Where is Mauritius?
Former French and British colony, Mauritius is located in the south-west of the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads of Africa and Asia. The country boasts a wide array of assets namely 330 kilometers of white sandy beaches bordered by crystal-clear turquoise lagoon water naturally protected by coral reefs, heavenly, all-year-round tropical climate, a welcoming bilingual multicultural population, political, social and economic stability…in other words, Mauritius is a well-sought-after destination for tourists but also expatriates wishing a peaceful retirement under the sun, more than ever attracted by the series of tax advantages offered by the Mauritian government.
Living in Mauritius
To stay in Mauritius for a period of 3 months of less, foreigners from the European Union (including French) do not require a visa. Required documents include: a valid passport, a return air ticket, a valid booking for accommodation and pocket money to cover the costs of their stay (a minimum budget of 85 euros per day).
To be able to work in Mauritius, an Occupation Permit valid for 3 years, is required. 3 types of Occupation Permit are made available: Investors, Professionals and Entrepreneur. For expatriate wishing to retire in Mauritius, the local authorities also offer a permit for retirees for a time period of 3 years. At the end of those 3 years, it is possible to apply for a Mauritian Permanent Residence Permit, valid for 10 years.
Discover the different types of residence permits available for foreigners in Mauritius and the conditions attached.
Vos premiers pas à Maurice
Your first steps in Mauritius
Upon your arrival on the island, your first wise step would be to apply for a local phone number for your future administrative procedures. You may choose among the Top 3 local providers namely My.T, Emtel and Mahanagar Telephone. Prepaid SIM cards are also available but to buy one of those, you should bring along an identity document and a proof of address. Your next move would be to open a bank account at a local commercial bank for your future transactions. Required documents: an identity document, your latest bank statements, a copy of your Occupation Permit and a proof of address.
Important: For French people, once you have obtained your residence permit, do not forget to register yourself at the French Embassy to obtain your consular registration card which will provide automatic registration on the voters lists or to be notified in case of security alerts or crisis.
The labour market in Mauritius
Considered as one of the most competitive and flourishing economies of Africa, Mauritius boasts a GDP of 13,3 billion USD in 2017 and a GDP per capita of 10 547 USD, rocketing the country among the top African countries. Unemployment rate for 2017 was only at 7%.
The most dynamic sectors in terms of employment are: tourism, new technologies, information, communication, industry, financial services, renewable energy and health. Sectors to avoided: Food and beverage and commerce. The labour market being very well-regulated, employers must justify the hiring of an expat.
Health Care in Mauritius
Mauritius offers a high level of health care and has high-quality health infrastructures namely a wide choice of public hospitals, specialized medical centers and private clinics. However, there is no medical coverage via the social security bodies.
Important: Upon applying for an Occupation Permit, an expat will be asked to undergo a series of compulsory medical tests to be granted a medical certificate.
The Educational System in Mauritius
The Mauritian education system is based on the British system with 3 major cycles : primary, secondary and tertiary cycles. At the end of the secondary cycle, students sit for their Higher School Certificate. Mauritius hosts 5 French private schools acknowledged by the French Education Ministry. For tertiary studies, students have the choice among the University of Mauritius (6 faculties), the University of Technology l’Ecole Hôtelière Sir Gaëtan Duval, Lycée Polytechnique Sir Guy Forget, Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Chambre de Commerce de Maurice and l’Ecole de Commerce Vatel Mauritius.
Driving in Mauritius
International driving licenses including French driving license is valid in Mauritius. However, expats may exchange their respective international driving licenses against a Mauritian one. They just have to go the Mauritian Police Headquarters request the change. Note: Mauritians drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Real Estate in Mauritius
Living in Mauritius leaves foreigners with two choices: property rental or buying a residential property. There exists a wide choice of properties for rental at different rates depending on the geographic location, the type of property (villas, apartments, duplexes, penthouses) and the standing of the units. For foreigners wishing to purchase a property unit in Mauritius, the Mauritius government has set up tailor-made property schemes: Real Estate Scheme (RES), Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) and the Property Development Scheme (PDS).
I wish to learn more about the property schemes allowing foreigners to buy a residential unit in Mauritius.
Expats in Mauritius
Mauritius attracts more and more foreigners and has turned in a very sought-after destination worldwide and expats living on the island growing in numbers. There are more than 10 000 French expatriates living in the country, but there is also an important number of South Africans and Indians.