With its rich history and a mix of various cultural traditions, Mauritius is a privileged country in which to live. An attractive and thriving place for business with an incomparable ‘art de vivre’, Mauritius is home to the citizen of the world.
Right partnerships between foreign capital and local businesses have resulted in outstanding economic success. The opening up of the economy has had a favourable impact on the growth rate of the country with increased transfer of technology, knowledge, talents and capital.
In its pursuit to become a high-income economy, Mauritius is actively encouraging foreign talents, know-how and investment into the country. Whether you are an investor, a professional, a self-employed or a retired non-citizen, there are a number of compelling reasons to consider Mauritius as your location for doing business and living.
Non-citizens wishing to work, live or retire in Mauritius may explore various avenues either through the Occupation Permit, the Residence Permit, the Permanent Residence Permit or the Mauritius Premium Visa. They are also eligible to acquire immoveable property in Mauritius under prescribed conditions.
Following the FATF June 2021 plenary meeting, Mauritius has substantially completed its action plan at technical level and has been authorised an on-site visit in order to validate the progress made.
This is a decisive step towards ensuring that Mauritius quickly exits the list of high risk non-cooperative jurisdictions of the FATF and subsequently that of the EU blacklist. It also acknowledges the efforts made by all stakeholders of the financial services sector to ensure that our jurisdiction complies with all AML/CFT rules and international best practices. MATCO strongly believes that this will serve as a reassurance to the international community and investors in our ability to provide them with a robust world-class international financial sector.
Click on the link below to read the full communique issued by the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance.
The 2021-2022 Mauritius budget was presented under the theme ‘Better Together’ along three axes namely, Recovery, Revival and Resilience.
As economies around the world are still grappling with the effects of a global pandemic, with many at various stages of outbreaks and varying levels of readiness, the main message of the government was to build its strategy around three main pillars which are giving an exceptional boost to investment, shaping a new economic architecture and restoring confidence.
In order to do so, several measures were announced and the ones pertaining to the financial services sector, one of the few sectors which has registered a positive growth in 2020, are outlined below.
FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
- Reinforcement of the regulatory framework to accelerate the completion of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan for an early exit from the grey list notably with the AML/CFT Core Group given legal force under the Financial Intelligence Anti-Money Laundering Act (FIAMLA) and amendments to relevant legislations to meet the requirements of the FATF recommendations on AML-CFT
- Establishment of the Financial Crime Commission to fight against financial crime
- The FSC One platform will be launched as an online licensing portal as from 1st July 2021
- No requirement for a Global Business Company (GBC) licence for setting up family offices
- An extension of the tax holiday for Family Offices as well as Fund and Asset Managers from five to 10 years
BUSINESS FACILITATION AND OCCUPATION PERMIT (OP)
- Validity of OP as professional extended from three to 10 years
- The spouse of an OP holder wishing to invest or work in Mauritius will be exempted from applying for a separate OP
- The requirement for OP applicants to arrive in Mauritius on a business visa to be issued with a permit will be waived. A non-citizen will be eligible for an OP irrespective of his visa category when he arrives in Mauritius
- The maximum age limit of 24 years for dependants will be waived
- A 10-year Family OP for those contributing USD 250,000 to the COVID-19 Projects Development Fund will be introduced
- Non-citizens holding an OP as self-employed will be allowed to incorporate a one-man company and employ administrative staff
- A smart card will replace the current paper-based OP
- International students enrolled in a recognised educational institution in Mauritius will automatically benefit from a 20-hour per week work permit as well as a 10-year renewable Young Professional OP upon graduation
- The criteria for young professional Occupation Permit will be reviewed and the list of qualifying activities will be removed
- The monthly salary applicable for an OP for professionals in financial services will be brought down to MUR 30,000. However, this will be limited only for fund accounting and compliance services by a company holding a licence from the FSC, and the professional will need to have at least three years relevant work experience
- A non-citizen who purchases or otherwise acquires an apartment used, or available for use, as residence, in a building of at least two floors above ground floor, provided the purchase price is not less than USD 375,000 will be issued with a residence permit, including for his dependants, and exempted from the requirement of a work or occupation permit
- A dedicated concierge service to provide a seamless experience to investors and retirees entering Mauritius will be set up by the Economic Development Board (EDB)
- A privilege club scheme providing a range of incentives to OP holders and retirees, ranging from privilege access to hotels, golf courses, restaurants, private medical institutions, amongst others will be implemented
PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT (PRP)
- Holders of a 10-year PRP will have the validity automatically extended to cover a 20-year period
- Holders of a PRP will be able to renew their permits and they will be given the flexibility to switch category between investor, professional and retired
- Extension of the work permit to allow Mauritians and non-citizen residents to bring foreign carers and maids to work in Mauritius
The Premium Visa Scheme has been introduced with the objective to encourage eligible foreigners to come for long stay in Mauritius for a period of at least one year with the possibility of renewal.
A holder of a Premium Visa, spending 183 days or more in the Republic of Mauritius, will be subject to income tax as follows:
- the Mauritian-sourced income of a Premium Visa Holder (e.g. emoluments for work performed remotely in Mauritius) will be taxed on a remittance basis, that is in the same manner as foreign-sourced income;
- money spent in Mauritius through the use of foreign credit or debit cards by the holder of a Premium Visa will not be deemed to have been remitted to Mauritius; and
- income brought and deposited in a bank account in Mauritius will be liable to tax except if a declaration is made by the holder of a Premium Visa that the required tax has been paid thereon in his country of origin or residence.
To view a full copy of the Mauritius Budget speech 2021/22, please click here.
Source: Budget Speech 2021/22, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development
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