The Mauritius Retired Non-Citizen Scheme
A much coveted tourist destination, the tropical island of Mauritius is fast emerging as a preferred destination for non-citizens looking for an enticing place to retire. With its all-year-round temperate climate, first-class infrastructure and harmonious environment, this rainbow nation with an affordable cost of living has opened its doors since 2006 to eligible non-citizens looking for a stress-free retirement.
Applications for a residence permit under the Retired Non-Citizen (RNC) scheme should be filed with the Economic Development Board (formerly the Board of Investment). Eligible applicants should be aged 50 years or above. The retired applicant must undertake to transfer to his/her local bank account in Mauritius an initial amount of at least USD 2,500. Thereafter the person should transfer at least USD 2,500 monthly or a sum by instalments amounting to at least USD 30,000 annually. Dependents of a retired non-citizen are also eligible to apply for a residence permit, including children under the age of 24 years. During his stay, the retiree is not allowed to work, nor can he be a majority shareholder and director in a locally incorporated company.
The Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act has been amended in December 2016. Foreigners may now purchase apartments in condominium developments of at least two levels above ground (G+2) with the prior approval of the Economic Development Board. The purchase price of the apartment should not be less than MUR 6 million (approx. USD 171,400).
Any non-citizen, with or without an occupation permit, residence permit, permanent residence permit, may acquire apartments.
Thus, non-citizens are not restricted from acquiring:
- a residential unit developed under the IRS, RES and PDS
- a residential unit developed in a smart city
- an apartment located in a building of at least two floors above ground floor
Why is the island gaining popularity amongst retired non-citizens?
Since the introduction in 2006 of various schemes to attract foreign nationals to invest, work or retire in Mauritius, over 17,000 Occupation and Residence Permits have been issued to non-citizens, of which some 4,500 holders are currently in the country. Retired non-citizens make up 10% of that figure and their numbers are on the rise. Measures are regularly implemented to further entice retired non-citizens to our shores.
While investors in real estate may only buy under approved schemes in specific locations, RNC may choose to live anywhere on the island. Beachside rentals are however preferred, though they can be expensive, especially on the northern and western coast. Infrastructure and amenities are of a very good standard. For those RNC concerned about their health, Mauritius clinics and hospitals offer highly professional and affordable care. Non-citizens with children still in education are spoilt for choice: international schools and universities are open to foreigners, are of a good quality, and offer curriculum in either English or French. The island’s well-developed air connectivity is also a plus. With several daily flights to Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia, one is only hours away from family and friends.
Mauritius, the new Eldorado for non-citizen retirees? It is a fact that the island nation has a plethora of advantages.
With non-citizen retirees now a global phenomenon, Mauritius does face competition from other locations around the world. Mindful of this fact, the Mauritius government and other concerned parties should keep working hard to retain and reinforce the island’s competitive edge.
Ocorian can assist non-citizens set up trusts for estate planning or succession planning purposes. Our dedicated team of experienced professionals offers a full range of wealth management solutions. We can also assist non-citizen entrepreneurs to set up or relocate their business in Mauritius. The country offers a wide range of investment opportunities across sectors locally in addition to a mature global business sector for companies involved in cross-border trade and investment.