- June 25, 2021
- Posted by: BlueAzurite
- Category: Mauritius
An Occupation Permit in Mauritius is a combination of a work and residence permit. It is essential if you are a foreign national wishing to invest or work in the country. There are 3 categories under which the application for an Occupation Permit can be processed. These are investor, professional and self-employed. The type of Occupation Permit that a non-citizen must apply for depends on the nature of his/her activities in the country.
All Occupation Permits are issued for a maximum period of 10 years and they can be renewed afterwards. It should be noted that the dependants of someone holding an Occupation Permit may also apply for a residence permit for a duration that does not exceed that of main holder.
Let’s have a look at the different categories of Occupation Permits.
First of all, we must define what an investor is. According to the Immigration Act in Mauritius, an investor is
“a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius, an association or body of persons, whether corporate or incorporate, the control or management of which is vested in persons who are not citizens of Mauritius and registered as such with the Economic Development Board”.
If you are an investor, you can choose between three options to apply for an Occupation Permit in Mauritius.
The investor has to proceed with an initial transfer of USD 50,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible currency in the bank account of the company under which the application will be made.
- Net Asset Value
This option involve investors already having an established business. They must have a net asset value of at least USD 50,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency for existing businesses and businesses inherited. A cumulative turnover of at least 12 million rupees during the 3 years preceding the application must be provided.
- Hi-tech machines and equipment
This option also involves an initial investment of USD 50,000, or its equivalent in freely convertible currency. Nonetheless, the investor can make a minimum transfer of at least USD 25,000 to the bank account of the company under which the application will be made. The equivalent of the remaining value will be in high technology machines and equipment.
Investor for innovative start-ups
Innovative start-ups also fall under the category of investors. Foreign nationals having an innovating project in mind can apply for an Occupation Permit under the following 2 options.
- No minimum investment is required. However, a plan of the innovative project must be submitted to the Economic Development Board.
- This involves registration with an incubator accredited with the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council. It applies to companies conducting Research & Development in qualifying sectors. Some of these are life and health sciences, technology, ICT, fintech, biotechnology, nano technology, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and design
The following criteria are essential for eligibility
- The business plan must clearly depict all expenditures related to the Research & Development activities.
- The R&D expense component must be at least 20% of total operational expenditure during the research phase.
The Economic Development Board will assess each project on a case to case basis. It will look at it the individual merit to determine whether it is eligible for the scheme.
This is the second category under which an Occupation Permit can be applied for. What is a professional? The Immigration Act defines a professional as
“a foreign national employed in Mauritius by virtue of a contract of employment and registered as such with the Economic Development Board”.
Professionals may also apply for a short-term occupation permit that does not exceed 9 months. It can be extended only once for 3 more months. The following criteria defines a professional:
- He/she must earn a monthly basic salary of at least MUR 60,000.
- Those in the sector of information and communication technologies (ICT), business process outsourcing (BPO), pharmaceutical manufacturing and food processing must obtain a monthly basic salary of at least MUR 30,000.
A professional holding an Occupation Permit also has the right to invest in any business on the condition that he/she is not employed in the business, he/she does not manage the business, he/she does not derive any salary or employment benefits from the business.
To obtain an Occupation Permit, the professional must provide a contract of employment that is duly signed by the employer. This document must contain the applicant’s full name as on his/her passport, the company’s name, the professional’s job title, the duration of his contract and his monthly basic salary.
The third category under which foreign nationals can apply for an Occupation Permit is ‘self-employed’. Who is a self-employed? He/she is defined as:
“ a non-citizen engaged in a professional activity under the services sector only and registered with the Registrar of Businesses under the Business Registration Act 2002”.
He/she must operate a one-person business activity, working exclusively for his/her own account.
To obtain an Occupation Permit, the self-employed should make an initial transfer of USD 35,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency. This must be made to his/her local bank account at the time of issuance of the Occupational Permit.
If a self-employed wishes to renew his business activity, he/she must prove that the business generate an income of 800,000 rupees per year as from the third year of registration.
How to apply for an Occupation Permit?
If you are a foreign national wishing to apply for an Occupation Permit in Mauritius, you can get in touch with one of Blue Azurite’s agents. A professional in the matter will advise and assist you accordingly.