SOME LIGHT AT THE END OF A DARK TUNNEL FOR MAURITIUS
Mauritius, the country that implemented rigid regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic, is now feeling the financial repercussions. The government was forced to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the economy. With a larger public service, it will be hard to recalibrate these economic challenges. However, the 2021-22 Mauritius budget speech comes concurrently with the relief of the recent announcement that the country is opening its borders.
On the 11th of June 2021, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, presented the Mauritius Finance Budget for the next fiscal year. With the aim of rebooting the economy, he discussed investments, economic strategy, restoring confidence, tax, and energy measurements.
The speech provided the government’s vision in terms of balancing social spending, its commitments against collections of revenues, boosting of the economy and preservation of public wealth under the Covid pandemic. The increase in the provision of incentives for small and medium enterprises will assist with the creation of jobs for social and economic stability in both the public and private sectors.
According to the Minister, the Mauritius strategy will be implemented based on the following points:
- Recovery: This involves job preservation and creation;
- Revival: Forecasting a GDP growth of 6% for the world and 9% for the country; and
- Social Resilience: Unemployment kept at 9.2% for 2021 and forecasted to go under 4% in 2022.
The emphasis on the above items will contribute to the increase of the local economy, job market and propel additional consumption. Whilst the attentive focus is on overall reform, public care is the pillars of this budget, without any major changes to the tax regime. This is a refreshing relief for all, including industry and enterprise.
An island economy that is subordinate to foreign investments and the introduction to the relaxation in residency/occupational permit rules will enable the country to boost its tourist attraction. Having said that, it will be easier to obtain residency in Mauritius. The reviewed occupation permit rules indicate the following:
- Foreign nationals wishing to apply for an Occupation Permit to work and reside in Mauritius can do so under the three categories: Investor, Professional and Self-Employed.
- The validity period for an Occupation Permit as a Professional will be extended to 10-years.
- Foreign nationals holding an Occupation Permit as a Professional will be given the flexibility to interchange between employment opportunities without having to submit a new application, provided that the minimum criteria are met.
- Spouses of Occupation Permit holders wishing to invest or work in Mauritius will be exempted from applying for an Occupation Permit or Work Permit.
- The maximum age limit of 24-years for dependants will be waived.
- Foreign nationals may apply for an Occupation Permit irrespective of their visa category upon arrival.
- A new permit category is being introduced under the Occupation Regime; A 10-year Family Occupation Permit for those contributing USD250,000 to the Covid-19 Projects Development Fund.
- Holders of a 10-year Permanent Residence Permit will automatically be extended to 20-years.
The Mauritius government has taken a proactive approach by acknowledging the current short comings in positioning Mauritius as a long-term, family friendly jurisdiction. This is evident in the above suggested extension of the right of spouses of Occupation Permit holders to freely invest and/or work as well as the waiver of the dependent maximum age limit, a long-standing contentious issue of concern for non-citizen families seeking an inclusive destination conducive to long-term settlement.
From an immigration perspective, there are many factors, both immigration and tax-related, that can make planning invaluable. Therefore, to avoid costly mistakes, you must seek professional assistance and follow due diligence when travelling to Mauritius.
Xpatweb expatriate solution specialists and partners provide expert advice focused on your circumstances and requirements and are well-versed with intricate knowledge of the Mauritius Immigration Law.
For further information, please contact our Immigration Specialist, Zainab Bouziane on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0761444888.