What is a Residence Permit in Mauritius?
A Residence permit is a written permit authorizing a non-citizen other than a prohibited non-citizen to enter Mauritius and to remain in Mauritius. The residence permit is expressed to be in force for a specified period. As laid out below, the main residence permits are for retired people, for dependents of a permit holder, and for those who get a residence permit from a minimum investment in property of USD 375,000. The general rule is that a residence permit holder is not able to work in Mauritius without a separate occupation permit. The exception to the rule is someone who has got a residence permit by investing in real estate over USD 375,000, who is now able to work and invest in Mauritius without a separate occupation permit. The other permit holders can still invest in Mauritius but needs to be careful how the income is derived.
What is an Occupation Permit in Mauritius?
An Occupation permit is the same as a residence permit, but it also allows the non-citizen to work. There are three main categories of occupation permit holders, an Investor, a Professional and someone self-employed. All three categories of occupation permit have their own set of rules which dictate the conditions of each Occupation Permit. There is also a short-term occupation permit for foreign nationals working here for up to 9 months with allowance for an extension of 3 months.
Who is a Dependent of a Permit Holder in Mauritius?
A Dependent is a family member of a permit holder who is entitled to come to Mauritius and live here as long as the permit holder is authorised. The permit holder can bring a number of family members to Mauritius as Dependents. For an occupation permit, this includes the permit holder’s spouse (including Common Law Partner of the opposite sex), parents, and children, (including stepchildren and lawfully adopted children) under the age of 24. The list of dependents varies slightly depending on the type of permit according to the Guidelines. The dependents are not allowed to work in Mauritius without their own permit. We suggest that you confirm the exact criteria with the relevant authority if you are unsure of a certain family member when you are looking to move forward.
What are the different types of Occupation Permits in Mauritius?
We have listed the main 3 options for Occupation Permits below. These permits allow the holder to live and work in Mauritius and their Dependents to also get a residence permit. Bear in mind that there is also a short-term occupation permit as well.
Investor Permit (10 years)
With this permit you need to set up a Mauritian company, and transfer an initial investment amount of at least USD 50,000. This cash injection can be used for almost any business cost from the staff and rent to paying for the accounting and the stock. There are some special types of investor permit, such as the Innovator Permit requiring less investment and more focus on R & D in Mauritius. For renewal the company will need a minimum gross income of MUR 4 million per year from the 3rd year.
Professional Permit (3 years)
This allows a non-citizen to work for a company, (that he or she does not own), for a minimum of MUR 60,000 per month or MUR 30,000 per month in the ICT sector. There are many strong local and global companies in Mauritius, from banks and accounting firms to pharmaceutical firms and PSPs. There are progressively more interesting roles in Mauritius with an influx of entrepreneurs and innovative firms. This is all of course currently subject to the effects of lockdowns, quarantine and COVID.
Self-employed Permit (10 years)
This requires it to be a one-person business. The self-employed person needs to show a source of funds of USD 35,000 in a local bank account in their name. They will need to have at least two contracts and letters of intent from potential clients to get this permit. For renewal the self-employed person will need at least MUR 800,000 per year from the 3rd year of registration.
What are the different types of Residence Permit in Mauritius?
As explained above, a dependent of a permit holder also gets a residence permit. There are two main ways of getting a residence permit in Mauritius, rather than an occupation permit for the main permit holder.
Getting residency in Mauritius by investment in real estate
One of the simplest ways to get residence is to acquire real estate in Mauritius. The basic requirements are that there is a minimum investment in the property of USD 375,000, and that it is in one of the specific schemes that the Economic Development Board (EDB) permits, such as the Property Development Scheme (PDS) or a Smart City. Getting a residence permit through property now automatically allows you to work in Mauritius without needing a separate occupation permit. Expats should only consider buying a property once they know Mauritius well, know where on the island they want to live, and follow the guidance of local experts. We go into more detail into getting residence by investment.
Residence Permits as a retired non-citizen
This is a very simple way of moving to Mauritius without having to commit to any investments here. The conditions are that the applicant is 50 years old or more, and is not intending to work or be employed in Mauritius (you can still work for companies abroad). One needs to transfer an average of USD 1,500 per month for the duration of your stay here. There is a lot of focus by developers and the Government to make Mauritius a dream retirement destination, from specialist medical facilities to Senior Living accommodation throughout the island. The ability to scuba-dive, play golf and walk the beaches in numerous locations around the island adds some further draw to expats of retirement age.
What is Permanent Residence Permit in Mauritius?
After 3 years in Mauritius on an occupation permit one can apply for a 20-year Permanent Residence Permit. The permanent residency program doubled to 20 years in 2020 (renewable) as opposed to 10 years as it has been for a long time. One needs to satisfy certain turnover/income requirements to apply for this. This permanent residency program is really popular with foreign nationals looking for stability and longevity for their expat life in Mauritius.
An Investor’s company needs to have had a gross annual income of at least MUR 15m for the 3 preceding years, or an aggregate turnover of MUR 45m for the 3 years immediately preceding the application to become a permanent resident. The investor needs to have already had the occupation permit for the 3 years preceding the application date.
An Investor who puts a minimum investment of USD 375,000 in an activity related to the agricultural-industry, audio-visual, cinema and communication, banking, construction, education, green products and production of green energy, financial services, fisheries and marine resources, Freeport, information technology, infrastructure, insurance, leisure, manufacturing, marina development, tourism, or warehousing can benefit from the permanent residency program.
A Professional needs to have had an occupation permit and a basic monthly salary of at least MUR 150,000 for 3 consecutive years immediately preceding the application to benefit from the permanent residency program..
A Self-employed permit holder needs to have had an occupation permit and an annual business income of at least MUR 3 million for the 3 consecutive years immediately preceding the application to become a permanent resident.
A Retired permit holder needs to have had a residence permit and transferred at least USD 54,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency during the period of 3 years preceding the application can become a permanent resident.
An existing PRP holder who satisfies the PRP criteria can apply for the 20-year Permanent Residency Permit instead of their existing 10 year PRP.
What is a Premium Visa in Mauritius?
This is a recent addition to the options allowing people to relocate here on a year’s (renewable) visa. This is not like the other permits which take several weeks. This is approved in a matter of days and there are very few requirements. Ultimately it is meant to serve those who work remotely or who are retired who fancy a change of scene during the global lockdowns and beyond and encourage people to brave the quarantine to come here.