Apart from being a popular tourist destination, Mauritius is now emerging as a preferred relocation destination for foreigners who are looking for the quality of the work/life balance while being in a safe and stable environment for themselves and their families.
The Government of Mauritius, has, since the past decade, put into place the regulatory framework, infrastructure and bodies to make Mauritius a welcoming and attractive place for expatriates, be it professionals, investors or retired persons.
Mauritius permits are broken down into 2 broad categories- the Occupation Permit and the Residence Permit. The Occupation Permit (OP) is a combined work and residence permit, which allows foreign nationals to work and live in Mauritius under 3 specific categories namely:
The Residence Permit provides only the right to live in Mauritius without being professionally active. Foreign nationals, above the age of 50 years, may choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit (RP) or persons who have acquired properties under the Approved Schemes of the Economic Development Board are eligible to a Residence Permit in Mauritius.
The Occupation Permit and the Residence Permit structure and accompanying legislations have evolved constantly over the past years as the Government was taking note of the increased interests for Mauritius for relocation purposes. Mauritius is also now becoming a favourite destination for persons considering spending their retirement in a tropical country. This is the reason why in August 2019, the Government of Mauritius has decreased the minimum annual transfer under the Retired Permit from USD 30,000 to USD 18,000 annually.
The graph below, gives an indication of the different permits issued by the Authorities as at the end of January 2020:
September 2020 Page 1 of 2 On the 4th June 2020, the Budget was announced in Mauritius. There were many suggested changes to be brought to the Immigration Laws. The main changes which were not approved at the Parliament level pertaining to the Immigration laws are:
a. The combination of the Occupation Permit and the Residence Permit into one single permit thereby intending that those persons who are on a residence permit in Mauritius under the approved property schemes, will be allowed to work without the need to apply for an Occupation Permit; and
b. The spouse of an Occupation Permit holder is allowed to work in Mauritius without the need to apply for an Occupation Permit.
Further to the enactment of the Finance Act 2020/21, the following main amendments were made to the Immigration Laws in Mauritius as from 02 September 2020:
• The Investor, Self Employed and Retired categories have been extended from 3 years to 10 years;
• The minimum investment requirement for the Investor Permit has changed from USD 100,000 to USD
• A person holding a Professional Permit in Mauritius is allowed to hold investments in other companies
incorporated in Mauritius as long as he is not actively involved in the running of the companies and he is not deriving any form of regular salary from those companies. The person is allowed to receive dividends resulting from his investments in Mauritius.
• A person under the Retired Permit in Mauritius is allowed to hold investments in companies incorporated in Mauritius as long as he is not actively involved in the running of the companies and he is not deriving any form of regular salary from those companies apart from dividends.
• The parents of an Occupation Permit Holder are allowed to apply as dependents and therefore live in Mauritius as per the established criteria.
• The Permanent Residence Permit has been extended from 10 years to 20 years.
Mauritius as a safe haven coupled with the positive changes to the legislations and the support of the Authorities makes Mauritius a destination of choice for foreigners when deciding to relocate.