During the recent Mauritius budget speech for the fiscal year 2023/2024, a range of measures aimed at bolstering the country’s real estate sector and attracting foreign investment were announced. One significant aspect outlined in the budget speech pertains to the changes in property ownership regulations for foreigners.
Easing Restrictions on Property Ownership
To enhance the attractiveness of Mauritius as an investment and retirement destination, the budget speech proposes easing restrictions on property ownership for foreigners.
Previously, non-citizens were limited to purchasing property within the various approved property schemes such as the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS), Real Estate Scheme (RES), Smart City Scheme and Property Development Schemes (PDS). However, the proposed amendments aim to extend property ownership rights to foreigners outside of these designated schemes, thereby expanding investment opportunities in the real estate sector.
Changes announced are:
- A non-citizen, holder of an occupation permit, or a holder of a residence permit will be eligible to acquire one residential property which is outside of the various property schemes where the purchase price of the residential property exceeds USD 500,000. This is subject to a supplementary 10% registration duty and provided that the area of the land does not exceed 1.25 arpent and is not State Land.
- A new property scheme is being introduced, namely the Sustainable City Scheme. A non-citizen and their family will be eligible for a residence permit on purchasing a residential property for a minimum price of USD 375,000 under the new Sustainable City Scheme.
The residence status will remain valid as long as the purchaser holds the property.
- A retired non-citizen and his family will be granted a residence permit if they acquire residential property in a senior living facility which is part of a PDS project if the acquisition price exceeds USD 200,000. The residence status will remain valid as long as the purchaser holds the property.
The proposed changes in property ownership regulations for foreigners are expected to have significant economic implications for Mauritius. By attracting more foreign investment in real estate, the country can experience increased construction activity, job creation, and infrastructure development. Additionally, the influx of capital from property investments can stimulate economic growth, diversify revenue streams, and contribute to the overall prosperity of the nation.