Permanent Residence Permits and Buying Property

My previous posts and other websites have helped make the ‘Apartment for Permanent Residents’ Scheme a bit confusing.  I will try and clear things up as best I can. 

First thing you need is a Permanent Residence Permit (PRP)

  1. A PRP can be given to you if you own a company in Mauritius that has earned more than Rs15 million each year for the previous three years without changing your occupation permit.  Gross earnings are the measure here, not net.
  2. A PRP can be given to you if have been self employed in the previous three years with the same occupation permit and have earned at least Rs3 million each year.
  3. A PRP can be given to you if you, as an employee with the same occupation permit have earned at least Rs150 000 per month for the previous 36 months.
  4. If you have had a Retirement Permit for the previous 3 years, and have transferred $40 000 or equivalent from a foreign bank account to your domestic bank account in each of these years, then you can get a PRP.  And don’t try and get clever and transfer it out as soon as it has come in.
  5. You will be expected to continue meeting the above standards  throughout the next ten years.  If you have been good, then you will be allowed to renew your permit.
  6. A retiree will not be allowed to work in Mauritius with this new PRP.  That means no salary and no director’s fees.  Dividends from investments are allowed, obviously.
Good.  So now you have your fresh new PRP and can go house hunting.  But what house?

Well, none actually!  

But you can have an apartment in a building with at least two stories above the ground floor.  No tricks here, please.  A Notary will have to certify that the building is an apartment block and that it has at least two floors above ground.

Earlier communications stipulated that the apartment block must have been built in the last year, but I have scoured the new regulations and this seems to have fallen away.

You are also allowed to buy one unit only, for personal residence purposes.   I assume that this does not allow you to rent it out.  They were very clear about the word Personal.

You are strictly forbidden to speculate in property.  What I guess they mean by this is that if you buy off plan and sell before it is complete, this would be frowned upon.   Or even if you buy and sell without living in the unit.  Not sure here but you get the drift.

If you want to sell the property, you will need to get the permission of the Government who may impose conditions on this sale.  I don’t know what they mean here.  Let’s wait and see.

The good thing about this new scheme is that it is another way to acquire property in Mauritius in addition to the RES, IRS and IHS schemes.  And it also means that accommodation could be more affordable to a lot of expats looking to live in Mauritius.  It is also possible that the conditions will evolve over time, to allow for more meaningful property investment.

Another good thing is that the spouse of the PRP holder may work in Mauritius without a work or occupation permit.   

It is not clear whether the spouse of a retired PRP may work or not but it looks like it is possible.  It is also not clear what happens to the spouse and children if the main holder of the PRP dies.

The best thing of all is that the PRP gives a certain group of expatriates the security that their permit expires in ten years, rather than three.  This will make them keener to become part of the fabric of Mauritius.


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