Mauritius

Capital: Port Louis

Population: 1,322,238 (estimation at July 2013)

Currency: Mauritian rupee

Government: Parliamentary democracy

Country Overview

Mauritius, an island nation east of Madagascar off the southeast coast of Africa, gained independence in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes. Mauritius is divided into ten districts and three dependencies, and its capital is Port Louis. Its official language is English, and its currency is the Mauritian rupee (MUR).

 

Tourist visas in Mauritius are issued upon arrival to visa exempt passport holders and are valid for a maximum period up to 60 days. Visa restricted passport holders would need to apply for their tourist visa at the relevant Mauritian Embassy in their country of origin or residence.

Travellers should hold a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months as from date of arrival, a valid return ticket and sufficient funds to meet the costs of their stay in Mauritius.

A Business visa in Mauritius does not allow remunerated work activities to be conducted. Attending conferences, seminars, training and meetings are the only form of activity allowed on this visa. A business visa may be issued for up to 120 days per calendar year.

In Mauritius, business visas are issued only upon arrival at the airport in Mauritius. For obtaining the business visa, the applicant should also provide the Immigration Officer at the airport with a letter from local sponsor/company explaining the applicant’s purpose of his trip to Mauritius and thereby requesting for a business visa to be issued to the applicant. A tourist visa cannot be converted to a business visa in Mauritius.

The Occupation Permit (OP) is a combined work and residence permit, which allows foreign nationals to work and reside in Mauritius under 3 specific categories namely:

  1. Investor
  2. Professional
  3. Self-Employed

An OP is issued for a maximum period of three years and the permit holder may submit a new application at expiry of the permit.

There are 3 categories of OP under which a non-citizen can apply. The non-citizen should apply for an OP under the category, which best reflects his nature of activities in the country.

Investor

  1. An Investor is defined as a shareholder and director in a company incorporated in Mauritius under the Companies Act 2001.
  2. An 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 application will be made.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Existing investor operating but not registered with the board of Investment having a net asset value of at least USD 100,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency and a cumulative turnover of MUR 12 million during the preceding 3 years with a turnover of at least MUR 2 million in any one year.
  6. Beneficiary, an individual who has inherited a business, in case of death or incapacity of the previous investor provided that the net asset value of the business is at least USD 100,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency and a cumulative turnover of MUR 12 million with a turnover of at least MUR 2 million in any one year.

 

Professional

  1. A Professional, as defined under the Immigration Act, is an expatriate employed by a company incorporated in Mauritius to deliver professional services.
  2. 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).
  3. Professionals working for a period of less than one year in Mauritius may apply for a Short-term Occupation Permit. 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

  1. 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.
  2. A Self-Employed operates a one-person business, working exclusively for his/her own account.
  3. A Self-Employed 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.
  4. 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

The criteria for applying for a Residence Permit as a Retired Non-Citizen is as follows:

  1. A Retired Non-Citizen is defined as a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius and aged 50 years or above.
  2. 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.
  3. Thereafter, the Retired Non-Citizen should transfer at least USD 2,500 monthly or a sum by installments amounting to at least USD 30,000 annually, during a period of 3 years.
  4. 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.

Acquiring a property of at least USD 500,000 makes the non-citizen eligible for a Residence Permit in Mauritius as long as he owns the property. The dependents of the non-citizen will also be entitled to the Residence Permit in Mauritius under this scheme.

Dependents are defined as spouse (including Common Law Partner of the opposite sex) and children, including stepchildren or lawfully adopted children, under 24 years of age. The Dependents of an Occupation or Residence Permit holders are eligible to apply for a residence permit.

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.

As a holder of an Occupation or Residence Permit, a foreign national is eligible to apply for a 10-year Residence Permit provided specific conditions are met:

  • Investor: The aggregate turnover should exceed MUR 45 million for the 3 years’ period.
  • Professional: The basic monthly salary should exceed MUR 150,000 for 3 consecutive years.
  • Self-Employed: The business Income of the applicant should exceed MUR 3 million per annum for the 3 consecutive years.
  • Retired Non – Citizen: A Retired Non – Citizen who has made a transfer of USD 40,000 annually to his/her local bank for 3 consecutive years

We provide a full range of immigration services for Mauritius. With our professional and trusted network of partners, we have the pulse on policy issues and the practical reality, which governs immigration rules & regulations.

We will first do a consultation, on which visa or permit would be the correct one for you. We advise on the required documentation and compile the complete application on your behalf. We will help you save time gathering the required documents to finalize your application.

There is great advantage in having a reliable local representative who will submit the application in Mauritius, and also collect the resulting documents for you.