Mauritius, here I come!!
Looking at the world today, one can see social unrests and protests, political instability, security issues and the prevailing pandemic gaining in intensity, among others. These issues have led to a massive surge in physical relocation and Mauritius is being increasingly chosen as the ideal location. While Mauritius is best known for its tropical weather, white sandy beaches, breathtaking landscapes, top-notch golf courses and a myriad of cultures and cuisine, Mauritius also offers a sound quality of life, security, healthcare and education, a cost efficient environment for living or business purposes, coupled with political and socio-economic stability.
While relocating to some countries can prove to be a bureaucratic and expensive process, Mauritius offers a very seamless and efficient way to do so with the first part of the application being made and processed online. This means that the non-citizen is only required to travel to Mauritius once his/her application has been approved in principle. The process is also well documented with all documents/information required as part of the application clearly set out and a pool of professionals who can assist in the process at a reasonable cost.
Non-citizens have the option to both work and live in Mauritius or only live in Mauritius. For those wishing to work and live in Mauritius, they can do so through the application of an Occupation Permit, under 3 different categories, namely Investor, Professional and Self-Employed. The duration of both the Investor permit and self-employed permit have been subject to a recent extension, from 3 years to 10 years. Under the Professional category, the non-citizen is eligible to a permit for a maximum period of 3 years, renewable thereafter, upon satisfying several conditions. Mauritius has also seen a wave in foreign retirees wishing to spend their retirement amidst its peaceful culture and verdant landscapes, which has led to the construction of several luxury retirement homes. With the recent extension granted, a retiree being 50 years of age or above is allowed to stay on the island under a retired non-citizen permit for as long as 10 years instead of the previous term of 3 years. Undoubtedly, these extensions in duration have made Mauritius an even more appealing jurisdiction.
Since a relocation often translates into starting a new life in a new country which comes with a level of uncertainty and apprehension, a legitimate question asked by many is what happens after their permit expires. Accordingly, once the duration of the respective permits has lapsed and that the necessary conditions have been duly fulfilled, permit holders have the option to either renew their permit for another 10 years (for investor, self-employed and retired non-citizen) and for another 3 years (for professionals) or to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit ("PRP") which is now valid for a period of 20 years.
Another means through which a non-citizen can gain residency in Mauritius is via the acquisition of a property under specified schemes for a minimum amount of USD 375,000. Such amount has been revised downwards from USD 500,000 recently in the spirit of attracting investments. It is no news that real estate is an indisputable pillar of the Mauritius economy in which significant investment is made and this has culminated into numerous attractive high-class projects under specified schemes.
WITH ALL THAT HAS BEEN SAID, FAMILY IS OFTEN A DETERMINING FACTOR WHEN IT COMES TO RELOCATION. AS SUCH, MAURITIUS GRANTS DEPENDENTS OF PERMIT HOLDERS THE RIGHT TO A RESIDENCE PERMIT.
In fact, the eligibility of a dependent encompasses the spouse, children, stepchildren or lawfully adopted children under 24 years of age with parents recently added to the list. In case dependents wish to work in Mauritius, they simply need to apply for the relevant Occupational Permit.
As part of a relocation, a non-citizen may also contemplate relocating his/her business to Mauritius or part of it. The ease of doing business and cost-efficient environment together with the bilingual and highly qualified workforce are compelling reasons to do so. The Mauritius government is encouraging investments in several sectors such as agro-industry, education, healthcare, life sciences, ocean economy, with emphasis on innovation sectors.
Interestingly and as a means to invite esteemed travelers seeking to prolong their feeling of wellness arising out of its exotic and Covid-safe country, Mauritius has very recently launched the Premium Travel Visa. Under this visa, any tourist, retiree or professional willing to stay with their family or carry out business or work remotely from Mauritius may do so for a period of one year subject to satisfying certain criteria (previously for a maximum period of 180 days within a year).
Amidst the current situation prevailing globally, Mauritius offers all the right reasons for relocating. It is the friendly, warm, safe, stable, magnificent, lively and colourful cocoon everyone wants to be part of. All in an exquisite décor and a welcoming population, it offers many possibilities for you, your family and your business. "You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius" – Mark Twain.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.