HOW TO BECOME A CITIZEN OF MAURITIUS
(1) By birth
(a) Every person born in Mauritius who was, on the 11th March 1968, citizen of the United Kingdom and the colonies.
(b) Every person born abroad who, on the 11th March 1968, was a citizen of the United Kingdom and the colonies and either of whose parents was or would have been, if he had not passed away, a citizen of Mauritius.
(c) Every person born in Mauritius or abroad after the 11th of March 1968 and one of whose parents is a citizen of Mauritius.
B By registration
(2) BY APPLICATION FOR CITIZENSHIP
(a) Every citizen of the British Commonwealth who is of age and capacity has to make the application in the prescribed manner. Also he must satisfy the Minister of Internal Affairs of
(i) his good character
(ii) his adequate knowledge of the English Language in Mauritius or any other language currently spoken in Mauritius
(iii) his continuous residence in Mauritius for a period of at least five years or such shorter period which should not be less than one year , as the Minister may accept, preceding the date of application and
(iv) if registered, his intention to continue to reside in Mauritius. The applicant must renounce any other nationality, which he may possess.
The Minister can, however, register a citizen of British Commonwealth as a citizen of Mauritius if it is in the public interest to do so.
(b) Other persons
Any person, whether of full age or capacity, who is, under sections 21 and 24 of the constitution, entitled to be registered as a citizen of Mauritius, shall be so registered on making an application to that effect to the Minister in the prescribed manner.
If the Minister is satisfied that it is in the interest of national security or public policy not to grant the application, he may in his absolute discretion and without giving reason, refuse to register the applicant as a citizen of Mauritius.
Effect of registration
A person registered shall be a citizen of Mauritius by registration as from the date on which he is registered.
(3) By marriage
A non -citizen married to a citizen of Mauritius after the 11th of March 1968 can apply for citizenship.
He/she must have lived with his/her wife/husband under the same conjugal roof in Mauritius for a period of at least four years before the date of his application.
The Prime Minister, who has a discretionary power, may refuse his application on the grounds of public interest or in the interest of national security. The citizenship will take effect as from the date of registration.
Procedures to be followed
Publication of the intended marriage is made at the Central Civil Status Office and at the office of the district in which each of the parties to the marriage has been residing for at least seven days immediately preceding the day of publication;
He must reside in Mauritius for a continuous period of at least seven days before the first day of publication of marriage.
The marriage has to be celebrated at the civil status of Port Louis before the expiry of the period of ten days as from the first day of publication
Further he has to produce at the time of making an application for the publication of the marriage
(i) all certificates required for ascertaining whether he may lawfully get married
(ii) a certificate of morality issued by the competent authority of country of residence or else an affidavit duly sworn by him and authenticated in his country.
(iii) an affidavit sworn before the Master and Registrar of the Supreme Court as well as a certificate from his country of residence testifying that he is in employment or else that he has the means to provide for his needs.
(iv) a medical certificate proving that he does not suffer from any infectious or contagious disease. Note: The Mauritian woman keeps her nationality even though she marries a non- citizen and she can confer her Mauritian nationality on her children.
(4) By naturalisation
(a) Any alien or British Protected person who is of age and who is capable to exercise all his rights can apply for naturalisation. Further, he has to prove that
he is of good character.
he has adequate knowledge of the English language or any other language currently spoken in Mauritius and of the responsibilities of a citizen of Mauritius.
he has continuously resided in Mauritius for twelve months preceding the date of his application.
for seven years preceding the twelve months, he has resided in Mauritius for periods which amount to not less than five years, and
he intends to reside in Mauritius if his application is accepted.
Further the Minister may accept a continuous period of residence of not less than two years if the applicant has invested in Mauritius a sum of not less than 500,000 us dollars in Mauritius.
Any applicant will obtain a certificate of naturalisation only if he renounces any other nationality that he possesses, and he has to do so under oath.
The naturalisation will take effect as from the date the certificate of naturalisation has been issued.
Further the Minister can in the public interest issue a certificate of naturalisation to any non-citizen or a British protected person.
(5) By adoption
A citizen of Mauritius adopts a child of a non-citizen. He must submit his application to the Prime Minister’s office and provide various documents such as marriage certificate, birth certificate etc.
Once the application has been approved, the Judge in chambers makes the final decision taking into account the interest of the child.
The adopted child becomes a citizen of Mauritius from the date of adoption.
- Can a person lose the citizenship of Mauritius?
Yes. The Minister of Internal Affairs can deprive a person of the nationality in the following cases: (i) The naturalisation or registration has been obtained through fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact.
(ii) The person has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal towards the state.
(iii) During the war, he has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy or associated with any business, which, to his knowledge assisted the enemy.
(iv) The person has resided in a foreign country for a continuous period of 5 years during which he has not been in the service of the Government of Mauritius or of an international organisation. Further, he has not given notice in writing of his intention to retain his citizenship to a Consulate of Mauritius. The Minister will not deprive a person of his nationality if this will make him become stateless unless the naturalisation or registration has been obtained by fraudulent means. Before issuing the order, the Minister will communicate to the person concerned his intention of depriving him of the nationality, and give the reasons for his decision. The cancellation of the naturalisation or registration takes effect as from the date the order has been issued.
The Minister shall not be required to give any reason for the grant or refusal of any application the decision on which is at his discretion.
- Who can get back his citizenship of Mauritius?
Any person who
(a) was a citizen of Mauritius and also a national or citizen of another country
(b) has attained 21 years on the 12th of March 1968 or afterwards
(c) has ceased to be a citizen of Mauritius because he has not renounced the foreign nationality,
will, if he resides in Mauritius, be a citizen of Mauritius as from the first of May 1995.
If, however, the person does not reside in Mauritius, he can make an application to the Minister to be registered as a citizen of Mauritius, and the Minister has a discretionary power to accept his application.
To further encourage investors to seize business and investment opportunities in Mauritius , the Government, in addition to the numerous existing incentives including tax incentives, has introduced the permanent Residence Scheme for foreign businessmen. This Scheme has been introduced by the immigration (Amendment) Bill which went through the Parliament 15 December last year. A person may be granted the status of Permanent resident where he invests a sum of USD 500,000 in certain qualifying business.
The Mauritian Citizenship Act was also amended with a view to align it with the amendment Immigration Act by increasing the sum required to be invested to become eligible forMauritius citizenship from (USD 120,000) to USD 500,000.
PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS
(a) A foreigner investing a sum of not less than US $500,000, or such equivalent other sum, in any qualifying business activity.
(b) The spouse of the investor.
(c) The child, step-child or lawfully adopted child under the age of 18 of the investor.
(d) The immediate wholly dependent next of kin (up to a maximum of 3 in number) of the investor, who is single and without children.
(e) In addition, any child or next of kin of the foreign investor of his spouse, [other than those specified in © and (d) above] provided that a deposit of not less than US $100,000 is made with the Accountant-General, in respect of each such person.
QUALIFYING BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Business activities which qualify under the Scheme are as follows:
- Hotel, tourism and related services
- Financial services
- Agro-based industry
- Fishing and marine resources
- Operational headquarters of multinational companies
- Freeport operations
- Information technology
- Concession projects
- Film production
In addition investment of the same amount in a fund created under such enactment, or operated or managed by such corporate entity or other person, as may be approved by the Minister of Finance, may be regarded as an investment in a qualifying business activity.
PROCEDURES TO OBTAIN PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS
There are two stages to completing the application process:
Stage 1: Approval in principle
The following should be submitted concurrently :
(a) Application for approval of the investment (use prescribed forms whenever required). The investment should either in a qualifying business activity or in a duly approved fund.
(b) Application for approval of Permanent Residence Status for the investor, his spouse and his dependents (use prescribed form).
Stage 2: Grant of Permanent Resident Status
- Upon grant of approval in principle, the full amount of the investment should be effected or alternatively an amount of US$500,000 (or equivalent amount) should be deposited with the Accountant General, pending finalisation of the investment.
- Trustlink will be pleased to provide advice on how to complete the application formalities.
LOSS OF PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS
The Permanent Resident Status may be withdrawn where
(a) any person has willfully made attempted to mislead the immigration officer with respect to an application for a Permanent Resident Permit:
(b) within a period of 5 years of becoming a permanent resident , any person ceases his business activities or reduces the sum invested to an amount less than US$ 500,000 (or equivalent amount);
(c) the investor has been declared bankrupt;
(d) the person holding a Permanent Resident Status has been convicted of a criminal offence carrying a term of imprisonment of not less than 12 months.
RIGHT TO BUY PROPERTY
An investor under the Permanent Residence Scheme may purchase one immovable property of an extent not exceeding 1 arpent (4220.87 m2) for his personal use. The investment in property can amount to 20% of the original investment made in a qualifying business activity. The immovable property to be purchased should not be on coastal land with sea frontage.
(i) The investor may be issued with a multiple entry visa valid for a period of up to one year pending the grant of permanent Resident Status.
(ii) The investor and his dependents who are granted Permanent Residence Scheme will be exempted
(iii) from the requirements of a work permit under the Non-Citizens (Employment Restriction) Act.
CITIZENSHIP OF MAURITIUS
The investor who becomes a permanent resident under the Permanent Residence Scheme may apply for Mauritian citizenship after meeting the provisions of the Mauritius Citizenship Act (1968).