How to get Mauritius citizenship in 2021?
The quick answer is, invest in Mauritius!
Yes, it is, but just let’s dive deeper to see what the possibilities are. What other options there are and else can be done.
How to get Mauritius citizenship is not that difficult, when you understand, what possibilities you have. In recent years, many people have immigrated to Mauritius, and the number of immigrants keeps on rising every year. They all travel to the country for various reasons such as tourism, work, or attain permanent residency using available residency programs. For whatever reason, you may decide to travel to Mauritius. Always know that the country is a pleasant place to be for everyone. Additionally, you can find a good residency program not only to live here but also to attain Mauritius citizenship.
Mauritius is one of the most beautiful island nations in the Indian ocean sitting between Asia and Africa. It has stunning white beaches, green mountains, botanical gardens, amazing parks, waterfalls, and beautiful weather, among other attractions.
Employment opportunities are also available for both locals and immigrants through different permits, residency programs, or investment schemes. The average employment rate in Mauritius has always been over 90 percent since 2004 to date.
Therefore, having a Mauritian visa, resident permit, passport, or citizenship comes with numerous lucrative opportunities. The salaries of immigrants in Mauritius are relatively high as compared to other African countries.
Education is also perfect for any income earner since they have a wide range of public and private schools, including international institutions. Mauritius citizenship provides you with easy access to all these facilities. Despite the island being small, it is among the most highly populated nations in Africa.
However, Mauritian people are quite friendly and welcoming — more than 20000 immigrants live here today. Those who want to make an investment in the country are also not left behind.
Everyone can take advantage of investment opportunities in Mauritius as long as you fulfill the law’s conditions under different investment programs.
According to the OECD (opens in a new tab), Mauritius is the 13th best country for business across the world. Also, the Legatum Prosperity Index rated Mauritius as 44th best when it comes to wealth creation and investment success.
Mauritius is a tax haven since there is no capital gains tax. Only a 15% income tax is charged. This gives you more reasons to want to gain that Mauritian passport or citizenship. Or take advantage of the permanent residency program.
Your investments will give you guaranteed returns dues to these tax benefits and flexible regulations. The only disadvantage of living in Mauritius is that most goods are expensive since almost everything gets imported to the island.
However, by having lucrative opportunities to earn money either by working or investment, you can afford the cost of living in Mauritius.
Mauritius Immigration Policy
Mauritius’s passport and immigration office is the only authority that controls passport issuance and other immigration services. It is a branch of Mauritius Police Force that is headed by the commissioner of police.
Some of the responsibilities of the passport and immigration office include:
- Managing border control in all points of arrivals
- Enforcing immigration rules
- Issuing travel documents such as a passport
- Processing visa applications for non-citizens
- Issuing occupation and residence permits to those who want to work, invest or acquire permanent resident in Mauritius
Any person who wants to enter Mauritius must obtain the necessary travel documents. And this includes a valid visa unless, under the immigration laws or residency program, they are exempted.
Mauritius’ visa application must get reviewed and approved by an immigration officer to ensure that you are eligible to enter and stay in the country for whatever purpose.
Eligibility and exemptions depend on your country of origin.
Learn more about Passport (opens in a new tab) to know if your country is exempted from a visa or not and then take the necessary action. Apart from a visa, every traveler to Mauritius must provide a passport whose expiry period is more than six months beyond the period you expect to reside in the country.
Regardless of the type of passport a person holds or the residency program, they plan to take; a traveler must consult the Passport and Immigration. Office before traveling or applying for a visa for purposes other than a visit, tourism, or business.
This includes anyone traveling for religious reasons, study purposes, or to take up a job opportunity.
Mauritius citizenship Visa
What is a visa?
This is an official acknowledgment that indicates that your application to enter Mauritius has been dully reviewed and approved by an immigration officer for a specific purpose and a particular period. Visas and extensions of the same are provided free of charge.
Some people do not need a visa to enter Mauritius if they are:
- Mauritian citizens
- Mauritius residents as per the migration act
- married to a Mauritian citizen
- children or stepchildren or adopted children of a citizen or a person married to a citizen of the country
- They hold diplomatic passports except those issued in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, and Libya
- or they hold a laissez-passer
- They are just traveling in a vessel either to join another vessel there or to stay with the vessel until it departs
Types of visas in Mauritius:
- Tourist visa: This is granted to persons traveling for leisure. They are not allowed to conduct any business or make an investment during their stay.
- Transit visa: You only get this visa if you are transferring goods through Mauritius port to another destination. And the visa is valid for three days only — sometimes fewer days.
- On-arrival visa: This is a visa provided at the point of entry to the country. However, it is not eligible for everyone, and a traveler needs approval from the immigration office first.
- Student visa: This visa is provided to prospective students who aspire to study or train in Mauritius’ higher education institution.
- Temporary work visa: This is provided to people who work in Mauritian organizations.
- Spouse visa: This is a visa granted to a spouse, a partner of a resident, or a citizen of Mauritius.
- Business visa: This a visa provided to travelers who aspire to conduct short-term businesses in the country.
Application for Mauritian visa
The Visa application process can be done from any diplomatic representatives’ offices across the world or Mauritius consulate where applicable. In case none of these is available in your region, you can make use of the Air Mauritius Office. Get a visa application form from here (opens in a new tab) and complete it before submission.
Requirements for a Mauritius VISA:
- A duly filled application form
- Two Passport-sized photos
- A copy of passport data pages
- A copy of resident permit if you do not live in your country of origin
- If your application is for a business visa, you must provide a letter from your company or sponsor
- A valid return or onward tickets
- At least 100 US dollar per day for the entire period you will be in Mauritius
- Confirmed accommodation whether from a hotel reservation or sponsorship by a Mauritius citizen
- Proof of eligibility to enter Mauritius
Once you submit all the documents, visa application processing will take about five days. However, remember that you need the immigration officer’s approval before the final decision of admission to the country can be made. Until you get your visa, do not undertake any traveling process, such as buying a ticket.
FAQs on Mauritius VISA and Immigration
What happens if you overstay your visa or permit in Mauritius?
This is considered an offense, and you should expect to be prosecuted by the court of law.
Can I use my tourist visa as a work visa in Mauritius?
No, there are no such residency programs. You need to apply for a work and residence permit or occupation permit to work or even make an investment in Mauritius.
What if you travel without a visa to Mauritius?
You will be deported back to your country of origin or residence at the transporting carrier’s cost.
What should you do to study in Mauritius?
Prospective students need to apply for study or training visas and only travel when it is approved.
How to Get a Mauritius Passport?
Mauritius’ passport is an essential document, and holders have free entry to most European countries. It means you will enjoy numerous opportunities in the country and beyond.
Who is eligible to apply for a Mauritius passport? (opens in a new tab) Every person holding Mauritius citizenship status can apply for a passport regardless of how you gained citizenship.
It could be citizenship by birth, citizenship by descent, citizenship by adoption, citizenship by marriage, or registration, also known as naturalization.
However, these applicants must fulfill all the requirements of acquiring a passport in the country as per law stipulations.
While citizenship is the best and easiest way to acquire a Mauritius passport, the government is focusing a lot on encouraging investors across the world to take advantage of investment opportunities in the country.
Therefore, foreign nationals planning to make an investment in the country are given options to obtain citizenship and a passport. It is an amazing residency program. Now, for those who need a Mauritius passport, they can pay a non-refundable contribution of 500,000 to the sovereign wealth fund and an additional amount of 50,000 US dollars for every person included.
By holding a Mauritian passport, you are eligible to travel to more than 100 countries without the need to obtain a visa. Some people think that selling Mauritius citizenship and passport may attract corrupt and crooked businesspeople.
While this might be true, the Mauritius government has laws, and those who do not follow them will face a lawsuit in the court of law.
Those who can afford these residency programs should take advantage of it today — it is a good investment.
Applying for Mauritius Passport
Once you are sure that you are eligible to apply for a Mauritius passport, there are a few steps that you need to follow. Get and an application form and complete it.
You can get it from any police post in Mauritius, passport and immigration office, any Mauritian embassy or consulate, or download (opens in a new tab) it from the passport and immigration office’s official website.
The form has simple instructions on the front page, specifying how to fill the details without making mistakes.
If the passport applicant is a minor, which means below 18 years, then parents need to sign different sections on the form for them. However, if the parents are not available, the consent can be provided in the presence of an official embassy, police officer, or a solicitor from the residence country. The form must be complete using a black pen and all in capital letters.
A Passport comes with a small investment, but it is worthwhile.
The passport application cost for minors, disabled persons, and senior citizens is RS 400, while that of an adult costs RS 700. In case you lose a passport or its damaged, you will pay RS 5,000 for the first-time replacement and RS 15,000 for any subsequent replacement in the future.
Documents you need to apply for a Passport
- A dully complete application form
- A national ID
- A birth certificate
- Certificate of citizenship either or both in a foreign country and in Mauritius, whichever is applicable
- Two identical passport photos were taken on a light background
- Previous passport in case of renewal or certificate of police if you lose your passport
- In case of a minor, more documents must be provided, including parents birth certificates, their national IDS, and an order from a judge if necessary
- For a married person, additional documents include a marriage certificate or a divorced decree
It will take about four to six weeks before you can get your passport. However, an emergency Mauritius passport or a laissez-passer can take one to three days from the day of application.
Getting A Passport or Citizenship through a Permanent Residency program
Some foreign nationals are eligible to get permanent residence in the country after making a certain investment or fulfilling other requirements as stipulated by the law. The residency program is one of the channels used by the Mauritian government to encourage foreigners to make investments and develop the country’s economy.
Now, if a foreigner makes a minimum investment of 500,000 US dollars, they can get a permanent residence in the country. He or she will not be required to obtain any work or residence permit. His spouse and children, including step and adopted ones, can also get permanent residence together with the applicant.
For children and next of kin who are above 18 years, the applicant must deposit 100,000 dollars through a bank transfer with the national Accountant General. This investment amount will not bear any interest. But it is worth it because you are on your way to acquiring Mauritius citizenship.
There are numerous investment opportunities that these foreigners can legally take advantage of in Mauritius, including an investment in the permanent resident investment fund as long as the amount invested is not less than 500,000 US dollars.
Application for permanent residence is carried out from the Mauritius Export Development and Investment Authority (MEDIA). After the application, the first thing you should expect is an approval of your investment as a qualifying business activity, and later the approval for the permanent residency. You must deposit an investment amount of US$500,000 to the Accountant general. MEDIA will always advise you accordingly throughout the process. Read about my blog post on How to start a business in Mauritius to understand how you could do that.
Can you lose your permanent resident status?
You can lose your permanent residence if you willingly provide any misleading or false information during your permanent residence application with the immigration officer.
Another reason that can cause loss of your permanent resident status could be if, within five years of investment, your business closes. Or you reduce the amount of investment to be less than 500,000 US dollars.
The residency program requires total honesty and consistency for you to acquire and retain it. Also, if you are declared bankrupt, your permanent resident status might get rebuked.
Finally, suppose a person holding permanent residence gets convicted for committing a criminal offense, leading to the imprisonment of more than a year. In that case, they will lose their permanent residency status.
Can a foreigner holding permanent residence embark on property investment?
Yes, they can make such investments.
However, this can only be for residential purposes — may be a flat or land, and it must be far from the seafront (100 meters away). Apart from real estate, there are other numerous investments one can use in the country. For instance, investment in stock markets or investment funds. If your residency programs allow it and can afford the investment amount, then you are good to go.
What does the immigration laws offer under the residency program?
During the application for permanent residence, an investor may get a multiple entry visa to be used for at least one year before the residency program matures.
Once an investor acquires permanent resident status, they can apply for Mauritius citizenship and a passport after residing in the country for at least two years.
Under this residency program, the investor does need to relinquish their previous citizenship. Attaining Mauritius citizenship and passport is an outstanding achievement because you can now enter and live in any European Union country for not more than three months without obtaining a visa.
Some professionals are also provided with unique immigration options under the permanent residency program as long as the Board approves the option of Investment.
It is referred to as the Scheme to Attract Professionals for Emerging Sectors (SAPES). Immigration to Mauritius comes with numerous benefits.
How to Become a Citizen of Mauritius?
Mauritius citizenship is regarded and recognized in numerous countries across the globe. It is usually regarded as a drawcard to Mauritius’ immigration. The good thing is that there are more options to acquire Mauritius citizenship, including the permanent residency program and investment options.
Ways of Becoming a Mauritius Citizen:
- Citizenship by birth: Every child born in the Mauritius territory irrespective of the parent’s nationality becomes a Mauritius citizen automatically.
- By descent: Any child born abroad whereby one or both parents are citizens of Mauritius can acquire citizenship through registration.
- By marriage: Any person who gets married to a Mauritian citizen is eligible to apply for Mauritius citizenship after living together in the country for at least four years. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in the country.
- Citizenship by naturalization: If you have been living legally in Mauritius for a certain period, you might be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization.
- The first option is if you live in the country for at least five years out of the last seven years and at least continuously for one year (12 months), then you can apply for Mauritius citizenship.
- Secondly, under the unique residency program or investment scheme whereby you invest at least 500,000 US dollars and stay in the country for at least two years, you are eligible to apply for both Mauritius citizenship and passport.
- The third option is that a foreigner can obtain Mauritius citizenship if they pay a non-refundable contribution amounting to 1 million US dollars towards the Sovereign Wealth Fund. In case the applicant wants to add their family to the application, they must provide an additional investment of 100,000 US dollars for each member added.
Can you lose your Mauritius citizenship?
You can lose your citizenship by voluntarily renouncing it under the immigration law. You only need to visit the Mauritius embassy and carry out all the paperwork.
At the moment, there is no involuntary policy or immigration regulation that can involuntarily renounce your citizenship in the country.
Does Mauritius allow dual citizenship?
Yes, every citizen is allowed to have dual citizenship.
However, you need to ensure that your country of origin allows you to acquire dual citizenship.
For instance, Indians are not allowed to acquire dual citizenship, and once they obtain Mauritius citizenship. They automatically lose their citizenship in India.
The best thing to do here is to take advantage of permanent residency program, read it on my article How to get a residence permit in Mauritius, and live in Mauritius without applying for Mauritius citizenship.