What Future for Foreign Kids?

Children need their own permits once they turn 18

One of the negative aspects of moving to Mauritius relates to children who are over 18 years old.  They can only live in Mauritius if they acquire their own permit.  This includes all holders of any form of residence permit or work permit, and also applies to children of citizens, if those children are not citizens of Mauritius.

So, what can one do?

The obvious solution would be to find the child employment, or set them up in their own business.  The same rules apply to you if you are 19 or 39.  So how easy is it to find a job for a kid with no experience that pays Rs45 000 per month ($1 600).  Not easy, unless you have a post in your own company that requires the child’s skills.  Even then, you would need to satisfy the BOI that this employee is a valuable addition to the country’s labour pool.

Give your child some capital to qualify as an investor.

The second solution would be to set the child up in their own business.  This is unlikely to survive the BOI’s scrutiny, and even less likely to survive economically.  Not everyone is a Bill Gates.  Of course, you could give the child an early advance of their inheritance.  The 19 year old could then invest $500 000 into an RES or IRS.   Don’t laugh.  We have seriously worked on options like this.

I bumped into an advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office last week and asked him if his people were aware of the problem of residence for post-school children.  His reply was that other countries treat children of visa residents the same way.

So I went on a Google inspired journey through the South African visa system.  Firstly, temporary residents in South Africa (those who have work permits for less than 5 years) may apply for permits for their first kin (Parents, spouse, life partner, children).  While these people may hold a residence permit, they may not work.

Then I had a look at Australia.

You can be sponsored if you are a spouse, fiancée, child/adopted child, parent, orphan relative, special need relative, aged dependent relative or last remaining relative of a qualifying sponsor who is resident in Australia.

Sponsorship isn’t a bad idea.   We are trying to attract wealthy expats to Mauritius.  I am sure they would be happy to provide a guarantee of some form ensuring the continued support of their next of kin, whether this is their aged mother, or their recently educated child.

So all we ask is this:  If Mauritius want someone to invest $500 000 or more in a home in Mauritius, why not make it easier for the family to live there, including when the kids have left school?  I am all for children seeking their fortune beyond the confines of the Mauritian economy, but until they are ready, can’t they stay with their parents?

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