Mauritius is an increasingly popular destination for expatriate professionals, investors and retirees drawn to the island by its healthy economy, natural beauty, agreeable climate, modern infrastructure and government policy designed to make Mauritius one of the best places in the world to live.
Those who have already made Mauritius home on either a temporary or permanent basis value the island’s political stability and the quality of life it offers such as its safety, first class international schools, excellent healthcare services and ample leisure opportunities. For entrepreneurs there is the attraction of the island’s favourable regulatory and business ecosystem, its progressive economy and the ease with which it is possible to do business. For those seeking to retire to Mauritius, the cost of living is a welcome surprise, with both individuals and businesses benefitting from favourable tax policies.
Mauritius recognises the value of growing its economy by encouraging foreign talent, know-how and investment into the country. Whether you are an investor, a professional, an entrepreneur or looking for an idyllic location for your retirement, you will find Mauritius welcoming.
This guide is designed to help those considering relocating to Mauritius understand the various permits that are available and how JTC can assist with concierge services designed to take much of the stress out of the relocation process. This brief also touches on acquiring real estate on the island which is permissible in prescribed conditions – although this is better covered in a separate Insight: Real estate investment in Mauritius by non-nationals.
Why move to Mauritius?
- A record of political stability and three decades of sustained economic growth
- Secure investment location with established rule of law
- Freest and most business-friendly country in Africa
- Peaceful, multi-ethnic with a unique blend of cultures
- Flexible, bilingual (English and French) skilled workforce
- Investment-friendly regulatory regime
- Open to foreign investors and talent
- Preferential market access to Africa, Europe and the USA
- Convenient time zone (GMT+4)
- State-of-the-art infrastructure
How can JTC help?
If moving home is stressful, relocating one’s family and business to another country can be daunting. We are experienced in addressing the inevitable concerns that arise during the process and offer the following assistance:
- Pre-arrival support
- Orientation services
- Temporary accommodation and home search services
- Logistics management including pet relocation
- Education and schooling
- Networking opportunities
Enlisting the assistance of JTC professionals can help ensure you benefit from appropriate advice around relocation and associated matters, leading to a smooth and efficient move.
Taking the strain out of day-to-day life
JTC offers a concierge service by which designated relationship managers and personal assistants provide for clients’ every need.
The service is designed to simplify the daily lives of clients, be this organising the grocery shopping or co-ordinating aspects of a large project such as the construction of a high-end villa.
We have access to a large, island-wide network of professionals and service companies selected with care and with whom we have special relationships. This ensures there are few issues we can’t respond to quickly and efficiently.
Need office space?
Finding the right office accommodation is time consuming and can be particularly challenging at a time of relocation. Having the right space in the right area is a critical business decision and one it is not always easy to get right when a new venture is planned.
We can assist you in your search for office space or provide you with dedicated accommodation within JTC’s offices in CyberCity, where we can tailor a support package designed to meet your needs.
This can range from simply a desktop set-up to full corporate services, including executive and/or non-executive directors. Whether this is temporary or permanent, our support includes infrastructure such as IT support, telecoms and answering service, desktop computers, printers, scanners, copiers, serviced meeting rooms and reception.
Mauritius continues to attract a growing number of foreign nationals who have chosen to live, work or invest in the country and who have three residency options:
- Occupation permit/work permit
- Permanent residence permit
- Residence permit for retired non-citizen
1) Occupation permit/work permit
The Occupation Permit (OP) is a combined work and residence permit which allows foreign nationals to work and reside in Mauritius under the three specific categories:
A) Investor: A non-citizen is eligible to apply for an OP as an Investor provided they satisfy any of the following conditions:
A company investor and an individual investor need an initial transfer of USD100,000; for a company investor, the business activity should generate either an annual turnover of at least MUR2m for the first year and cumulative turnover of at least MUR10m for the following two years or an annual turnover exceeding MUR4m.
An existing investor with a net asset value of at least USD100,000 and a cumulative turnover of MUR12m during the preceding three years with a turnover of at least MUR2m in any one year.
An individual who has inherited a business through the death or incapacity of the previous investor, provided the net asset value of the business is at least USD100,000 and a cumulative turnover of MUR12m during the preceding three years and with a turnover of at least MUR2m in any one year.
An Investor who intends to bring in high-tech machinery and equipment as part of the USD100,000 investment must transfer a minimum of USD25,000 and the remaining balance in terms of high-tech machinery and equipment.
An Investor who will conduct research and development (R&D) in highly innovative sectors can apply for an Innovator Occupation Permit. The R&D expense component should constitute at least 20% of total operational expenditure during the research phase. Applicants eligible to apply under this scheme will be required to make an initial investment of at least USD40,000.
For any other investor, a project value exceeding MUR20m will be required.
A professional should earn a basic monthly salary exceeding MUR60,000. For professionals working in the ICT Sector, the basic monthly salary should exceed MUR30,000.
A self-employed individual should make an initial transfer of USD35,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency to their local bank account in Mauritius and should be engaged in the services sector only. The business activity should generate an annual income exceeding MUR600,000 in the first two years and MUR1.2m from the third year.
2) Permanent Residence Permit
The Permanent Residence Permit allows a non-citizen to work and live in Mauritius for a period of ten years. The following categories are eligible for the Permanent Residence Permit:
An investor who holds a valid Occupation Permit and the aggregate turnover of their company has exceeded MUR45m for any consecutive period of three years.
An investor who invests at least USD500,000 in a qualifying business activity as listed below:
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, warehousing and initial public offerings (IPOs).
A self-employed person holding an Occupation Permit and where the annual income exceeded MUR3 million for three consecutive years.
A professional with a valid Occupation or a Work Permit whose basic monthly salary exceeded MUR150,000 for three consecutive years immediately preceding the application.
A retired non-citizen who has held a Residence Permit for three years and has transferred USD40,000 annually to their account in a local bank during each of these three years.
3) Residence permits for retired non-citizens
A) Retired Non-Citizen:
Foreign nationals above the age of 50 years may choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit (RP). The Retired Non-Citizen must undertake to transfer to their local bank account in Mauritius an initial transfer of at least USD2,500 and thereafter transfers of at least USD2,500 per month or a sum by instalments amounting to at least USD30,000 annually.
B) Dependents of an OP or RP holder:
Spouse (including Common Law partner of the opposite sex) and children, including stepchildren or lawfully adopted children under 24 years, may also apply for residence permits for a duration not exceeding that of the OP or RP holder.
Acquiring real estate by a foreign national
The Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act was amended in December 2016 to allow foreign nationals to purchase apartments in condominium developments of at least two levels above ground (G+2) with the prior approval of the Board of Investment provided the purchase price of an apartment is not less than MUR6m or equivalent in hard convertible foreign currency.
Hence any non-citizen, with or without an occupation permit, residence permit, permanent residence permit, may acquire apartments and foreign nationals are also permitted to acquire:
a residential unit developed under the IRS, RES and PDS
- a residential unit developed in a Smart City
- an apartment in a building comprising at least two floors above ground floor.
More information on the criteria and eligibility for each type of residential property is available from the Board of Investment: http://www.investmauritius.com/work-live/acquisition-of-a-residential-unit.aspx or JTC’s Insight: Real estate investment in Mauritius by non-nationals.
How to proceed?
If you would like JTC to take care of your relocation requirements and/or provide concierge services, please contact Ganessen directly.
At the time of writing (October 2018) 1 US Dollar (USD) bought 34.60 Mauritius Rupees (MUR)
This document aims to provide an overview of the features of non-Mauritius nationals relocating to Mauritius. It should not be considered legal, regulatory or tax advice. It is essential you obtain independent legal, regulatory and tax advice relevant to your specific circumstances from your own legal, tax and other business advisers. JTC (Mauritius) Limited is not liable for any loss suffered or incurred in connection with the subject matter and contents of this document.
JTC (Mauritius) Limited is regulated in Mauritius by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission