Renowned for its majestic landscapes and robust economic environment, Mauritius provides various unique opportunities for foreign investors seeking to live and work on the island. But before you move, it’s crucial to obtain the right permit for settling and investing in Mauritius. Blue Azurite tells you all you need to know about the Occupation Permit, recent changes, and how you can secure it.

What is an Occupation Permit?

The Occupation Permit (OP) serves as both a work and residence authorization, allowing non-residents to establish roots for an initial decade, extendable for an additional 10 years, and potentially up to 20 years for permanent residency.

The OP is specifically tailored to three primary categories of foreigners:

  • Investors;
  • Professionals;
  • Self-employed.

The OP for investors

Foreign investors in Mauritius are entitled to a standard OP, which is valid for 10 years. They have several avenues to secure an OP:

  • By investing a sum of USD 50,000 in a new business established in Mauritius. This investment not only demonstrates commitment but also contributes to the economic growth of the island nation.
  • Ownership or inheritance of an existing Mauritian business with a net worth of at least USD 50,000 and a cumulative turnover of no less than RS 12 million (approximately USD 260,000) over the three years preceding the application. This criterion ensures that investors bring substantial financial value to the local business landscape.
  • Investment of USD 50,000 (or equivalent) in high-tech machinery and equipment, including a minimum transfer of USD 25,000 to their bank account. The remaining value constitutes high-tech machinery and equipment, emphasizing the government’s commitment to fostering technological advancements through foreign investments.
  • By setting up innovative start-ups. In fact, they can invest an unspecified amount in an innovative project, with at least 20% allocated to Research and Development (R&D). The project must be approved by the Economic Development Board. This measure showcases the government’s encouragement for cutting-edge initiatives.

Renewal of the Occupation Permit for investors

Foreign investors holding an OP have the option to renew their permit after 10 years, contingent on the business generating a minimum annual gross income of Rs 4 million from the third year of registration. This renewal requirement emphasizes the importance of sustained economic contributions from foreign investors over the long term.

Self-employed foreigners

Self-employed foreigners relocating to Mauritius are also eligible for an Occupation Permit as outlined in the 2023–2024 budget. However, there are certain conditions to be met. For instance,

  • They have up to 4 weeks after obtaining their permit to demonstrate the transfer of necessary funds (USD 35,000).
  • They must provide two letters of intent from clients, whether local or international, indicating the potential economic impact of their services on both local and global scales.
  • They must engage in an individual business activity, working exclusively for themselves.
  • They must be non-citizens engaged in professional services, registering under the Companies Act 2022 with the Corporate and Business Registration Department.

Renewal and permanent residency for the self-employed

Self-employed foreigners have the possibility to renew their Occupation Permit after 10 years, contingent on achieving a minimum annual turnover of RS 800,000 from the third year of registration.

It’s also worth noting that self-employed foreigners who are holders of an occupation permit can apply for permanent residency after 3 years, given they have generated an annual turnover of at least Rs 3 million in the preceding 3 consecutive years.

During the issuance of the permit, they are exempted from presenting the required investment of USD 35,000. However, applicants must prove the transfer of funds to a local bank account within 4 weeks of receiving their permit.

The bottom line

As you might have understood, Mauritius is streamlining procedures to encourage foreign investors to move to Mauritius and settle in the long term. But while securing an Occupation Permit seems quite straightforward, it’s essential to surround yourself with experts. Blue Azurite can guide you from deciding on your investment project and choosing your business structure to navigating the procedures relating to running a business in the country. Get in touch with us now to start your journey in Mauritius’ idyllic and business-friendly environment.

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