The Economic Development Board (EDB) manages different residency permits schemes, designed to attract foreign capital and expertise to Mauritius. Business-oriented permits, under the Occupation Permit scheme are declined in three (3) categories: Investor, Professional and Self-employed. We will focus, on a series of short articles, on the main aspect of the Self-employed permit.
Before digging into technicalities, let’s all understand one fundamental behind the strategy to attract foreign investment and expertise. The island didn’t open its door to increase population density and nor does Mauritius has an under-population issue. We need foreigners to contribute in a very precise way towards the economic development. So, if you do not have capital and/or expertise, Mauritius is not your ideal destination.
Back to it now. Each of the permit categories listed above has its own eligibility criteria and specific conditions to be observed. The Self-employed permit addresses the liberal profession in a wider perspective and therefore uses the personal professional attributes (qualifications) of the applicant as a base. In view of transforming the island into a center of excellence, it was crucial to devise a scheme that would appeal to experts in different sectors.
The self-employed appeals to those in liberal professions such as medical practitioners, legal experts (solicitors & barristers), accountants, consultants, etc. The scheme targets expertise and not ‘business-oriented’ units. If an application contains any element of business (trading, sales, etc.) it will be rejected straightaway. The business plan has to stay away from any ‘trading’ or ‘commercial’ component.
Under a Self-employed permit, one cannot hire / employ any party. True that this is a paradox because the holder cannot even hire a secretary for his operations. This condition is debatable but so far has remained intact.
The two basic conditions that lead to a Self-employed permit are:
Show an investment of USD35,000
Generate annual revenues of MUR600,000 for each of the first two years and thereafter MUR1,200,000 annually
The permit is for an initial period of three years, renewable thereafter, as long as the holder respects condition (b) above. In the even that the activity generates a minimum of MUR 3 million per year, for three consecutive years, the applicant can opt for a 10-year permit called the Permanent Residence (despite having nothing as ‘permanent’ in it)
How to apply?
The EDB operates an online system where the application is made and feedback communicated to applicant. This is mandatory.
Documents required for the online / physical application
CV & copies of qualifications
Business plan with a 5-year financial forecast
Good quality passport photo
Passport bio-data page
At least two letters of intents from potential clients
All above documents are to be submitted in scan / softcopies through the online system.
On successful processing, an Approval in Principle is issued and following this, the applicant has 90 days to come to Mauritius and finalize his procedures, viz:
Registering his activity (obtain a Business Registration Card)
Undertake medical examinations
Opening of bank account and transfer of USD35,000
Arrange payment (either online or through banker’s cheque) to the Government of Mauritius (MUR20,000 for main applicant & MUR5,000 per dependent)
Present all original documents previously uploaded in hardcopy versions
Obtain appointment with the EDB for final meeting / collection of permit
On collection of main permit, dependents permits can be submitted. To be processed and delivered in around 15 working days.
Gibson & Hills can offer you a comprehensive range of services to cover all aspects of a Self-employed permit. This includes pre-application consulting and advice as to the best orientation to give your project. Our services cover application process, meeting with the authorities and clearing of any query that they may have.