Foreigners can now buy property through one of the government's schemes: the Permanent Residence Scheme (PRS), Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), and Scheme to Attract Professionals for Emerging Sectors (SAPES).
Under the PRS, the foreign investor can purchase up to 1.25 arpents (5,276 sq. m.) of residential property, at least 100 meters away from the sea. A minimum investment of US$500,000 is required.
Under the IRS, foreigners can purchase luxury villas of up to 1.25 arpents each. As a property-owner, a residency permit is also granted, which is extended to the investorís family.
SAPES is an incentive to encourage professionals to work in Mauritius, and allows foreign professionals to acquire residential property.
A 500-sq. m property in Port Louis can produce income from rent of around 6.17% per annum. The general rule here is that the smaller the property, the lower the yields. With a 200-sq. m property, the yield can go down to about 4.5%.
Capital Gains: There are no capital gains taxes in Mauritius.
Inheritance: There are no inheritance, gift, wealth, or estate taxes.
Residents: Residents are taxed on worldwide income at a flat rate of 15%. Residents are entitled to income tax allowances that vary depending on the family circumstance of the taxpayer.
Properties are mostly quoted in either Mauritian Rupee (MUR) or US dollars (US$).
Rent: The initial rent is regulated by the Fair Rent Tribunal and cannot be changed within the first three years of tenancy. Rent increases must be justified by the landlord.
Tenant Security: A landlord must go through the court system when evicting a tenant, as only District Courts have the power to evict. In case of eviction due to landlordís use of the property, the court can order that the tenant be compensated for any prejudice suffered.
Mauritian culture is a product of settlement by inhabitants from other civilizations, French, European, Indian, Chinese, English, and African. There is no indigenous culture. This makes Mauritius a rich melting put of religions, foods, and influences.
English is the official language, but French is widely spoken and Creole, a French dialect, is preferred by locals.
Inflation has been subdued from more than 10% in 1989-1992 to below 6% from 2003-2000.
However, in recent times, Mauritius' sugar and textile industries have struggled, because of the erosion of preferential trade agreements, and harsh international competition.
The Government is embarking on an ambitious diversification strategy, encouraging the Information and Communications (ICT) sector, and promoting the island as a seafood hub.