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Immigration Series: All about moving to Mauritius

In addition to residence by investment, property acquisition and retirement, Mauritius offers Premium Visas for people who want to work remotely or travel in Mauritius for 6-12 months.

December 01, 2021 / 01:13 PM IST
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Port Louis, Mauritius.

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Port Louis, Mauritius.

Records of Indians immigrating to Mauritius date back to 1834, when 36 men from Bihar and Bengal set sail for the island nation to work as indentured labour. Currently, 68% of Mauritians are of Indian descent.

Today, India features among the Top 3 countries in terms of nationality of applicants for Mauritius' Premium Visa. Of late, there has been an increase in the number of enquiries from Indians for other available residency schemes offered by Mauritius.

To further open the Mauritian market to investors and foreign expertise and with a view to long-term stability, the government offers attractive incentives including options for residency through various options.

Residency by investment: Incentives around investment threshold and duration of permit have been implemented to provide increased foresight and convenience to the investor community. A non-citizen can get a 10-year Residence Permit by investing a minimum of USD 50,000 in any qualified business activities with the possibility to apply for a 20-year Permanent Residence Permit after 3 years.

Also read: Immigration series | US, UK, Singapore and 16 more countries that offer residence by investment programs

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Residency by acquiring property: Foreign nationals may acquire a residential property developed under the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), Real Estate Scheme (RES), the Property Development Scheme (PDS), the Smart City Scheme (SCS) and the Apartment Scheme. The acquisition price must exceed USD 375,000.

The Residence Permit remains valid for so long as the applicant holds the residential property. The spouse and children are also granted a residence permit.

Non-citizens who have a residence permit under IRS/RES/PDS are exempt from an occupation or work permit to invest and work in Mauritius.

Residency by retirement: Retiring in Mauritius, open to those aged 50 or above, requires USD 1,500 monthly via a 10-year Residence Permit. The Residence Permit further offers the possibility to apply for a 20-year Permanent Residence Permit after 3 consecutive years.

A non-citizen retiree can acquire a residential unit or the life rights in respect of a residential unit in an approved project. There is no minimum acquisition price, and the non-citizen can choose to apply for a residence permit for himself/herself and his/her spouse until such time as the property is no longer owned or occupied by the retiree.

Premium visa: Launched in October 2020, the Premium Visa is issued to eligible non-citizens seeking to stay in Mauritius (individually or with the family) for an initial period of more than 6 months up to a year, with an option to renew. It is an invitation to travel to Mauritius, to work remotely, enjoy a long vacation or begin the journey to retirement.

To qualify for the Premium Visa, the applicant must have proof of his/her long-stay plans and travel and health insurance for the initial period of stay.

“With the full reopening of borders, a significant boost in the number of applications for Premium Visa has been noted. As of November 10, 2021, over 1,450 applications have been registered on the online portal from around 100 countries. India features among the Top 3 countries in terms of nationality of applicants,” Sachin Mohabeer, Director of Real Estate & Hospitality of the Economic Development Board, Mauritius, said.

For those intending to work in Mauritius at a later stage, Mauritius allows Premium Visa holders to apply for an Occupation Permit (as Investor, Professional or Self-employed) or Residence Permit (as retiree) for a period of 10 years during their stay in Mauritius.

You can apply for the premium visa on www.edbmauritius.org. There is no processing fee.

Processing time: If all documents are submitted at time of application, it can take around 2 months.

Read more about long stay visas

Tax benefits: You are not taxable on the funds being transferred to Mauritius. You become a tax resident in Mauritius.

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 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 the acquisition of property scheme will be exempted from an Occupation or Work permit to invest and work in Mauritius.

Real estate options: At the level of the Economic Development Board, there are over 180 approved projects comprising Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), Real Estate Scheme (RES), Property Development Scheme (PDS), Senior Living Residences and the Smart City Scheme (SCS) throughout the island. For list of approved projects, visit www.edbmauritius.org/real-estate-hospitality.

In addition, a non-citizen has the option to acquire an apartment located in condominium developments of at least two levels above ground (G+2) and the purchase price of an apartment should not be less than MUR 6 million.

A retired non-citizen can also be granted a resident permit on acquisition of a property.

The most common selling price range for the residential properties across the schemes is MUR 10 million to 50 million which takes over 70% of all sales transactions (USD 1 = MUR 43; MUR 1=INR 1.66).

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, Pamplemousses, Mauritius. The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, Pamplemousses, Mauritius.

Know the country

Population: 1.27 million

Area: 1,864 square kilometres

Capital: Port Louis

Currency: Mauritian Rupees (MUR). 1 MUR = 1.72 INR

Safety index: 28th safest country in the world (Global Finance Safety Index, by the Global Finance magazine, July 2021)

Cost of living per person: Basic monthly cost of living would be around USD 800–USD 1,000 per month
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
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