Africa Immigration Series (AIS) is a series of articles to be published on our blog frequently. Each article will explore the Africa’s expat mobility landscape and a brief overview of the current economic situation and investment opportunities.
MAURITIUS IMMIGRATION LANDSCAPE
The Mauritian Government offers attractive terms for foreigners to move to Mauritius either as an Investor, Professional or Self-Employed through the Occupation Permit, the Residence Permit or the Permanent Residence Scheme.
Residence Permit / Occupation Permit
The Occupation Permit (OP) is a combined work and residence permit which allows foreign nationals to work and reside in Mauritius. All 3 categories are issued for a maximum period of three years and the permit holder may submit a new application at expiry of the permit. See categories below:
- Investor: An Investor is defined as a shareholder and director in a company incorporated in Mauritius. The investor should make an initial transfer of USD 100,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency in the account of the company under which the (OP) application will be made. The business activity should generate an annual turnover of at least MUR2 million (approx.. USD 60,000) for the first year and cumulative turnover of at least MUR 10 million (approx. USD 300,000) for the subsequent two years. A company may have more than one investor as defined above. However, the initial investment and annual turnover will be a multiple of the number of Investors in the company. There is also the Investor Permit with rebates on the initial USD 100,000 when a minimum of USD 25,000 is spent on plant and machinery (with the list of qualifying expenditures) or the Innovator Investor Permit for highly innovative sectors. Professional:
- Long Term OP: Applicable for expats who received a job offer by a company incorporated in Mauritius to deliver professional services. A Professional should earn a basic monthly salary exceeding MUR 60,000 (approx. USD 1,800). However, the basic monthly salary for Professionals in the ICT Sector should exceed MUR 30,000 (USD 900).
- Short Term OP: Applicable for professionals working for a period of less than one year in Mauritius. Under the Short-term Occupation Permit. Professionals can work and reside in Mauritius for a period not exceeding 9 months. The permit may be extended only once for a period not exceeding 3 months
- Self-Employed: A Self-Employed professional operates a one-person business, working exclusively for his/her own account. The applicant should make an initial transfer of USD 35,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency to his/her local bank account in Mauritius. The business activity should generate an annual income exceeding MUR 600,000 in the first 2 years and MUR 1,200,000 as from the third year. A Self-Employed is defined as a non-citizen engaged in a professional activity registered with the Registrar of Businesses under the Business Registration Act 2002.
Residence Permit as a Retired Non-Citizen
Foreign nationals, above the age of 50 years, may also choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit (RP). The criteria for applying for a Residence Permit as a Retired Non-Citizen is as follows:
- A Retired Non-Citizen should make an initial transfer of at least USD 2,500 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency to his/her local bank account in Mauritius. Thereafter, the Retired Non-Citizen should transfer at least USD 2,500 monthly or a sum by instalments amounting to at least USD 30,000 annually, during a period of 3 years.
- At the end of each year, the Retired Non-Citizen should submit to the Board of Investment, evidence of transfer of funds into his/her local bank account.
Residence Permit for Dependents
The Dependents of an Occupation or Residence Permit holders are eligible to apply for a residence permit. Dependents are defined as spouse (including Common Law Partner of the opposite sex) and children, including step children or lawfully adopted children, under 24 years of age. The validity of this permit should not exceed that of the OP or RP holder.
After three years or at time of expiry of the permit and subject to the criteria defined in the schedule, section 2 and 12 of the Investment Promotion Act being met, the OP/RP permit holder may apply for the renewal of the Permit to the BOI. Short-term Occupation Permit holders can apply for an extension of his/her permit only once, for a period not exceeding 3 months. The second application should be submitted at least one month prior to expiry of the permit. The application is made through the OP online application system and the documents as defined in the checklist should be submitted together with the application form.
See here our INTRODUCING MAURITIUS article.
Our very first AIS article:
Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on the Africa Immigration Series.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice regarding immigration & visa, setting up business, property transfer & investment.
by Fernanda Braz