Property Development Scheme (PDS)
The PDS, which has replaced the Integrated Resort Schemes (IRS) and Real Estate Schemes (RES), allows the development of a mix of residences for sale to non-citizens. The Economic Development Board of Mauritius maintains a list of approved developments.
A foreign investor is eligible for a Residence Permit upon the purchase of a qualifying residential property under the PDS scheme when he / she has invested more than USD375,000 or its equivalent in any freely convertible foreign currency. Non-citizens with a Residence Permit under PDS will be exempt from the requirement to obtain an Occupation or Work Permit in order to invest and work in Mauritius.
The property can be purchased through a trust, company, foundation or in an individual capacity. If the property is purchased through a structure an individual can be nominated to become the permit holder.
The holder of the Residence Permit is entitled to residency in Mauritius for as long as the property is owned. Dependents, comprising the spouse, common law partner of the opposite sex, children and parents are also eligible for a permanent residence permit.
The PDS is a welcome departure from the IRS and RES because it does not differentiate between small and big landowners and harmonises the registration duty to a single rate of 5%, instead of USD70,000 on registration of a deed under IRS and USD25,000 under RES.
The ‘Smart City Scheme’, which was introduced to encourage the development of mixed-use developments in conurbations with smart technology and pioneering innovations, has also been amended. The threshold for investment has been reduced from USD500,000 to USD375,000 to qualify for a Residency Permit. The Economic Development Board of Mauritius maintains a list of approved developments.
Investment in a qualifying business activity
A foreign investor who invests at least USD375,000, or its equivalent in freely convertible currency, in a qualifying business activity is eligible to apply for a permanent Residence Permit.
An exclusive 20-year residency is granted to ensure that the investor has time to settle and make the business productive in the long term. Dependents, comprising the spouse, common law partner of the opposite sex, children and parents are also eligible for a permanent Residence Permit.
The qualifying activities are: agro-based industry, audio-visual, cinema and communication, banking, construction, education, environment-friendly and green energy products, financial services, fisheries and marine resources, freeport, information technology, infrastructure, insurance, leisure, manufacturing, marina development, tourism, and warehousing and initial public offerings (IPOs).
To further open the Mauritian market to investors and foreign expertise and with a view to long-term stability, the government offers a 10-year Occupation Permit as value investing incentive through different means of investment.