Occupation Permits (Ops)

  • OPs were issued for an initial period of 3 years but this has now been extended to 10 years for both the Investor OP and Self-employed OP.
  • For the Professional OP, the validity period remains unchanged i.e. it will still be issued for an initial period of 3 years.
  • At the expiry of their OPs, non-citizens can either renew their OPs or consider applying for a Permanent Residence (PR), subject to meeting the required conditions.
  • The validity of the PR has been doubled to 20 years

The changes are effective as from 1 September 2020

Investor OP

Eligibility Criteria for OP

  • The minimum investment to be made by investors has been reduced from USD 100,000 to USD 50,000.
  • The renewal criteria has also been relaxed and the OP will henceforth be renewed if the company generates a minimum gross income of MUR 4 million (circa. USD 114,000) per year as from third year of registration – prior to the Finance Act 2020, the company had to generate a cumulative turnover of at least MUR 12 million (circa. USD 342,800) during the 3 years preceding the application for the renewal of the occupation permit and with a turnover of at least MUR 2 million (circa. USD 57,000) per year

Professional OP

Eligibility Criteria for OP

  • Foreign professionals operating in other sectors will be eligible for a Professional OP if they derive a monthly basic salary of at least MUR 60,000 (circa. USD 1,700)
  • In addition, under the Act, investment restrictions for Professional OP holders have been waived – implying that they can now invest in a business provided that they:
  • are not employed in the business;
  • do not manage the business; and
  •  do not derive any salary or employment benefits from the business.

Holders of Occupation Permit as Professional may hold shares in a business where he is employed provided that he is not a majority shareholder

Self-employed OP

Eligibility Criteria for OP

  • The self-employed OP will be renewed if the individual generates a minimum business income of MUR 800,000 (circa. USD 22,800) per year as from the third year of registration – prior to the Finance Act 2020, the individual had to generate a cumulative turnover of at least MUR 2.4million (circa. USD 68,500) during the 3 years preceding the application for the renewal of the occupation permit and with a turnover of at least MUR 600,000 (circa. USD 17,100 per year)

For PR after 1st September 2020

Applicant must be the holder of a Self-employed OP and must have generated annual business income of at least MUR 3 million (circa. USD 85,700) for 3 consecutive years immediately preceding the PR application.

Retired Non- Citizens

  • Extension of the validity period of the Retired RP from 3 years to 10 years
  • Subject to meeting the required conditions, holders of Retired RP may apply for a Permanent Residence (PR). The PR* will be issued for a period of 20 years
  • Retired RP holders no longer have investment restrictions and may invest in a business provided that they: (i) are not employed in the business (ii) do not manage the business (iii) do not derive any salary or employment benefits from the business
  • Retired non-citizens who have been granted a PR are eligible to engage in any occupation for reward or profit without having to apply for a separate OP or work permit.

For PR after 1 September 2020

Applicants must:

(1) have held a residence permit as retired non-citizen for at least 3 years; and

(2) have transferred such amounts, by instalments or otherwise, the aggregate of which shall be at least USD 54,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency, during the period of 3 years

N.B:

The minimum investment amount criteria entitling foreigners to a residence permit following the acquisition of property under the Property Development Scheme, the Real Estate Scheme, the Integrated Resort Scheme and the Smart City Scheme (collectively referred to as the “Schemes”) is now set at USD 375,000 (previously: USD 500,000).

Foreigners investing in the above Schemes and having received their residence permits may now engage in any occupation for reward or profit. Previously, they were not entitled to work on the island if they did not have a valid OP or work permit.

Dependants of OP and RP Holders

OP and RP Holders can apply for residence permits for their dependents. The definition of “Dependents”* has been broadened under the Finance Act 2020 to include the parents of the OP and RP Holders. * “Dependents” is now defined as the spouse, dependent child, parent or other dependent of a person.

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