Mauritius ready after gap year

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By Gavin Butchart* 

As countries around the world adjust to a new way of life in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare to open their borders, Mauritius has made bold plans and adjusted its legislation to attract more foreign investment to the island. It is attracting attention from several territories but especially from South Africa as local citizens seek diversification for investments or start researching the island’s retirement options.

Mauritius
Gavin Butchart

Like several other countries reliant on tourism, Mauritius was negatively affected by lockdowns and travel restrictions as part of governments’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, yet its economy appears somewhat resilient and Mauritians themselves are active in its attractive property market.

Although Mauritius wants activity to pick up it has taken extra caution in opening its borders and will be doing so in a phased approach. It will focus on allowing Mauritius citizens and residents to come back to the island under first, under certain conditions, and then global visitors.

While waiting for the borders to open, the Mauritius government has introduced changes to the finance act 2020, as part of the strategy to attract more foreign investors to the Island.

Below is a summary of permits offered to Foreigners and the changes that have taken place.

PermitPrior to the Finance Act 2020As per the Finance Act 2020
Occupation Permit (OP) as ProfessionalValid for 3 years

 

Valid for 3 years or the duration of the employment contract

 

Permissible to apply for dependent permits for parents

 

Occupation Permit as

Self-Employed

Valid for 3 years

 

Minimum capital investment of USD 35 000

 

A minimum turnover of MUR 2.4 million over a period of 3 years

Valid for 10 years

 

Minimum capital investment of USD 35 000

 

Same criteria as before for Year 1 to Year 3

 

A minimum business income from the activity of at least MUR 800 000 as from Year 3

 

Occupation Permit as InvestorMinimum investment of USD 100 000

 

Valid for 3 years

 

A minimum turnover of MUR 12 million over a period of 3 years

Minimum investment of USD 50 000

 

Valid for 10 years

 

Same criteria as before for Year 1 to Year 3

 

A minimum gross turnover of at least USD 100 000 as from Year 3

 

Occupation as Innovative InvestorValid for 3 years

 

No minimum investment

 

A minimum turnover of MUR 12 million over a period of 3 years

 

Valid for 10 years

 

No minimum investment or turnover threshold

Residence Permit as Retired Non-CitizenValid for 3 years

 

Minimum monthly amount USD 1 500

 

Valid for 10 years

 

Minimum monthly amount of USD 1 500

Permanent Residence PermitValid for 10 years

 

Minimum investment to obtain PR through investment USD 500 000

 

Valid for 20 years

 

Minimum investment to obtain PR through investment USD 375 000

Permanent Residence through Acquisition of PropertyMinimum investment to obtain PR through acquisition of property USD 500 000

 

Work and / or investment not permissible in Mauritius without an Occupation Permit

 

Minimum investment to obtain PR through acquisition of property USD 375 000

 

Work and / or investments not permissible without an Occupation Permit

One of the most noticeable changes to the finance act is acquiring a property which provides you permanent residency, reduced from 500 000USD to 375,000USD in an approved scheme available to non-citizens and their dependents.

The residence permit under the acquisition of property scheme provides the non-citizen with the option of living in Mauritius without being professionally active. Should the non-citizen want to be professionally active in Mauritius, then he or she will have to apply under one of the routes available under the OP.

Another noticeable change is the period granted for permanent residence permit holders as with the a retired non-citizen which is defined as a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius, 50 years or above, required to transfer at least USD 1,500 monthly or a sum by instalments amounting to at least USD 18 000 annually, during a 10 year period, without being gainfully employed.

It’s important to note that a retired non-citizen is however allowed to hold investments in any companies/businesses in Mauritius, provided the person is not involved in the day to day management of the company/businesses and can be appointed as director of the Company, in a non-executive capacity and does not derive any director’s fees on this appointment.

One of the changes to the occupation permit holders (investor, professional and self-employed) allows dependent parents to accompany the permit holder and stay in Mauritius for the duration of the main permit holders permit.

Recent months have seen an increase in enquiries, regarding both residential and commercial property investment, business and retirement permits, supporting the amendments to the finance act 2020 granted to non-citizens and expect the demand to increase moving closer to the lifting of the travel restrictions.

Read more about the attraction of Mauritius as an investment destination.

  • Gavin Butchart is Head of Operations at Brent Wealth, the Mauritius office of Brenthurst Wealth. [email protected]

Brenthurst Wealth 

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