With its stable, competitive economy and its reputation as the safest country in Africa, Mauritius is attracting an increasing number of South Africans to its sunny shores. In a recent MoneyWeb interview, Dani van Vuuren of the Sovereign Group told interviewer Simon Brown that Mauritius, as both a business and a retirement destiny, was flourishing.
And there are other reasons to move there, too. According to its article Moving to Mauritius? Here’s Everything You Need to Know by InterNations, the world’s largest ex-pat community, Mauritius is an attractive career choice for ex-pats; its official language is English (for legal documents); and it has a temperate climate with winter daytime lows seldom dropping below a balmy 20°C.
Mauritius also has a fascinating and diverse culture, dating back to the 16th century, when it was a seaport, and through the ages, until it achieved its independence in 1968. And it has a varied, colourful population, with French and Mauritian Creole widely spoken. (French language courses are widely available.)
For the adventurous, there’s a lot to do, from every kind of water sport to exploring the many uninhabited islets and their nature reserves dotted around mainland Mauritius.
A rare event in South Africa, cyclones happen from time to time in Mauritius: local guidelines encourage residents to keep emergency kits in their homes, and to keep their tree branches trimmed to reduce damage to property during a storm. There are also warning systems in place to communicate storm forecasts. “While it is rare for the centre of the cyclone to pass directly over Mauritius – on average only once every five years –distant cyclones can still affect the island, with between 3-5 cyclonic storms per year,” says InterNations, adding: “Occasionally, schools may be closed, and travel disrupted if storms cause flooding.”
Another great attraction is that most foreigners don’t need visas to gain entry to Mauritius. “Foreign nationals wishing to work in Mauritius will require a residence permit and a work permit, though,” InterNations points out. These may be obtained by applying to the Passport and Immigration Office, and the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment respectively. “Your employer may apply for a work permit on your behalf,” it continues, and there is also the option of obtaining an occupation permit, which “is distinct from a work permit and has subcategories for investors, sponsored professionals, and the self-employed.”
“After three years of residing in Mauritius, foreign nationals may be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit. However,” cautions InterNations, “don’t be misguided by the name, as the permit is valid for a fixed period of ten years, and after that time the holder needs to apply for another permit.”
Buying property in Mauritius has also become attractive to foreigners since the island relaxed its former ban. “If you plan to stay in Mauritius for a long period, you may wish to invest in property on the island. Until recent years, non-citizens were not allowed to purchase property in Mauritius, but the Board of Investment has introduced changes and has established schemes that can make the acquisition of Mauritian real estate seem particularly attractive to foreign nationals,” advises InterNations. “The Integrated Resort Scheme creates luxury developments with prices in excess of 500,000 USD and the owner and close family are automatically awarded residency status when the purchase is made. Another key benefit is the rate of tax set at 15% for both income and corporation tax. Resorts aim to combine luxury real estate with leisure and retail facilities and in some cases a school within the development.”
If you’re planning to relocate to Mauritius, Keringa-Petwings’ friendly, knowledgeable pet travel agents will advise you and handle all your pets’ transport arrangements, leaving you free to handle the humans.
For your ease of reference, here’s the link to the Mauritius Regulations and Protocols for Dogs and Cats.
We’re also a long-standing member of IPATA, recommended by vets throughout South Africa, and thousands of delighted families all around the world: See our Happy client testimonials.
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