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The different real estate schemes

A foreigner can acquire a property in Mauritius (apartment, villa or piece of land) in various residential programs belonging to developers who have previously obtained an approval from the local authorities to market their units.

Various schemes, under which a foreign national is authorized to acquire a property in Mauritius, do coexist.

For a buyer, the ‘IRS', ‘RES ' and' PDS ' schemes are, in many respects, similar. Indeed, the main differences between these schemes are, essentially, the size of the concerned resorts (up to 10 hectares for a 'RES' and of a minimum of 10 hectares for ‘IRS') as well as the seniority of the scheme (‘PDS’ were only established in 2015).

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Indeed, the purchase by a foreigner of a property in an 'IRS', 'RES' and 'PDS' development entitles the purchaser, provided that the property in question is acquired at a minimum price of USD 500,000 and after approval received from the Mauritian authorities, to benefit from a permanent residency on the territory of Mauritius.

It will be the same for his spouse and dependents. The residence permit granted in connection with the acquisition of real estate will remain in effect as long as the investor will own the concerned property in Mauritius.

It is also to be noted that no minimum purchase price does exist under the 'RES' and 'PDS' regimes while the bottom price of getting a property within an IRS is of USD 500,000.

Also, the acquisition of a 'RES' or 'PDS' property does not automatically confer to its purchaser the right to permanently reside in Mauritius if the value of its acquisition is less than the minimum required, i.e. USD 500,000.

If this is not the case (acquisition of a 'RES' or 'PDS' property which value is less than USD 500,000), those acquiring such a residence can then, if they wish, apply for residence under other provisions to this effect: either as an investor or as a professional [employee or on his own account] or, finally, under the regime of retired residents wishing to live in Mauritius.

The competent body to deal with these different regimes and permits is the Board of Investment (‘B.O.I’).

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To add, three recent (2015-2016) amendments:

1- Very recently, in 2015, real estate developments known under the name 'IRS' and 'RES' merged to form a single legal framework for investment named "The Property Development Scheme" (or ‘PDS’);

2- In addition to the properties included within an 'IRS', 'RES' and 'PDS', it is now possible for a foreigner to buy an apartment in any building subject for this apartment to be within a residence with would count at least 2 floors (‘R + 2 ') and this will apply if the concerned foreigner benefits :

- Either from a Permanent Residency Permit;

- Either from a residency permit as a Retired person, subject to an initial transfer of US $ 120,000 by the latter;

- Either from an Occupation Permit as investor;

- Or, finally, from an Occupation Permit as a Professional who can assess that he’s getting a monthly salary of more than $ 3,000.

3- Finally, the Mauritian Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented Friday, July 29, 2016 to the National Assembly the 2016 to 2017 budget of the nation, in which he said that in order to develop the economy, the non Mauritian-residents, previously registered with the Board of Investment (BOI ') and who will get the required authorizations will be eligible for the purchase of apartments and / or office space and / or commercial spaces.