The South Africans, French and Malagasy interested in Mauritius as borders reopen
Government measures to attract expats and foreign investment seem to be working. In addition to the 1,000 Premium Visa applications, the Expat.com website has seen a spike in traffic from future expats. A 40% jump in visits to its Mauritius pages, to be precise.
The main of the traffic is coming from France and South Africa. No surprises so far. Indeed, the expatriate population in Mauritius consists mostly of French and South Africans. And a little more than a year after the borders were closed, the citizens of these two countries do not seem to have interests in the Mauritian sun. Besides France and South Africa, Malagasy and Indians also seem to have revived their interest in the island now that the borders are open again.
The French and South Africans who are interested in the island seem to want to find employment there, the pages most frequently visited by citizens of these two countries being the pages dedicated to finding employment. The requests also seem to come from future expatriates with a family since the French also consult a lot the pages concerning the education of children in Mauritius. South Africans, for their part, also seem to be very interested in permanent residence since these pages are also widely consulted by citizens of this country. Another observation: a lot of research from France on the pages concerning real estate investment.
For their part, the Malagasy seem to be more interested in tertiary studies in Mauritius while the Indians seem to wish to find employment or permanent residence in Mauritius. The other requests come mainly from Switzerland, Belgium, Reunion or the United States and mainly concern the obtaining of work visas or residence permits.
In light of his information, Julien Faliu, CEO and founder of Expat.com is categorical: the attraction of the island is still relevant. “The reopening of borders since October 1 was expected internationally. The pearl of the Indian Ocean was able to communicate brilliantly about this reopening and the reception of the news on the international scene was very encouraging. Hope is now in order as we see that the attraction for the island is still there. Mauritius as a whole has shown resilience and has multiplied initiatives to remain attractive. The efforts will pay off, ”he argues.
What opportunities for expatriates in Mauritius?
The success of the Premium Visa is undeniable. In one year, more than a thousand requests were received, of which just over 700 were accepted. This visa which allows its holder to live and invest in Mauritius but not to work there. With the crisis and remote working, many people are taking the opportunity to move abroad while continuing to work for a company in their country of origin. These are the people the Premium visa targets. So far, the lack of COVID cases in the country had won over expats and now it is the high vaccination rate that the Mauritian government is betting on.
On the other hand, the opportunities for real estate investments continue to grow. This is, moreover, one of the central pieces of the Mauritian government’s recovery strategy. The tax incentives for real estate investment are proof of this.