Paradise found: why Mauritius is the ultimate destination for your dream life

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Property investors looking for greener pastures or a hedge against global volatility have several incentives to consider from countries offering residency or citizenship by investment, such as Mauritius and Portugal.

Top 6 potential benefits of a residence permit in Mauritius compared to EU residency through the Golden Visa programme

  1. Tax benefits: Mauritius offers a favourable tax regime for non-residents who invest in property, with no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, and no property tax. In contrast, the tax benefits offered by the Golden Visa programme will depend on the specific country. Still, most EU countries have a tax system that can be complex and may require professional advice to navigate effectively.
  2. Ease of application: The application process for a residence permit in Mauritius is generally straightforward and can be completed relatively quickly. In contrast, the application process for the Golden Visa programme can be more complex and may require additional documentation and background checks.
  3. Business opportunities: Mauritius is a hub for business and investment in Africa, with a stable economy, a friendly business environment, and a strategic location between Asia and Africa. This can offer investors a range of business opportunities in addition to property investment.
  4. Quality of life: Mauritius is known for its idyllic beaches, tropical climate, and high quality of life. The island offers a diverse range of activities and attractions. It has a multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic population who live in harmony with each other. English and French are the official languages, which eases communication.
  5. Investment options: Mauritius has a range of property investment options, including beachfront villas, luxury apartments, and golf course properties. Property prices in Mauritius are generally lower than in many EU countries, making it a potentially more affordable option for a more luxurious property investment.
  6. Timing: Investors in qualifying property in Mauritius get their residency permit for themselves and their families immediately. The Golden Visa Programme enables investors and their families to obtain EU residency and, ultimately EU Citizenship after six years of residency. However, applicants must pay to renew their residency each year. In Mauritius, it’s a once-off payment.

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Mauritius offers a range of benefits

The Portuguese Golden Visa programme has undergone some changes in recent years, which have made it more difficult and less attractive for some investors. While the programme has been partially discontinued, the investment threshold has increased, and some property investment options have been excluded from eligibility. These changes have led some investors to seek alternative residency through property investment options, such as Mauritius.

Mauritius offers a range of benefits to investors seeking residency through property investment, including a favourable tax regime, a stable economy, and a high quality of life. Property investors are not required to live on the island, which opens the opportunity for solid returns through rental income. The island nation is also strategically located between Africa and Asia, making it a hub for regional business and investment.

Highest wealth per capita in Africa

At USD 37,500, Mauritius has the highest wealth per capita in Africa. This is according to the eighth annual Africa Wealth Report, published in April 2023 by Henley & Partners in partnership with New World Wealth.

The report is the continent’s benchmark for wealth research and provides a comprehensive review of trends in the luxury market, wealth management and spending habits of HNWIs. New World Wealth head of research Andrew Amoils defines ‘wealth’ as an individual’s net investable assets (including property, cash, and listed company holdings). He notes that Mauritius is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

He expects a 75% wealth growth rate in Mauritius over the next decade (to 2032), making it the fourth fastest-growing country during this time, in millionaire growth percentage terms, after Vietnam, India, and New Zealand.

Meanwhile Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, notes that more African countries are intent on attracting HNWIs through residence and citizenship by investment because foreign capital will encourage sustainable growth and transform their economies. “As wealth grows on the continent, and countries realise the benefits in aiding economic progress, we expect to see investment migration continue to gain ground in Africa in the coming years – not only on the demand side from African HNWIs looking to improve their travel freedom and economic mobility, secure location optionality, and mitigate risk, but also on the supply side, with more and more African countries looking to launch their own investment migration programmes to increase the inflow of both capital and talent.”

Moreover, Dr Areef Suleman, Director of Economic Research and Statistics at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Institute, comments in the report: “Investment migration is attractive to investors who intend to maximize and stabilize their profits by diversifying their activities across more reliable economies, making this kind of investment a form of insurance against global volatility.”

Mauritius remains one of the most attractive destinations for property investment by foreigners who spend USD 375,000 or more to qualify for residency for themselves and their families.

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