The COVID-19 pandemic has not only been a health crisis, but has also affected society and the economy in most countries in varying degrees. The President of Mauritius assented to the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 (“Finance Act”) on 7 August 2020 which is geared towards a steady recovery of the Mauritian economy with unconventional measures.
Economic growth, employment and foreign investment is at the forefront of the Budget. Several incentives have been put in place to encourage the flow of foreign talent and investments into Mauritius, improving employment and thus creating a more sustainable environment. The key measures include:
- Occupation Permit (“OP”) for Investors and Self-employed is being extended from 3 years to 10 years. This provides much needed certainty to long term resident employees.
- Validity period of Permanent Residency (“PR”) has been doubled to 20 years.
- Minimum investment amount for Investor OP applicants has been reduced from USD 100,000 to USD 50,000. Moreover, the annual turnover criteria for the renewal of the OP has been revised – annual turnover of MUR 4 million (circa. USD 114,000) will have to be generated as from third year of registration. This is a significant relaxation and will allow many start-up businesses to qualify.
- Professional OP holders and Retired Non-citizens are eligible to invest in any business provided that they:
- are not employed in the business
- do not manage the business
- do not derive any salary or employment benefits from the business
- Professional OP holders may now also hold shares in a business where he is employed provided that he is not a majority shareholder.
- Minimum investment amount for those wishing to have Residence Permit through the acquisition of property under the Property Development Scheme, the Real Estate Scheme, the Integrated Resort Scheme and the Smart City Scheme (the “Schemes”) has been revised downward from USD 500,000 to USD 375,000.
- Minimum investment amount for investors wishing to invest in qualifying activities has also been decreased from USD 500,000 to USD 375,000.
- Holders of residence permit through acquisition of property in the Schemes and Retired Non-citizens are now allowed to engage in any occupation for profit or reward without having to apply for an OP or work permit. Once again this allows a lot of existing residence holders to work without having to obtain a permit.
- OP and Residence Permit holders will be eligible to apply for a PR if they have held the permit for three consecutive years.
- OP holders will also be allowed to bring their parents to live in Mauritius.
We have long highlighted Mauritius as an attractive location to live and work. These changes are most welcome and we encourage anybody interested to contact our team in Mauritius.