As an investor interested in global pursuits, you may opt for Mauritius. There are numerous opportunities in the nation, thanks to its economic stability and support provided by the government. The best part about Mauritius is that you can acquire Mauritian citizenship through investment.
What is Mauritius Citizenship by Investment & How Does It Work?
The government of Mauritius amended The Nationality Act of 1970 to grant residence permits to foreign investors and family members. The amendment gave rise to the Mauritius residency program, allowing foreigners investing in real estate to apply for a residence permit.
You can take advantage of the Mauritius Immigrant Investor Program to obtain citizenship. Under this program, you’ll be eligible to become a resident within six months when you invest in the Mauritian real estate sector.
The Mauritian citizenship by investment program grants an investor a 3-year temporary investor visa. If you reside and invest in Mauritius, you can obtain permanent residency and later apply for citizenship.
How Does It Work?
Applicants with the temporary residency permit through investment initially hold the 10-year residency permit. Thus, they must wait to qualify for Mauritian citizenship since they need to obtain a permanent residence permit first.
The permanent residence status is usually only possible after three years and comes after the residence permit. An investor is only eligible after meeting certain conditions. The conditions typically vary depending on the type of residence permit obtained through investment. The permanent residence permit will be eligible for 20 years and is renewable.
If you reside in Mauritius for two more years as an investor, totaling five years, you’ll be eligible to apply for citizenship.
Benefits of Obtaining Mauritian Citizenship Through Investment
There are numerous benefits of Mauritius citizenship, and they include the following:
- Residence applies to the entire family, including parents, spouses, and children below 24 years of age. The family members’ residence depends on the main applicant of dual citizenship in Mauritius. They cannot seek employment without a valid occupation or work permit.
- The chance to rent out any investment property
- A secure and safe environment that has a tropical climate throughout the year
- Social, economic, and political stability
- International universities and schools
- Transparent, well-regulated, and transparent international financial center
- The ease of doing business.
The Different Routes to Obtaining a Mauritian Citizenship
The different ways to become a Mauritian citizen include:
Was one of your parents a citizen of Mauritius by birth? Then you’re eligible for citizenship through descent. This option is applicable regardless of the country you were born, as per sections 20(3) and 23 of the constitution.
Marriage to a Citizen of Mauritius
You’ll be eligible for citizenship through marriage if you:
Have resided with your spouse within Mauritius for at least four years or more.
Are married to a citizen of Mauritius
As a Citizen of the Commonwealth
If you’re a citizen of a commonwealth nation, you can apply for Mauritian citizenship if you:
- Are over 18 years old
- Have resided in Mauritius for five years or more.
- It can showcase that you understand the responsibilities of being a Mauritian citizen.
- Converse well in English or any other local language.
Naturalization After Residency
If you have been residing in Mauritius legally, you’re eligible for Mauritian citizenship through naturalization. You can reside in Mauritius if you have a work permit, Mauritian visa, permanent resident status, or residence permit.
Naturalization for investors
According to Mauritius Citizenship Act, section 9;3, you can become a citizen by investing in the country. However, this comes with some conditions:
- Invest at least USD500,000
- Reside in the country for two years continuously before applying
You will apply to the Secretary of Home Affairs for review. You will also need to publish an advertisement in at least two daily newspapers as per the application form instructions on page 4.
Investment Options Available for Acquiring Mauritian Passport
The available real estate investment schemes in Mauritius include:
Property Development Scheme (PDS)
The PDS (Property Development Scheme) allows the development of residences that investors can sell to non-Mauritians, Mauritian Diaspora members, and Mauritians. The non-Mauritians are eligible for the residence permit after purchasing property under the property development scheme.
Before you’re eligible for the residence permit, you should invest at least USD 375,000 or an equivalent amount, regardless of the currency.
G+2 (Ground+2 Apartments)
The G+2 scheme enables non-Mauritians to acquire apartments in condominium developments above the ground by at least two levels. The purchase should be MUR 6 million minimum or equivalent in any other convertible foreign currency.
When a non-Mauritian acquires an apartment for more than USD 375,000, they will be eligible for a long-stay visa. The long-stay visa will allow the investor and their dependents to reside in Mauritius for ten years. They can renew the visa depending on the ownership status. The visa will be valid as long as you own the apartment.
Invest Hotel Scheme (IHS)
The IHS (Invest Hotel Scheme) allows hotel developers to finance hotel development projects. They can then sell the villas, rooms, suites, and other components that make up a hotel when ready.
A unit leased to the seller can be occupied and used by a unit owner or other individuals on his behalf for a period not exceeding 90 days within 12 months. When acquiring a villa, the investment amount should be USD 500,000 or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency easily convertible. There isn’t a minimum investment amount for other units other than villas to acquire property under IHS.
Real Estate Scheme (RES)
The RES (Real Estate Scheme) is an alternative to the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS). The projects under the RES stand on land not less than 4000 square meters. The good thing is that there are no maximum or minimum price constraints when closing a sale in the RES scheme. Thus, the residence permit will not come automatically to a foreigner acquiring property under this scheme.
If the purchase doesn’t exceed USD 500,000, the buyer cannot be eligible for the permanent residence permit. Instead, they can only reside in Mauritius annually for six months or less. Nevertheless, for a purchase exceeding USD 500,000, the Mauritian government will issue a permanent residence permit to the buyer.
Suppose you have chosen to live, work, invest, or retire in Mauritius. In that case, getting an Occupation Permit without needing a work permit is possible. This is for the self-employed, investors, and professionals.
Now, as a foreign investor, you must hold your residency for at least three years and fulfill the following conditions to get permanent residency.
- Your gross income needs to be MUR15 million or more for three years before applying for PR
- You must also maintain an average turnover of MUR 45 million or more for three years
Once you acquire the PR, it is renewable after 20 years, and you will be eligible to apply for citizenship if you stay continuously for seven years.
As a foreign investor, there are numerous reasons why you should consider Mauritius as a preferred investment destination. The best of them all is that when you invest in real estate in Mauritius, you’ll be eligible for a permanent residence permit. However, it depends on your specific investment scheme and whether you’ll adhere to all the requirements, including minimum investment amounts.
What investment programs are available to obtain Mauritian citizenship?
- By Descent
- Marriage to a Citizen of Mauritius
- As a Citizen of the Commonwealth
- Naturalization After Residency
- Naturalization for investors