Mauritius is a great nation that has been attracting a lot of expatriates all over the world for various reasons. It could be the country’s amazing beaches, the reefs, or its stable and robust economy. I will try to give you all information you need to get a work permit in Mauritius.
Mauritius is strategically located at the crossroad of Asia and Africa, and this means a dynamic population and living environment. All these characteristics make it a popular and prime location for those who want to start a business, work, or visit the country as a tourist.
For those investors who want to expand their operations in the country, this is all possible, and hiring employees will be one of the priorities. Whether you are a professional, an investor, or are a retired foreigner, you are all eligible to reside and work in Mauritius as long as you get the right papers.
Now, workers from a different country apart from Mauritius will require to obtain the necessary working visa and permit. Once you are accepted into the country, you will enjoy various tax benefits.
It would be challenging to process a work visa by yourself, and therefore, it is advisable to rely on agents to do it for you. Other than that, here are more details you need to know about work visa and work permit in Mauritius.
What options do you have for work visas and permits in Mauritius?
While there are different types of visas in Mauritius, any foreigner who is seeking employment in the country should consider obtaining a work permit, certificate of exemption, or occupation permit. The type of work permit you receive will depend on some factors.
These include in 2021:
- Your qualifications
- The nature and number of years you will be working
- Availability of employer’s entity in the country
A foreign employee will not only need a work permit to start working in Mauritius but must also obtain a residence permit. These two go hand-in-hand. Usually, most people tend to confuse between occupation permits and work permits, but here is the difference. An occupation is a package of both residence and work permit, allowing you to work and live in Mauritius. Moreover, you can only obtain an occupation permit in Mauritius if you are a sponsored professional, self-employed worker, or an investor. Unfortunately, this permit is not eligible for everyone. correspondingly, if you do not qualify for this occupation’s permit, you have to go for the regular work permit that comes with a separate residence permit. Few people might be exempted from acquiring a work permit in the country, but they must obtain an Exemption Certificate provided by the Employment Division of the Ministry of Labor.
What do you need to obtain a work permit in Mauritius?
- Any foreigner who wants to obtain employment in Mauritius must be between 20 and 60 years of age. An exemption may apply to specific professionals.
- To qualify for the work permit, you must be willing to work on a full-time basis for an entity established in Mauritius.
- Once the permit is approved for you, you cannot transfer it to another person
- If you are seeking employment through an international company in a different country other than Mauritius, then that company must be registered as an international branch of a Mauritian company.
- The company you are planning to work for should apply for your work permit as a foreign employee. A recruitment agency cannot apply for a work permit for you, so be careful when dealing with these agencies.
- If you are a professional in the creative industry such as photography, modeling, music, or theatre, among others, you do not need a work permit. However, you must not stay for 90 consecutive days in Mauritius in one year.
What documents are required for a work permit in Mauritius?
- A complete application form
- A complete datasheet
- Four clear passport photos (must be taken on a clear background)
- A copy of your passport data pages (the pages that contain your names, passport number, photo, and date and place of birth)
- Copies of academic and professional qualifications of the employee
- Detailed information on employee’s work experience
- A detailed and precise job description
- A detailed Contract of Employment, dully certified by the employment division in the ministry of labor for employees earning RS 30,000 or more
- A medical certificate obtained from the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in Mauritius
- A copy of the certificate of incorporation and registration documents of the employer
- Detailed evidence that the position was advertised in A5 format by the employer in at least two newspapers
- Some occupations for foreign employers may require more documents (for instance, education, bakery, offshore, construction and Freeport, among others)
As a foreign employee, all you need is to provide the documents that concern you as stated above, and then let the employer process the work permit for you.
The application process will be undertaken by the company opting to give you a job in Mauritius.
How to apply for a working visa in Mauritius
Now, as noted earlier, you need to get a residence permit together with a work permit for you to be allowed to work legally in Mauritius.
The applicant, who is always the employer, is required to fill out a standard form to obtain both permits.
In addition, the application process is all done through the e-work permit portal, and the forms to be completed are found from the Ministry of Labor, Industrial Relations, Employment, and Training website.
However, despite that the two permits are applied in the same way, they get issued separately.
Your work permit will be issued by the Ministry of Labor, Industrial Relations, Employment, and Training, while the residence permit will be issued by the passport and immigration office.
All your employer needs are the documents mentioned above, and they can start the application process online.
If they are applying for a work permit in Mauritius for foreigners for the first time, they might also be required to submit a certified copy of their bylaws.
Questions & Answers about work permit Mauritius
Do you need a permit if you are married to a Mauritian?
As a matter of fact, If you are an expatriate and you are legally married to a Mauritian citizen, you do not need a work permit.
Can you use a provisional work permit to start working?
First of all, you need to know that a provisional work permit is only issued to foreigners who have not yet traveled to Mauritius. Therefore, you cannot get a provisional permit while in Mauritius.
Your employer can apply for this permit through the online portal, but this is not considered as the final work permit. It only allows the expatriate to travel to the country without hitches.
Remember that it is only valid for six months after issuance, and the employee must travel to the country within this period.
If an employee fails to travel within this period, a request for extension will not be approved, and re-application for the same employee will only be allowed if indeed his or her services are needed.
Also, this permit cannot be used as a certification to start working. It is only valid to the expatriate for two days upon arrival.
How will you get the work permit?
A work permit in Mauritius will come in the form of a card obtained from the ministry of labour.
This must be collected from the ministry upon arrival of the expatriate — usually within two days. The ministry will only issue work permit cards to authorized personnel in the company, and they must provide their ID card to prove identity.
Can you renew your permit once it expires?
Yes, you can. Your employer is required to apply for the renewal of your work permit two months before the expiry of your current permit.
There are payments to be done during the initial application for a work permit and also renewal. However, the cost is always borne by the employer. The work permit renewal process is similar to the initial application process, except that the company is not required to submit some documents all over again. In case your employer does not renew your work permit in good time, the Passport and Immigration Office will take action. Unfortunately, if the renewal application is late, it will not be accepted.
What happens if your work permit is canceled?
For the cancellation of a work permit, an online form must be filled by the employer using the online cancellation form, which must be dully completed.
The employer must provide reasons why they canceled the work permit, and they will be notified through an email upon completion of the cancellation process.
A work permit may be revoked for reasons such as:
- You are no longer traveling to the country
- You left the country before the expiry of the permit
- There is a breach of contract
- Your health clearance is denied
- Your residence permit is denied
Can you obtain a duplicate work permit?
Yes, you can. Your employer needs to apply specifically for this permit through the e-work permit portal using the request for a duplicate work permit form.
The company must provide justified reasons why you need a duplicate work permit before issuance. They must also provide a copy of the policy memo on the same and pay a specific fee to obtain it.
Why get a certificate of exemption instead of a Mauritius work permit?
As noted earlier, some expatriates do not need a work permit to start working in Mauritius. Therefore, instead of getting a work permit, some get issued with a Certificate of Exemption.
This happens if you are a foreign employee working in Mauritius in the ministries, university of Mauritius, or an embassy, among other organizations. However, the process of application is similar to that of a work permit except that your employer fills an extra form apart from the standard work permit and residence permit forms — the certificate of exemption form. The ministry, upon approval, will notify and issue your employer a provisional certificate of exemption. Two days after arrival, they should also collect your exemption card from the ministry.
Do you need a health certificate to work in Mauritius?
Every company aspiring to employ foreign employees must provide complete medical reports obtained from their country of origin.
Some of the tests included in the report are hemoglobin and full blood count. Hepatitis B, Filariasis, anti-HIV screening, urine test for sugar and albumin, VDRL, stool for parasites, and chest x-ray. The employer will then receive a provisional health clearance for the migrant employee from the migrant worker’s section of the Occupational Health Unit after submission of the medical report. Now, a final health clearance will be issued after the expatriate repeats all the tests in Mauritius.
How long can you work in Mauritius?
Usually, you are allowed to work in Mauritius for three years.
However, if you want to continue living and work in the country, you need to swear an affidavit that you have no plan to apply for Mauritian citizenship. And as long as you get the residence permit, then you are allowed to continue working.
Can you get a work permit if you are in Mauritius on a tourist visa?
Employers cannot apply for a work permit for non-citizens who are in the country on a tourist visa.
They will need to exit the country, and the normal process of application will follow.
Work permit agents in Mauritius
Some companies may not have the time or knowledge of how the permit application process is done. If this is the case, a work permit consultant or agent always comes in handy. The company has other things to concentrate on, and these are some of the services worth outsourcing. The agent will not only help them process all the work and residence permits. But will also source for employees that match the skills requirement. In most cases, these agents will work closely with another agent from the country in which they are sourcing the employees. While an expatriate can get a direct job without using an agent in his country of origin, a qualified agent doubles his chances of securing a position in Mauritius.
If you need help to choose the best one, let me know
Mauritius work permit for Indians
Many companies in Mauritius tend to source employees from India, especially in the construction industry, among other sectors. Now, as an Indian who wants to secure a job in Mauritius, there are few things that you need to know. First of all, just like every other expatriate. Your work permit will be applied and processed in Mauritius by your future employer through the Ministry of Environment, Human Resource Development and Employment, and the Passport and Immigration Office. The said employer should also arrange for your residence permit.
The job applicant should not travel to Mauritius until all these formalities are completed and have received the documents needed. While some people can follow up on the entire process on their own, you may consider applying for a job in Mauritius using an agent in India. This is to ensure that you do not leave any formality out or delay the process with might to lead the expiration of some documents such as provisional work permit, hence miss the opportunity. You need to go to the Mauritian embassy in India to get the attestation of your documents, and this process will take about five days. The Visa fee is free for Indian expatriates in Mauritius.
Good consultation is a plus for the work permit in Mauritius
Are you contemplating working in Mauritius, or your company in Mauritius is planning to outsource manpower from other countries? Working closely with a work permit consultant is a plus because you will not miss out on any necessary formality; neither will you experience a delay.