OP and foreign retirees with a Residence Permit will be able to invest in other ventures without any shareholding restriction.
- Non-citizens who have a residence permit under the various real estate schemes will no longer require an Occupation or Work Permit to invest and work in Mauritius.
- The Permanent Residence Permit will be extended from 10 to 20 years.
- OP and Residence Permit holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit if they have held the permit for three consecutive years.