The Mauritius 2021/2022 Budget was released last week where vast improvements to the Occupation Permit were proposed. The following changes are expected to be approved before the end of 2021:
- The validity of the Occupation Permit would be extended from three to ten years.
- The minimum salary requirement for Occupation Permit holders would be reduced to MUR 30,000 from MUR 60,000 in the global business sector.
- Spouses of Occupation Permit holders would no longer need to apply for their own permit to invest or work in Mauritius.
- Occupation Permit holders would be allowed to change jobs without submitting a new application.
- Foreign nationals employed under a different permit would be allowed to switch to the Occupation Permit.
- The maximum age for dependents under Occupation Permit holders would be eliminated.
- Self-employed Occupation Permit holders would be allowed to employ staff.
Last week, the Minister of Finance proposed sweeping improvements to the Occupation Permit in an effort to attract more foreign talent to stay and work in the country. Some of the highlighted changes would include extending the validity of the Occupation Permit from three to ten years, lower salary requirements, and eliminating the requirement for spouses of Occupation Permit holders to obtain their own work permit to work in Mauritius. The Parliament of Mauritius is expected to approve these proposals before the end of 2021.
What Are the Changes?
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Mauritius is exploring ways to improve their current economic situation by attracting more foreign nationals to live and work in the country by enhancing the conditions of their most popular work permit. By easing restrictions and extending the validity of the Occupation Permit, more employers are expected to hire foreign nationals and retain their current employees for longer periods of time.
The proposed changes to the Occupation Permit have a lot of support from stakeholders within the country and are expected to be approved by Parliament later this year.