Located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is an island nation that has become a favourite among travellers and prospective expats over decades.
Besides its idyllic beaches, lush nature and rich historical and cultural heritage, Mauritius has much more to offer South Africans looking for greener pastures.
What are the benefits of moving to Mauritius?
Did you know that South Africans can travel visa-free to Mauritius for a maximum of 90 days stay?
This means you don’t need a visa to visit Mauritius for leisure or business during this period. Besides, Mauritius has good air connections with South Africa, with regular flights from and to major cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Whether you’re looking to work or invest in Mauritius, you will be able to enjoy a favourable tax regime compared to that of South Africa. Indeed, the island applies a flat corporate tax rate of 15%.
In addition, Mauritius has double taxation agreements (DTA) with South Africa, which means that you won’t have to pay taxes on income or investment in both countries. So Mauritius is definitely worth your consideration if you’re looking to start a business overseas.
Thanks to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius guarantees access to international markets, especially in Africa and Asia.
It’s worth noting that the island has a wide network of free trade agreements that South African investors can benefit from.
Regarding the legal system, it is based on English law, so it is quite similar to that of South Africa – which means that it will be easier for South African nationals to navigate.
Moving to Mauritius also means enjoying an excellent quality of life with a stable economy and political environment, not to mention its modern and developing infrastructure, good healthcare facilities and a relaxed lifestyle.
What are your options for moving to Mauritius?
A range of visas and permits are available for South African nationals looking to work or invest in Mauritius.
1. Occupation Permit
South African professionals, investors, and even the self-employed can request an Occupation permit to live and carry out their professional activities in Mauritius. There are three of them:
- The Professional Permit (valid for 10 years and renewable for 10 more years), which is intended for foreigners who have landed a job in Mauritius, as long as they hold a minimum salary of R60,000 per month and are holders of a degree or other professional qualification;
- The Investor Permit (valid for 10 years and renewable), which is intended for individuals who want to invest in Mauritius, as long as they are able to provide a business plan and make a minimum investment of USD 50,000;
- The Self-Employed Permit (valid for 10 years and renewable) is intended for individuals who wish to start their own business in Mauritius, as long as they can provide a detailed business plan and have a minimum capital of USD 35,000.
2. Residence Permit for Investors
South African investors can request a Residence Permit for investors if they have a minimum net worth of USD 50,000 and provide evidence of their financial standing. This permit is valid for up to ten years and is renewable.
For South African investors interested in innovative projects, the minimum investment requirement does not apply.
Instead, the project must either be submitted to the Economic Development Board for evaluation and approval or registered with an incubator accredited by the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council.
Those who invest at least USD 375,000 in a qualifying activity can also be eligible for a 20-year residence permit.
These activities include agribusiness, audio-visual, film and communication, banking, construction, education, environmentally friendly and green energy products, financial services, fishing and marine resources, freeport, information technology, infrastructure, insurance, entertainment, manufacturing, marina development, tourism, and warehousing, as well as initial public offerings.
And if you are ready to invest at least USD 375,000 in a property in Mauritius under the RES, IRS, or PDS schemes, you may also apply for and enjoy residency as long as you remain the owner of the property. This is known as the real estate investor status.
3. Residence Permit for Retired Non-Citizens
Are you keen on retiring in Mauritius? South African nationals aged over 50 can apply for a Residence Permit for Retired Non-Citizens.
However, they must have a minimum pension of USD 1,500 per month and provide evidence of their financial standing. This permit is valid for up to three years and is renewable.
Good to know
Spouses and dependent children of holders of valid Occupation Permits or Residence Permits for Retired Non-Citizens automatically qualify for a residence permit for the same duration as that of the initial holder.
The eligibility criteria and application process for each type of residence permit mentioned above may vary.
What are the opportunities in Mauritius for South Africans?
Are you relocating to Mauritius to work or to invest? Whatever the case, rest assured that various opportunities are available in different sectors, such as finance, tourism, real estate, and information and communication technology (ICT).
In fact, South Africans with relevant qualifications and experience are very likely to be hired in large companies and firms, as well as startups and scaleups.
For those who want to invest in Mauritius, there are opportunities in real estate, financial services, tourism, ICT, as well as renewable energy, which has become a leading economic pillar in recent years. South African investors can also turn to other sectors such as education, healthcare, etc.
Thanks to its favourable investment climate, business-friendly regulatory environment and attractive tax rates, Mauritius can be the ideal destination for South African nationals seeking new opportunities overseas.
To navigate the investment landscape or the work and visa and permit-related paperwork efficiently and even sort out travel, schooling for your kids, housing for your family, etc., feel free to get in touch with Magellan.