The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), the Real Estate Scheme (RES) and the Property Development Scheme (PDS) are programs designed to facilitate the acquisition of a property in Mauritius by non-citizens. All three plans allow the development and sale of luxurious accommodation for foreigners. However, there are differences between the IRS, the RES, and the PDS.
The IRS is the first regime put in place by the Government of Mauritius in 2001, with the collaboration of the Board of Investment (BOI). The area of residences developed under the regime IRS must exceed 10 hectares.
On the other hand, the RES, launched in 2007, is a reduced version of the IRS. The idea behind this program is to give a chance to the owners of small lands. The size of the properties under the regime RES should be between 4 000 m² and 10 hectares. The RES enables small investors to convert their lands and to increase their investments, with a more limited budget.
PDS is the result of a merge between IRS and RES. There are more restrictions on the maximum area with this new scheme. Developers are no longer obliged to sell at least 25% of residential units to the Mauritian citizens or members of the Mauritian diaspora. All units can be acquired by foreigners willing to invest in the island of Mauritius.
The Property Development Scheme is fundamentally an integrated project with a social dimension to the benefit of the community of Mauritius. The projects are subject to strict rules concerning the respect of the environment and must concentrate on the ecological aspect.
Under the IRS regime, the minimum price for the sale of a villa is set at 500 000 USD. It is different from the concept of RES, where there is no value of a minimum investment, like the regime of PDS.
The residence permit
With the purchase of an IRS residence, a residence permit is granted automatically to the buyer. The residence permit will remain valid as long as the licensee retains the ownership of the property. This residence permit allows the purchaser to benefit from the tax policy, which is particularly favorable in the country (the buyer must stay in Mauritius for more than 183 days per year). This residence permit is also valid for the family of the buyer, that is his spouse and children up to the age of 24 years.
With the RES regime, the residence permit is not automatically obtained. A residence permit is issued to a foreigner during the acquisition of an RES residence of more than USD 500 000. If this is not the case, the buyer will not be eligible for a permanent residence permit and will be able to reside in the island of Mauritius up to six months per year only.
Any purchaser must submit their application to the Board of Investment (BOI) in Port Louis. The application form duly completed and signed must be submitted with all of the mandatory documents in compliance with the official guide of the Board.