- January 14, 2023
- Posted by: audrey
Work, live and retire in Mauritius
Mauritius is known to be one of the most business-friendly countries in Africa. With a robust financial sector, competitive business environment and attractive tax regimes, Mauritius has experienced steady economic growth for decades, attracting professionals, high net worth families and individuals from around the world.
As part of its effort to support sustainable growth and improve living standards for locals and expatriates, the government has massively invested in providing high-end telecommunication facilities and transportation infrastructure. Additionally, laws have been revised and regulations implemented to accommodate those wishing to work from home.
Mauritius offers several possibilities for foreigners to work, live and retire in Mauritius and welcome expatriates, both for their direct contribution to the economy and knowledge in high-end technology, innovative projects, healthcare and the finance sector.
There are three categories of permit allowing foreigners to stay in Mauritius and these are Occupation Permit (OP), Residence Permit (RP) and Permanent Residence Permit (PRP).
Occupation Permit (OP)
Expatriates are required to apply for an OP, which is a combined work and resident permit, to work and live in Mauritius.
There are 3 categories under which a professional or an investor can apply for an OP:
Permit issued under four options, for a maximum period of 10 years renewable:
- Option 1: where the investor makes an initial transfer of USD50K (or its equivalent in any major currency) from abroad in the bank account of the company in Mauritius;
- Option 2: based on the net asset value of an existing or inherited business which is valued at USD50K minimum and such business has made a cumulative turnover of at least MUR12 million during the 3 years preceding the application;
- Option 3: where the investor makes an initial investment of USD50K in high technology machines and equipment where at least USD25K is initially transferred to the bank account of the company in Mauritius and the remaining balance used to purchase the high-tech machines and equipment; or
- Option 4: investors for innovative start-ups can apply for an OP with no investment in two ways:
- an innovative project assessed by the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Mauritius; or
- where the company is registered with an incubator accredited with the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council prior to the submission of the project to the EDB.
A professional is defined as a non-Mauritius citizen employed in Mauritius by virtue of a contract of employment and registered as such with the EDB. There are three options under the professional category and the OP is issued according to the duration of the contract of employment up to a maximum period of 10 years. Professionals may also apply for a short term OP for a maximum period of nine months which can be extended only once for a period not exceeding three months. This short term OP may be converted into a long term OP.
- Option 1: derives a basic salary of at least MUR60,000 per month;
- Option 2: is employed in ICT, BPO, pharmaceutical manufacturing and food processing with a basic salary of at least MUR30,000 per month; or
- Option 3: where the applicant has at least three years working experience in the fund accounting and compliance services sector, is employed by a licensee of the FSC and derives a basic salary of at least MUR30,000 per month;
Professional OP holders are allowed to switch jobs subject to certain conditions.
A self-employed OP is issued to a non-Mauritius citizen operating as a one-person individual or business company in the services field and registered as such with the Registrar of Companies. The self-employed should make an initial transfer of USD35K (or its equivalent in any major currency) from abroad to his/her bank account in Mauritius.The OP is issued for a maximum period of 10 years and is eligible for renewal if the business activity has generated an income of at least MUR800,000 per year as from the third year of registration.
Residence Permit (RP)
The RP consists of three types of residence permit allowing retired individuals, their dependents, the dependents of OP holders and non-citizens acquiring properties to reside in Mauritius.
- Retired non-citizen RP
Non-Mauritius citizens who have reached 50 years old and above are eligible for an RP issued for a period of ten years provided that the person is not engaged in any gainful activity and makes an initial transfer of at least USD1,500 (or equivalent in any major currency) from abroad to his/her bank account in Mauritius at the time the RP is issued and a monthly transfer of at least USD1,500 or an aggregate of at least USD18,000 yearly in his/her bank account in Mauritius during the validity for which the RP has been issued.
- Dependents RP
Spouse, parents and unmarried children, stepchildren and adopted children are eligible to apply for an RP provided that they have a valid tourist visa at the time the application is made.Spouse and children of existing OP holders may work in Mauritius under their own OPs. The eligible dependents in this case must meet the criteria for their own OP application.
- Property acquisition – direct route for RP
This is a direct route to an RP since the non-citizen can obtain a RP by purchasing property under the IRS, RES, PDS scheme for at least USD375,000, or by purchasing a unit in a building consisting of two floors above ground level for the same minimum price.
- Retired non-citizen RP
Permanent Residence Permit (PRP)
A PRP allows a non-Mauritius citizen to stay in Mauritius for a period of twenty years. There are two options under which a PRP is issued.
Option 1 – existing permit holders
As an existing holder of an OP or RP as a retired non-citizen if the following conditions are met:
- Investor: where an investor has been a holder of an OP for at least 3 years with a minimum annual gross income of at least MUR15 million for 3 years preceding the application or an aggregate turnover of MUR45 million for any consecutive period of 3 years preceding the application.
- Professional: has held an OP for at least 3 years, with a minimum basic salary of MUR150,000 per month for 3 consecutive years immediately preceding the RP’s application.
- Self-Employed: has held an OP for at least 3 years with a minimum annual business income of MUR3 million for 3 consecutive years immediately preceding the application for the PRP.
- Retired non-Citizen: has held an RP as a retired non-citizen for a minimum of 3 years and evidencing transfer of at least an aggregate of USD54,000 in his/her bank account in Mauritius during the period of 3 years preceding the application for the PRP.
Option 2 – direct route for PRP
PRP under Qualifying Activities: non-citizens investing in qualifying activities as defined here below do not need to hold an OP or RP to qualify for a PRP. By investing a minimum of USD375,000 in a qualifying activity, a non-citizen may apply directly for a 20-year PRP.
Qualifying activities: 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 and warehousing, Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).