More South Africans target a move to Mauritius with new visa rules

 ·4 Jul 2021

A growing number of South Africans are looking to move to Mauritius as the island nation has relaxed visa and travel restrictions, says Seeff Property Group.

The government of Mauritius has made it easier to obtain a residency visa by lowering the required property investment to $375,000 – from the previous $500,000, says Séverine Dalais-Pietersen, a marketing executive for Seeff Mauritius.

It also introduced a long-stay visa, known as a Premium Travel Visa, which allows you to stay for a year subject to proving your income from outside sources.

“A long-stay visa is a great option for those looking to get a feel for the island before committing to a permanent move,” she said.

Dalais-Pietersen said that Mauritius’ borders will start a phased reopening from 15 July to 30 September for vaccinated persons, and the island hopes to open fully for vaccinated people from 1 October.

“Mauritius is an attractive offshore property destination for various reasons and many South Africans own property and are retiring to the island.

“The property developments available for foreign buyers are top class and often offer great rental returns. The island is easily accessible with short-hop flights of four to six hours from South Africa. The island offers a quality lifestyle, excellent climate and modern amenities, all within easy reach.”

Tax and buying property

Dalais-Pietersen said that there are also a number of tax benefits to moving.

“If you spend more than 183-days here annually, you can be tax domiciled and benefit from the non-double taxation agreement with South Africa and other tax options including a fixed rate of 15% tax for individuals and companies, and no tax on capital gains, dividends, profits or inheritance.”

While the foreign buying contingent slowed due to the pandemic and closed orders, local Mauritians took the opportunity to buy like crazy, predominantly plots of land below R4.7 million and apartments and small houses up to R5 million, she said.

“Mauritius has an active rental market consisting of residential as well as holiday letting, although the latter is subdued in view of the travel restrictions.

“Rental prices range from around R10,000 to as much as R200,000 per month at the top end. Current demand is mostly in the R16,600 to R26,700 per month range for residential property.”

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