Mauritian Citizenship and Passport:
In an aim for ‘Further Opening up our Economy and Country’, The Budget Speech has included the following new schemes:
The Economic development Board (“EDB”) will manage two new schemes which will enable High Net Worth foreign individuals, who satisfy defined criteria and after due diligence to obtain Mauritian Citizenship or Mauritian Passport.
The criteria are:
1. Mauritian Citizenship
The first scheme will offer foreigners the opportunity to obtain Mauritian citizenship provided they
make a non-refundable contribution of USD 1 million to a Mauritius Sovereign Fund.
For their spouse and dependents, they will have to make an additional contribution
of USD 100,000 per member of family.
2. Mauritian Passport
The second scheme will offer the opportunity to obtain a Mauritian passport provided they make a contribution of USD 500,000 to the Mauritius Sovereign Fund.
For their spouse and dependents, they will have to make an additional contribution of USD 50,000 per passport.
The Mauritius Sovereign Fund will be managed by the Mauritius National Investment Authority.
For Professional in emerging sectors
A Foreign Manpower Scheme will operate under the supervision of EDB, to attract foreign talents in emerging sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, smart agriculture and the Ocean Economy, amongst others.
The application for an occupation permit will be processed within 5 days by the EDB and the employer will have to contribute the equivalent of one-month salary per foreign worker recruited.
For retired non-citizen
New package of fiscal and non-fiscal facilities will be introduced by the Government to attract foreign retirees. Besides the right to acquire an apartment, they will be exempted from payment of customs duties on the import of personal effects up to a value of Rs 2 million.
Work Permit application with the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training (“MLIRET”):
With the objective to facilitate and improve the processing of applications for work permit the following measures have been taken by the Government:
- The checklist for documents required for application of work permits will be reviewed;
- The applications, not supported by appropriate documents as per the checklist, will be classifiedas ‘Missing Documents Cases’ and will not be entertained;
- The companies, having less than 20 employees, will no longer be required to advertise jobs in newspaper. They will use the facilities provided by the Employment Information Centres;
- A special dedicated unit will be set up under the MLIRET to update information regarding accommodation permits and quotas of companies;
- The ratio in respect of local workers and expatriates will be reviewed in respect of certain sectors;
- The InfoHighway Platform will enable sharing of data among MLIRET, Passport and Immigration Office and Prime Minister’s Office;
- A Dormitory Facilities Scheme will be introduced to rent dormitories to employers for lodging their foreign labour;
- Late applications for work permit/renewal will be accepted against payment of penalties; and
- Companies will be allowed to effect payment for work permit fees within a maximum period of 30 days instead of 10 days.
Mauritius has always been a country which encourage foreign direct investment through the different fiscal and non-fiscal advantages offered to foreign investors.
A foreigner can obtain a permit to work and/or live in Mauritius as an investor, professional, self-employed or as retired.
A foreigner can also acquire property in Mauritius for residential and/or commercial purposes under certain schemes and/or conditions.
The Budget Speech 2018 2019 has been consistent in facilitating foreigners to choose Mauritius as their new professional environment as well as their new home environment.
There are new schemes that encompass the foreign blue-collar workers, the professional employees, the retired non-citizen as well as the high net worth individuals and easing the process to welcome non-citizens of Mauritius.
(In this budget, the Mauritian Government continues to maintain its willingness to encourage foreigners to come and invest in the different sectors of the Country as well as innovative projects. The Mauritian Citizenship and Passport is the Government vision is to open the country to the rest of the world. However, the conditions and criteria will have to be put in place by the Government in order to have a clear perspective of these two new schemes.)