With the economic expansion of Mauritius and its pursuit to become a high-income economy, the Mauritian government is promoting openness to foreign investors, talents, know-how, and retirees.
Recognised for its pleasant tropical climate and also known for its dynamic economy, attractive tax regimes, political and social stability, multiculturalism, competitive business environment, warm hospitality, exceptional living environment, and its multiple investment opportunities, Mauritius is classified as a privileged destination for foreign nationals to invest, work, live and retire.
Foreign nationals may opt to invest, work, live or retire in Mauritius through various avenues namely the Occupation Permit, the Residence Permit, Young Professional Occupation Permit, or the Permanent Residence Permit.
The OP – Occupation Permit & the RRP – Retired Residence Permit
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:
Foreign nationals, above the age of 50 years, may also choose to retire in Mauritius under a Residence Permit (RP).
An Occupation Permit (Investor and Self-employed) and a Retired Residence Permit shall be issued for a maximum period of ten years, renewable thereafter as per established criteria.
An Occupation Permit under the Professional category shall be issued for a maximum period of three years or as per the duration of the contract of employment, renewable thereafter as per established criteria.
Dependents of an OP or RP holders may also apply for a residence permit for a duration not exceeding that of the main holder.
Here’s how to acquire a Residence Permit (RP) in Mauritius.
Investor: There are two ways of qualifying as an investor for a PRP. The first is to have held an occupation permit for a minimum of three years right before you apply for a PRP. In addition to this, your company’s annual turnover must exceed MUR 12 million.
The second way to become eligible is to invest USD 50,000 in any of the following: agro-based industry, audio-visual industry, cinema and communication industry, banking and financial services, construction, environmentally sustainable products, information technology, education, Freeport, infrastructure, insurance, leisure, manufacturing, warehouse, marina development, tourism, and recreation.
Professionals: A Professional, as defined under the Immigration Act, is an expatriate employed in Mauritius by virtue of a contract of employment.
1. A Professional should earn a monthly basic salary of at least MUR 60,000.
2. For Professionals in the sector of information and communication technologies (ICT), business process outsourcing (BPO), pharmaceutical manufacturing, and food processing, the monthly basic salary should be at least MUR 30,000.
3. Professionals may also apply for a Short-term Occupation Permit for a period not exceeding 9 months. The OP may be extended only once for a period not exceeding 3 months.
Self-Employed: A Self-Employed is defined as a non-citizen engaged in a professional activity under the services sector only and registered with the Registrar of Businesses under the Business Registration Act.
1. A Self-Employed should operate a one-person business activity, working exclusively for his/her own
2. 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.
3. For renewal, the business activity should generate a business income of 800,000 rupees per year as from the third year of registration.
Retired: A Retired Non-Citizen is defined as a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius and aged 50 years or above.
1. A Retired Non-Citizen should make an initial transfer of at least USD 1,500 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency to his/her local bank account in Mauritius.
2. Thereafter, the Retired Non-Citizen should transfer at least USD 1,500 monthly or the aggregate of at least USD 18,000 per year or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency during the 10 years’ validity of the residence permit.
3. At the end of each year, the Retired Non-Citizen should submit to the Economic Development Board, the evidence of transfer of funds into his/her local bank account.
FAQ’s about applying for a Permanent Residence Permit (PRP)
A holder of an Occupation or Residence Permit is eligible to apply for a 20-year Residence Permit provided the following specific conditions are met:
1. Investor: Holds an OP for at least 3 years with:
• a minimum annual gross income of at least MUR 15M; or
• an aggregate turnover MUR 45M,
for any consecutive period of 3 years.
2. Professional: Holds an OP for at least 3 years with a basic monthly salary of at least MUR 150,000 for 3 consecutive years.
3. Self-Employed: Holds an OP for at least 3 years with an annual business income of at least MUR 3 million for the 3 consecutive years.
4. Retired Non-Citizen: Holds an RP for at least 3 years with the transfer of at least USD 54,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency for the period of 3 years.
An investor who invests at least USD 375,000 in a qualifying business activity is also eligible to apply for the 20-year residence permit.
Qualifying activities: Agro-based industry, Audio-visual, Cinema and Communication, Banking, Construction, Education, Environment-friendly and green energy products, Financial Services, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Freeport, Information Technology, Infrastructure, Insurance, Leisure, Manufacturing, Marina development, Tourism and Warehousing, Initial Public Offerings.
A non-citizen holding OP/RP for at least 3 years and whose OP/RP is valid on 1 September 2020 is eligible for a 20-year PRP. The eligibility conditions will be that of OP/RP criteria for renewal.
Does my eligibility for a Residence Permit extend to my family too?
Yes, it does. Your spouse and children (younger than 24 years) are eligible for an RP. Your unmarried partner will get a residence permit, instead. This needs to be renewed annually.
A PRP is valid for ten years. What happens after that?
You can apply for another 10-year permit providing you meet the required criteria.
When can I start purchasing immovable property in Mauritius?
If you currently hold an RP and earn more than MUR 100,200 per month, you can purchase an apartment for residential purposes. The apartment should belong to a block of residential units in a building that exceeds two stories, excluding the ground floor.
How does the Board of Investment keep a tab on whether individuals are continually following the strict criteria required for a PRP in Mauritius?
Holders of PRPs, excluding retired expats, are required to file an annual tax return with the Mauritius Revenue Authority. In addition to this, all employers must register their employees with the tax office. This allows the authorities to check whether an individual’s annual returns meet their criteria. To maintain accuracy, audited company accounts, and payslips may also be requested. The Board of Investment collaborates with the
Tracking Team of the Passport and Immigration Office to carry out frequent joint inspections. Retired expats will be asked for an authentic certificate from their bank to prove that the required funds are being transferred to their Mauritian bank account every year, in line with the PRP regulations.