Article by Dev R Erriah of Erriah Chambers, Mauritius
On 23 October 2020, the Government of Mauritius announced the introduction of a new travel visa, The Premium Visa.
Mauritius, which is famously known as the “paradise island”, has launched a Premium Travel Visa, valid for a period of one year, renewable, to welcome admired travellers seeking to lengthen their feeling of wellness arising from the prepossessing blue sea with smooth sand beaches, tropical land seas, the vigorous greens, the warmth and friendliness of locals, all in a COVID-safe destination.
The experience of natural beauty and balanced lifestyle that could only be encountered on a rare holiday has now been made available under the Premium Travel Visa to any non- Mauritian citizen who intends to stay in Mauritius for a maximum period of one year as a tourist, retiree or a professional willing to come with his/her family and carry out his business or work remotely from Mauritius.
The Premium Visa is valid for a period of one year and is renewable. A premium visa is required for those who intend to stay in Mauritius for a period exceeding 180 days in a calendar year. For those staying for less than180 days, a tourist visa is granted on arrival to Mauritius.
The qualification for a Premium Visa:
An application must be submitted online. In order to qualify for the Premium Visa, the applicant must have proof of his/her long stay plans and sufficient travel and health insurance for the initial period of stay. The following criteria should also be met :-
- applicant should not enter the Mauritius labour market;
- the main place of business and/or source of income and profits should be outside Mauritius;
- documentary evidence to support application such as purpose of visit, accommodation etc.; and
- other basic immigration requirements.
The Premium Visa is issued free of charge. There is no processing fee applicable.
All passengers under Premium Visa will have to go through the sanitary and health protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
A tourist visa is granted for a short period of leisure travel. Foreign nationals are granted tourist visa for a cumulative period of stay not exceeding 180 days in a calendar year. It is apposite to note that a tourist can come to Mauritius on a tourist visa and can apply for a premium visa during his stay in Mauritius.
A foreign national staying in Mauritius under a Premium Visa may apply for an Occupation Permit if he intends to work or invest in Mauritius or a Residence Permit as a retired non-citizen can apply to the Economic Development Board of Mauritius.
A foreign national may acquire a residential property developed under the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), Real Estate Scheme (RES), Property Development Scheme (PDS) or Smart City Scheme (SCS). The foreign national is also allowed to acquire an apartment located in a building of at least ground plus two floors.
As regards to taxation, money spent in Mauritius through the use of foreign credit or debit cards would not be liable to tax. A person becomes a tax resident and therefore is liable to tax in Mauritius if he spends 183 days or more in the country.