Immigrating to Mauritius

Immigrating to Mauritius

Attracting foreign capital has always been a major objective in any country’s economic development strategy. Numerous advantages, including tax incentives are already offered to foreign investors. As a means to further encourage investors to seize business and investment opportunities in Mauritius, the government has introduced a Permanent Residence Scheme for eligible foreign businessmen.

Eligibility Criteria

Upon a minimum investment of $500,000, the investor will be eligible for permanent residence status. He will be exempt from work and residence permits. He can also apply for PR status for his:

(a) Spouse
(b) Children, stepchild or his lawfully adopted child (The child above the age of 18 shall also make a deposit of a minimum of $100,000 with the Accountant General in Mauritius via bank transfer of the funds. The deposit will not bear any interests.)
(c) Next-of-Kin (The next-of-kin above the age of 18 shall also make a deposit of a minimum of $100,000 with the Accountant General in Mauritius via bank transfer of the funds. The deposit will not bear any interests.)
(d) Wholly dependent next-of-kin of an unmarried applicant provided the number of dependents does not exceed three.

Qualifying Business Activities

  • Manufacturing
  • Operational headquarters of multinational companies
  • Hotel, tourism and related services
  • Freeport operations
  • Financial services
  • Information technology
  • Agro-based industry
  • Concession projects
  • Fishing and marine resources
  • Film production

Alternatively, investment of the same amount ($500,000) in the Permanent Resident Investment Fund is also regarded as an investment in a qualifying business activity. This Fund has been established by the Minister of Finance and is operated and managed by the Accountant General.

Procedures to obtain Permanent Resident (PR) Status

Applications for PR Status should be made on the prescribed form which may be obtained at Mauritius Export Development and Investment Authority (MEDIA), and the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Mauritius abroad.

There are two stages to completing the application process:

Stage 1: Approval in principle investors should submit to the Executive Chairman of MEDIA the following, concurrently:

(a) Application for approval of the investment. The Investment should be either in a qualifying business activity or in a duly approved fund.
(b) Application for approval of permanent residence status for the investor, his spouse and his dependents.

Stage 2: Grant of permanent resident status upon grant of approval in principle, the full amount of the investment should be effected or alternatively an amount of $500,000 (or equivalent amount) should be deposited with the Accountant General, pending finalization of the investment. MEDIA will be pleased to provide advice on how to complete the application formalities.

Loss of Permanent Resident Status

The permanent resident status may be withdrawn where:

(a) any person has wilfully made any false statement or misled or attempted to mislead the immigration officer with respect to an application for a permanent resident permit;
(b) within a period of five years of becoming a permanent resident, any person ceases his business activities or reduces the sum invested to an amount less than $500,000 (or equivalent amount);
(c) the investor has been declared bankrupt;
(d) the person holding a permanent resident status has been convicted of a criminal offence carrying a term of imprisonment of not less than 12 months.

Right to buy property in Mauritius

Investor can acquire for residential purposes only:

(a) A flat or portion of land or immovable property not exceeding 1.25 arpents
(b) Should be at least 100 meters away from sea frontage

Immigration Law

The investor may be issued with a multiple entry visa valid for a period of up to one year pending the grant of PR status. The investor and his dependents who are granted PR status under the Permanent Residence Scheme will be exempted from the requirements of a work permit under The Non-Citizens (Employment Restriction) Act.

Citizenship of Mauritius gives visa-free travel to EU countries

The investor who becomes a permanent resident under the Permanent Residence Scheme may apply for Mauritian citizenship after meeting the provisions of the Mauritius Citizenship Act (1968). Investors can obtain citizenship and passport of Mauritius after two years of residence in the country. Moreover, they are not required to renounce their previous citizenship. It should be also mentioned that passport of Mauritius is a good travel document. The signing ceremony of the “Agreement between the European Community and Antigua & Barbuda; the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; Barbados; the Republic of Mauritius; the Republic of Seychelles; the Federation of Saint Kitts & Nevis on the Short-Stay Visa Waiver” took place in Brussels. As from the May 29, 2009, the citizens of Mauritius may enter and stay without a visa in the territory of the European Union for a period of stay not exceeding three months. This also applies to citizens of the EU Member States visiting Mauritius.

There are also immigration options for professionals in the following sectors: information and communication technology, financial services and any other sector as may be approved by the Board of Investment. This is called SAPES (Scheme to attract professionals for emerging sectors).

Advantages of Immigration to Mauritius

Strategically located in the Indian Ocean at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, Mauritius presents itself as a premier international business hub and a window of opportunity for foreigners wishing to establish viable investment projects on the island. An attractive blend of advantages is offered to international investors, including:

  • Political and social stability
  • Preferential access to regional markets
  • Sound macro economic management
  • Good governance and efficient public services
  • Modern infrastructure and telecommunications services
  • High health standards and peaceful living conditions
  • Pool of Qualified Professionals, Bilingual in English and French
  • Highly Literate and Adaptable Labour Force
  • Effective Private/Public Sector Partnership
  • Questions and Answers Regarding Immigration to Mauritius: