Visa & Permit Avenues in Mauritius

HOW DO I OBTAIN A TOURIST VISA FOR MAURITIUS?

Tourist visas in Mauritius are issued upon arrival to visa exempt passport holders and are valid for a maximum period up to 60 days with the possibility of a maximum 30-day extension after the initial 60 days depending on the return ticket of the traveler.

Visa restricted passport holders would need to apply for their tourist visa at the relevant Mauritian Embassy in their country of origin or residence.

Please refer to the following link for visa requirements for Mauritius:

http://passport.govmu.org/English/Passport%20and%20Visa%20Requirement%20in%20Mauritius/Pages/Visa-Requirements-in-Mauritius.aspx

HOW DO I OBTAIN A BUSINESS VISA FOR MAURITIUS?

In Mauritius, business visas are issued only upon arrival at the airport in Mauritius to visa exempt passport holders. For obtaining the business visa, the traveler should provide the Immigration Officer at the airport in Mauritius with a letter from a local sponsor/company in Mauritius, explaining the traveller’s purpose of his trip to Mauritius and thereby requesting for a business visa to be issued to the traveler on arrival in Mauritius.

Visa restricted passport holders would need to apply for their business visa at the relevant Mauritian Embassy in their country of origin or residence.

AM I ALLOWED TO WORK AND BE RENUMERATED IN MAURITIUS WHILE ON A BUSINESS VISA ?

A Business visa does not allow remunerated work activities to be conducted while in Mauritius. Attending conferences, seminars, training and meetings are the only forms of activities allowed on this visa. A business visa may be issued for up to 120 days per calendar year.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT TOURIST VISA AND BUSINESS VISA

i. Travelers should hold a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months as from date of arrival, a valid return ticket and sufficient funds to meet the costs of their stay in Mauritius.

ii. A person can be in Mauritius on a tourist visa for a maximum of 180 days in a calendar year.

iii. A tourist visa cannot be converted to a business visa in Mauritius.

iv. The number of days spent in Mauritius on a tourist visa and business visa are combined for each calendar year. For example: if a person has been on a business visa for 30 days in January 2020, he will then only be eligible to spend either 150 days in the calendar year 2020 on a tourist visa in Mauritius or 90 days on a business visa in Mauritius. The point is that the person cannot exceed 180 days in a

  calendar year on a tourist and business visa combined.

WAT IS AN OCCUPATION PERMIT IN MAURITIUS?

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:

i. Investor

ii. Professional

iii. Self-Employed

A person cannot hold an OP under 2 different categories at the same time- for example a person cannot be on an Investor Permit and at the same time hold a Self-Employed Permit.

Foreign nationals, above the age of 50 years, may choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit (RP). The Retired Permit only gives the right to live in Mauritius without being professionally active.

An Occupation Permit (Investor and Self-employed) and a Retired Residence Permit shall be issued for a maximum period of 10 years, renewable thereafter as per established criteria.

An Occupation Permit under the Professional category shall be issued for a maximum period of 3 years or as per the duration of the contract of employment, renewable thereafter as per established criteria.

WHAT IS THE APPROVAL IN PRINCIPLE?

All the applications for OP (Investor, Professional and Self Employed) and RP (Retired) will only be considered under the Approval in Principle route that is the application is submitted online first and upon obtaining the Approval in Principle, the applicant has 90 days to travel to Mauritius to carry out his medical tests and attend the interview with the Economic Development Board(EDB) and the Passport and Immigration Office (PIO) (together the ‘Authorities’).

If the Authorities are satisfied with the documents provided during the interview, the OP or the RP will be provided to the applicant on the same day.

The Approval in Principle is not a visa to enter Mauritius. Prior to travelling to Mauritius, applicants should ensure that they have the appropriate travel document and visa as explained on the first page of this document.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CRITERIAS UNDER EACH CATEGORY OF OCCUPATION PERMIT (OP)?

There are 3 categories of OP under which a non-citizen can apply. The non-citizen should apply for an OP under the category, which best reflects his nature of activities in the country.

Investor

An Investor is defined as a shareholder and director in a company incorporated in Mauritius under the Companies Act 2001.

The initial application for an Investor Permit is for a period of 10 years.

An Investor should make an initial transfer of USD 50,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency from his personal bank account in his country of residence at the time of application to the bank account of the company under which the application for the Investor Permit will be made.

For purposes of the renewal of the Investor Permit after the initial 10 years, the company should generate a minimum gross income of MUR 4 million rupees per year as from the third year of initially obtaining the Investor Permit– that is, if a person has obtained his Investor Permit in 2020 and it is expected that the person will renew his Investor Permit in 2030, then one of the main criteria for renewal is that the Company, under which the Investor Permit has been obtained, is generating a gross revenue of MUR 4 million as from 2023.

A company may have more than one shareholder. If there are several shareholders in a company who would like to apply for an Investor Permit in Mauritius, then each shareholder should invest a minimum of USD 50,000 to be eligible for the Investor Permit that is each Investor Permit application is for 1 person for a minimum investment of USD 50,000 per person in the company.

Foreigners who have already made an investment of a minimum of USD 50,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency, in a company incorporated in Mauritius, are eligible to apply for the Investor Permit in Mauritius as long as the company in which the investment has been made, is reporting a cumulative turnover of MUR 12 million during the past 3 years preceding the application for the Investor Permit.

In the event a person inherits of an investment in a company in Mauritius, the beneficiary is eligible to apply for an Investor Permit in Mauritius as long as the company in which the investment has been inherited, is reporting a cumulative turnover of MUR 12 million during the past 3 years preceding the application for the Investor Permit.

Applicants for an Investor Permit in Mauritius should request for a business visa on their arrival in Mauritius (as explained on the first page of this document) and after having obtained the Approval in Principle from the Authorities in Mauritius.

A person on an Investor Permit in Mauritius is allowed to act as director on other companies incorporated in Mauritius.

Professional

A Professional, as defined under the Immigration Act, an expatriate employed by a company incorporated in Mauritius to deliver professional services.

The initial application for a Professional Permit is for a period of 3 years or as per the duration of the contract of employment.

Professionals working for a period of less than one year in Mauritius may apply for a Short-term Occupation Permit. Under the Short-term Occupation Permit, Professionals can work and reside in Mauritius for a period not exceeding 9 months. The permit may be extended only once for a period not exceeding 3 months.

A Professional should earn a basic monthly salary of at least MUR 60,000.

For Professionals in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Food Processing sectors, the basic salary should be at least MUR 30,000.

Applicants for a Professional Permit in Mauritius should request for a business visa on their arrival into Mauritius (as explained on the first page of this document) and after having obtained the Approval in Principle from the Authorities in Mauritius.

A Professional can only be either a minority shareholder or a director (but not .

A Professional is allowed to hold investments in   companies/businesses in Mauritius. The Professional is allowed to do so

   both) on the company employing him in Mauritius

he is not involved in the day to day management of the Company/businesses; he is appointed as director of the Company, it is in a Non-Executive capacity and he does not derive any director’s fees from this appointment.

he is not deriving any regular fixed salary or employment benefits from any other companies/businesses in which he holds investments apart from the Company under which he is employed in Mauritius.

Self Employed

A Self-Employed is defined as a non-citizen engaged in a professional activity registered with the Registrar of Businesses under the Business Registration Act 2002. A Self-Employed operates a one-person business, working exclusively for his own account.

The initial application for a Self- Employed Permit is for a period of 10 years.

A Self-Employed should make an initial transfer of USD 35,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency from his personal bank account in his country of residence at time of application to his personal bank account in Mauritius.

For renewal purposes, the business activity should generate a business income of MUR 800,000 per year as from the third year of registration.

Applicants for a Self Employed Permit in Mauritius should request for a business visa on their arrival into Mauritius (as explained on the first page of this document) and after having obtained the Approval in Principle from the Authorities in Mauritius.

 RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES FOR OP

There are certain activities which would need a clearance from parent ministries in Mauritius prior to issuing the Approval in Principle. These activities are listed below:

a. Tourism sector: Any investor or professional wishing to operate a tourism-related activity should first consult the Tourism Authority on http://www.tourism.govmu.org to check whether he will be allowed to carry out his intended activity in Mauritius.

b. Trading sector: Trading activities consisting of imports to be sold locally may not be entertained.

c. Medical sector: All medical practitioners’ applications are only entertained under the category of professional or as investor. We strongly advise that the qualifications of the Medical Practitioner intending to apply for an OP in Mauritius to submit their academic and professional qualifications beforehand to the Authorities for review prior to submitting an Investor Permit or Professional Permit application.

d. Allied Health Professionals: Applicants in the field of physiotherapy, nutrition, occupational therapy, etc. should first register with the Council of Allied Professionals of Mauritius to be eligible for an OP and be able to practice in Mauritius. The website address is http://ahpcmauritius.org/welcome-on-ahpc-website. The Council will determine if their area of expertise is in the scarcity category in Mauritius and if they are eligible for registration in Mauritius. It is only following a favourable response from the Council that the individual can submit an application for an OP. For allied health professionals, applications for OP are only accepted under the professional and investor categories.

   WHAT IS THE RETIRED PERMIT AVENUE AVAILABLE FOR NON-CITIZENS IN MAURITIUS?

The criteria for applying for a Residence Permit as a Retired Non-Citizen is as follows:

a. A Retired Non-Citizen is defined as a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius and aged 50 years or above.

b. The initial application for a Retired Permit is for a period of 10 years.

c. A Retired Non-Citizen should make an initial transfer of at least USD 1,500 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency from his personal bank account in his country of residence at time of application to his personal bank account in

Mauritius.

d. Thereafter, the Retired Non-Citizen should transfer at least USD 1,500 monthly or a sum by instalments amounting to at least USD 18,000 annually, during a period of 10 years.

e. Applicants for a Retired Permit in Mauritius should enter Mauritius on a tourist visa (as explained on the first page of this document) and after having obtained the Approval in Principle from the Authorities in Mauritius.

f. A Retired Non-Citizen is allowed to hold investments in any companies/businesses in Mauritius. Retired Non-Citizen is allowed to do so only if

i. he is not involved into the day to day management of the Company/businesses;

ii. he is appointed as director of the Company, it is in a Non-Executive capacity and he does not derive any director’s fees on this appointment.

iii. he is not deriving any regular fixed salary or employment benefits from any companies/businesses in which he holds investments.

IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY OF OBTAINING A RESIDENCE PERMIT IN MAURITIUS?

Acquiring a property of at least USD 375,000 in one of the approved schemes makes the non- citizen eligible for a Residence Permit in Mauritius as long as he owns the property. The dependents of the non-citizen will also be entitled to the Residence Permit in Mauritius under this scheme.

The Residence Permit under the acquisition of property scheme provides the non-citizen with the option of living in Mauritius without being professionally active. In case the non- citizen would like to be professionally active in Mauritius, then he will have to apply under one of the routes available under the OP.

 HOW ARE DEPENDENTS DEFINED FOR PURPOSES OF AN OP/RP IN MAURITIUS?

Dependents are defined as spouse (including Common Law Partner of the opposite sex) and children, including stepchildren or lawfully adopted children, under 24 years of age. The Dependents of an Occupation or Residence Permit holders are eligible to apply for a residence permit.

Dependent parents of Occupation Permit holders (Investor, Professional and Self Employed) are allowed to accompany and stay in Mauritius. The application for the parents as dependents of the Occupation Permit holders can be submitted to the Passport and Immigration office.

The duration of the dependent permit cannot exceed that of the main permit holder.

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