Mauritius launches new long-term visa
Perfect for digital nomads, remote workers and retirees12th Dec 2020
Mauritius, the Indian Ocean paradise, has launched a new long-stay visa to meet the growing demand from international visitors looking to relocate to the Covid-secure island for work, leisure or retirement. The country’s new Premium Visa is valid for one year, with an option to renew, and is open to those who want to relocate to allow them to work remotely, have a long-term second home on the island, or to retire here in 2020, 2021 and beyond.
Launch of the Premium Visa
The Premium Visa was launched at the direction of the Mauritian Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, and led by Minister of Finance, Renganaden Padayachy, who said: ‘Mauritius is open. Visitors who are looking for a long-term safe and secure second home are welcome to our country. On arrival we ask all visitors to comply with our strict health requirements and, in return, we offer visitors a Covid-secure destination with world-class business and leisure infrastructure to help facilitate remote working and retirement plans.’
Prior to the introduction of the Premium Visa, foreign nationals were granted a tourist visa for a cumulative period of stay not exceeding 180 days in a calendar year.
Central to the new Premium Visa service is the private sector as well as individual citizens. Businesses are working closely with government to ensure a smooth transition from arrival health protocols to ensuring that new residents have access to the facilities and services they require. An arrival concierge service helping new residents find homes, cars, banking services and telecoms will be in place and run by the business community under the Mauritius Now brand.
Individual citizens will benefit from increased job opportunities and economic activity. Citizens are also being encouraged to act as ‘Welcome Ambassadors’, showing the country’s new guests around their new home and showing the very best of Mauritius. New residents will be invited to events to meet each other and the communities in which they live.
The Chairman of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), Nilen Vencadasmy, stated: ‘Mauritius is welcoming long-term visitors who are looking to live and work remotely in a Covid-secure location. The Mauritius tourism sector has developed innovative packages to welcome visitors, as well as to facilitate the work of digital nomads. Our island is Covid-safe and, with its modern infrastructure, is an ideal spot for them to work remotely and to be part of our wider community’.
Strict Covid-secure protocols to keep Mauritius safe
In order to keep the country Covid-secure, Mauritius has implemented one of the world’s most rigorous heath monitoring regimes. The condition of entry requirements mean that all visitors are required to follow health measures. All new arrivals to the island are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period combined with a pre-departure PCR test, arrival test and follow-up tests on days seven and 14. Returning Mauritians, diaspora, short- and long-term visitors are all asked to follow the same procedures to help keep Mauritius Covid-secure. Some of Mauritius’s finest hotels are allocated as arrival facilities. Health protocols are regularly reviewed in line with the country’s requirements and the status of the global pandemic.
Mauritius has seen a total of 10 deaths from COVID-19. The last domestic case was on 26 April 2020 and a nationwide lockdown was lifted at the end of May 2020.
Visa eligibility and how to apply
The Premium Visa allows for visitors from countries listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Passport Regulations.
The following categories of visitors are eligible:
- Repeat tourists who had planned to retire and migrate to Mauritius before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Retirees seeking a Covid-safe haven.
- Investors and professionals who wish to come with their family and work remotely from Mauritius. They also have the option of offering this facility to their staff.
- Visitors who have children studying in Mauritius.
The visa application is open to all nationalities looking for a longer-term temporary residency solution while the world is dealing with the pandemic. Mauritius’s new Premium Visa is valid for a period of one year, and is renewable.
Applications are open now via the Economic Development Board (EDB), and from 15 November 2020 via a digital application portal.
In order to qualify for the Premium Visa, visitors must provide evidence of their long-stay plans and must have adequate travel and health insurance for the initial period of stay. The visitor’s main place of business and source of income should be outside Mauritius. They will not be allowed to enter the Mauritius Labour Market. All other entry requirements for Mauritius will also apply.
The management of the programme is headed by the Economic Development Board and Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. The government authorities are working in partnership with the private sector of the country in order to deliver a full package of services for visitors. MTPA and EDB are launching an international marketing campaign targeted at some of the nations that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 over the northern hemisphere winter of 2020/2021. Citizens of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, South Africa, India and Russia have all expressed an interest in relocating.