The government of Mauritius offers more than 20 different programs for wealthy people to invest and relocate to the island. Most of these programs allow temporary or permanent residence permits for contributions to the country's economy.
In July 2021 the Government of Mauritius approved the provisions of the Appropriation Bill No.XIII of 2021. They include amendments to the Nationality Act 1970, which deal with the conditions for granting residence permits to investors and their family members.
The amendments entered into force on 5 August 2021, the date of publication in the government newspaper.
Let's find out what the residency status in Mauritius entails and how to obtain it in 2021.
6 options for buying property to obtain a residence permit in Mauritius
There are five different property investment schemes in Mauritius. All of them lead to a residence permit in the country. Changes in legislation have also added another option – the purchase of an apartment outside the programs.
The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) involves the purchase of ready-made residential properties such as villas and townhouses, and land from a list of approved projects.
The Real Estate Scheme (RES) also offers investors to buy housing in special development projects approved by the government of Mauritius. The minimum legal transaction amount is $500,000, although the Economic Development Board website lists the amount at $375,000.
Property Development Scheme (PDS) involves the purchase of residential, resort, and leisure properties.
The Invest Hotel Scheme provides the opportunity to purchase a share or apartment in a hotel in Mauritius. In this case, the investor has the right to spend up to 45 days per year in the hotel, in which acquired the apartment or share. Also, the investor receives income from the rental object.
Smart City Scheme. The investor buys housing in special innovative regions. Holders of a residence permit or a permanent residence permit in Mauritius can also buy a plot of land in a 'smart city' of up to 2100 m² for the construction of housing.
Buying a residential apartment without being linked to one of the government programs is a new investment option. But in order to obtain a residence permit, two requirements must be met:
- The apartment is in a building with a minimum of three floors.
- The minimum transaction amount is $375,000.
If the investor has obtained a residence permit for the purchase of the property, he remains a resident as long as he owns the property .
How to obtain a residence permit by investing in a business
An investor can start a new business in Mauritius, relocate a family business to the island or invest in targeted industries. The type of residence permit and the amount of investment required to depend on the route chosen.
Occupation Permit is issued to investors who will set up a new business on the island. The applicant registers a company in Mauritius in advance and opens a corporate account with a local bank. A minimum of $50,000 needs to be transferred into the account.
The residence permit is issued for 10 years. It can be renewed if the gross income of the company reaches 4 million Mauritian rupees, or about $94,000. The income must reach the set figure from the third year after the company's incorporation.
Along with the investor, a residence permit can be granted to:
- A spouse of the opposite sex;
- civil partner of the opposite sex;
- children who are financially dependent on the investor, are not married, and do not have their own source of income;
- the investor's parents.
An investor can apply for a permanent residence permit in Mauritius three years after obtaining a residence permit if:
- The gross income of the company is between Rs 15 million or about $351,000 for three consecutive years before applying for a permanent residence permit;
- the total turnover of the company was at least Rs 45 million or about $1.06 million in any three consecutive years prior to the application for a permanent residence permit.
Family Occupation Permit is issued to owners and participants in a family business if:
- The applicants have invested $250,000 or more in a special fund, COVID-19 Projects Development Fund.
- The investor or their spouse wishes to take up employment in Mauritius.
The residence permit by investments in the target sectors of the economy, which include:
- audio-visual technology;
- cinema and media;
- green goods production;
- financial services;
- fisheries and marine resources;
- information technology;
- infrastructure development;
- Leisure and entertainment services;
- initial public offerings on the market.
The minimum investment amount is $375,000. The money must be transferred to an account in a local bank, which is owned by the selected company.
In this case, a residence permit is issued for 20 years. Together with the investor, it can be received by family members: spouse or spouse, children and parents. Relatives must be financially dependent on the investor.
What would a residence permit in Mauritius give an investor
Change of tax residence. If an investor resides on the island for more than 183 days in a year, he or she can become a tax resident in Mauritius. If a company is incorporated in the country or moves its head office to the island, the business will automatically become a tax resident.
If a person is a tax resident in Mauritius, he pays income tax on a progressive scale:
Corporate income tax is levied at a flat rate of 15%. The rate of value added tax (VAT) is also 15%.
There are no taxes on capital gains, dividends or inheritance in Mauritius.
There is no double taxation treaty in force between Russia and Mauritius. Therefore, if a person or company is a tax resident in Mauritius but receives income from Russia, taxes will have to be paid in both countries.
Perspective on citizenship. An applicant with a residence permit by investment cannot immediately qualify for Mauritian citizenship: he must first obtain a permanent residence permit.
Permanent residence status is granted three years after the residence permit, subject to certain conditions, e.g. annual income. The conditions depend on the type of residence permit obtained by investment.
From August 2021, a permanent residence permit is granted for 20 years, not 10 as before. Permanent Residence Permit status can be renewed.
If an investor with a residence permit resides in Mauritius for a further two years, he or she can apply for citizenship. Along with the passport, the applicant will be able to travel visa-free to 146 countries, including the Schengen area, Great Britain, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Accommodation and holidays on the island. One and a half million tourists from all over the world choose Mauritius for their holiday every year. The best time to visit the island is from November to May. Water and air temperatures are about the same, around +28°C. During the off-season, temperatures drop to +20°C and there can be tropical downpours.
Mauritius has beautiful white-sand beaches. But they are not the only reason to visit the island: there are unique natural attractions - underwater waterfalls. The Black River Gorges National Park also has colorful sand dunes.
Trou aux Biches beach is one of the best beaches in Mauritius. Entrance to the beach is free, with free showers and toilets.
Underwater waterfalls off the coast of Mauritius - a unique natural phenomenon not seen anywhere else in the world
The dunes in Black River Gorges Park are formed from seven different shades of sand. When it rains, the colours do not mix: when it dries, the sand splits up into multi-coloured stripes again
In which countries it is possible to obtain citizenship by investment immediately
While in Mauritius it takes at least five years to obtain a passport on naturalization, in some states the process takes from one month to six months - when participating in an investment program. The investment for citizenship in these countries is three times less than for a residence permit in Mauritius. However, investors are not required to come and live in the second citizenship country either before or after obtaining a passport.
Vanuatu, an island nation in Oceania, offers investors a passport in exchange for a non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund. The minimum contribution is $130,000. The Vanuatu government also plans to add an option with the purchase of real estate on the island.
It takes one month or less to obtain a Vanuatu passport. The country has the fastest citizenship program in the world.
Five Caribbean countries also offer cosmopolitan citizenship by investment. They are St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and Dominica.
Conditions for obtaining Caribbean citizenship
|Country||Investments||Deadline for obtaining a passport|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||From $150,000||From 2 to 6 months|
|Grenada||From $150,000||From 3 to 6 months|
|Antigua and Barbuda||From $100,000||From 3 to 6 months|
|Dominica||From $100,000||From 2 to 6 months|
|St Lucia||From $100,000||From 3 to 4 months|
Holders of a Vanuatu or Caribbean passport can travel visa-free to more than 130 countries, including the Schengen Area, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Citizens of Grenada can also obtain an E-2 business visa in the US and travel visa-free to China.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for the Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship programs. If you want to travel freely around the world, seek advice from investment program experts.