Mauritius is no stranger to South African citizens.
However, this popular holiday destination has gained popularity over recent years as a possible destination for South Africans to retire, while other South Africans with businesses explore this island as an alternative place of residence. In fact, the most alluring part to this location shift is not the sandy beaches, but the simplicity of the move. This article explains the legal requirements to make the move, together with the practical steps that would need to be taken. Retiring in Mauritius Explained.
The basic requirements are as follows:
- The main applicant must be 50 years of age or older.
- An investment in excess of 18,000 U.S. dollars per year, from outside Mauritius, should be made into his or her local bank account.
- The retirement permit is issued for 10 years and can be renewed. It is possible to take your spouse and minor children with you on this permit. Dependent children are defined as children under 24 years of age.
- Retired permit holders are allowed to hold investments in any company or business in Mauritius, as long as they are not involved in the day-to-day management of the company. This is limited to non- executive director positions only.
IBN often assists South Africans who have decided to reside in Mauritius.
In most of our consultations with these individuals, I get the following two questions: “how many days must I stay in Mauritius, should I stay there for more than half a year or can I stay for shorter?” and “can I spend the 18,000 U.S. dollars which is required in my bank account?” The answer to both questions is a positive one. Legally, there is no minimum number of days required on the retirement permit. However, when looking at a possible extension after the initial 10 years, the authorities will consider how many days were spent in Mauritius. Particularly, if the resident became a tax-paying resident. It is therefore advised that for the last couple of years, at least, the majority of days per year are spent in Mauritius. Regarding the second question, the answer is simple. YES. The money can be spent either locally or while traveling, or in other ways.
So, what are the practical steps required in order to obtain a retirement permit?
- The first step is usually to start preparing the immigration documents. Parallel to that, often as a second step, we assist our clients with opening a normal bank account with a local Mauritian bank. A personal presence is not required when making use of our services for opening this bank account. Once the bank account has been opened, at least 1.500 USD must be transferred into the new bank account from outside of Mauritius.
- The next step is the submission of the immigration application. The process is usually no longer than 14 days, and the result is an approval in principle. Then the applicants usually have 90 days time, during Covid this can be extended, to enter Mauritius. We will then have made an appointment with the local doctors where the compulsory medical examination will take place.
- Thereafter, we will accompany the applicants to the investment center where the retirement permit application will be issued. The purpose of the personal meeting at the investment board is to see the applicants in person, as well as to submit the original documents which were previously uploaded for approval. After the issuance of the retirement permit, there is only one more step. We assist the accompanying family members to the immigration authorities, in order to apply for their accompanying visas. The whole process in Mauritius does not take longer than three weeks and is extremely pleasant and efficient!
Multiple clients, who we have assisted
with their transition to reside in Mauritius, are still operating their businesses in South Africa and intend to continue managing them from Mauritius. This is another instance where the retirement permit illustrates it’s flexibility, a characteristic that has great appeal. For further information on Mauritius, please visit our YouTube channel as well as other updates.
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by Andreas Krensel