Mauritian citizens living abroad are more than welcome in their country of origin, where they are considered as valuable economic assets. To encourage them to go the other way, the Mauritian government has set up a specific program, appropriately named the “Mauritian Dispora Scheme”. Why is it interesting if you want to come back to live in Mauritius and buy a property there?
Diaspora: what is it?
We often talk about diaspora without really knowing the subtleties of this status. Here they are:
- A “member of the diaspora” is any citizen of a country holding a passport of that country, any person who is the child or grandchild of a citizen of the country, with or without a passport;
- Must not be a dependent child, i.e., child, stepchild or legally adopted child, under the age of 24.
- It may not be eligible for a passport from the country in question, but it meets the above criteria. In Mauritius, this type of profile is issued a permanent residence permit (PRP) valid for a period of 10 years, renewable.
What are the advantages of the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme for real estate?
Two major benefits are granted to Mauritians who meet the eligibility criteria of the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme:
No registration fee under the Registration Fees Act shall be payable by a member registered under the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme on a deed evidencing the transfer of residential property under the Smart City Scheme, or the Property Development Scheme, prescribed under the Act, to that member;
The above paragraph shall apply only to the first purchase of a residential property by the member under either the Smart City Scheme or the Property Development Scheme prescribed by the Act.
Who can benefit from the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme?
The Mauritian Diaspora Scheme has been provided for persons, who, prior to March 24, 2015, have lived and worked outside Mauritius and possess the necessary skills, talent and experience, and who are willing to return and serve Mauritius.
What about the descendants of citizens of Mauritius?
The Mauritian law is made so that :
Any person who is not a citizen of Mauritius but whose parents or grandparents are citizens of Mauritius may, upon application, be granted permanent resident status under section 5A of the Immigration Act.
Under the above paragraph, when a person is granted permanent resident status, this also applies to :
- Her spouse;
- The child, step-child or legally adopted child, under the age of 24, of the Member or of a person to whom subparagraph (i) applies; and
- His or her wholly dependent next of kin, if unmarried, provided the number of dependents does not exceed 3, has permanent resident status.