Moving

If you are thinking of moving to Mauritius, you need to know what it costs to live there. This varies for everybody, depending on lifestyle, family size, and daily requirements. However, this handy guide will help fill in some of the blanks. (Information correct as at July 2021).

Where to live

If you have visited the island previously on holiday or for a short business trip, you may only have experienced the climate and attractions of one or two areas. Are you planning to move to Mauritius? It’s a good idea to rent accommodation first if you’re not sure where you want to live. It takes time to get used to what the different districts offer and how long it takes to travel between them.    

The North and The West have the widest range of investment accommodation for expats interested in buying or renting property. However, depending on the motivation for moving to Mauritius you might be more attracted to The East or The South. The financial district is around the capital, Port Louis, on the northwest coast while the hi-tech environment, Cybercity, is at nearby Ebene. If you have children, the location of educational facilities will also be a factor in deciding where to live in Mauritius.  

Investors looking for accommodation approved for foreign investment in government-approved property development schemes can choose from an assortment of villas, apartments and penthouses. Prices vary depending on the location of the development, its proximity to the beach, the size of the home and available amenities. Many of these offer rental opportunities too.

However, if you plan to visit Mauritius for short periods of time, and don’t need a permanent place to hang your hat, you may consider a bed-and-breakfast establishment, guest house, boutique hotel or luxury resort, among others.

Monthly rental, excluding deposits and agency fees:
  • Two- to four-bedroom house with surface area of 100 to 200 square metres: USD 250 to USD 500
  • Three- to six-bedroom house or villa with surface area of 200 to 400 square metres, with garden and swimming pool: USD 900 to USD 1,800

Groceries

There are several large shopping malls on the island where you can find everything from food and clothes to wine and tech products under one roof. Supermarkets have less of a selection and cater to the needs of residents in the surrounding villages. Imported items are naturally more expensive. The local markets are the best source of fresh fruit and vegetables. Once you get to know an area, you’ll be able to figure out where to find the best street food, bakery items, and fresh fish.

Utilities

Government agencies take care of electricity and water supply. Various internet service providers offer a variety of connectivity options to those who work from home or like to be connected 24/7.

Monthly costs:
Electricity, dependent on household requirements and appliance usage:
USD 15 to USD 20
   
Water for a family of three or four: USD 3 to USD 6    

Internet: USD 30 (20 Mbps download speed and unlimited/ 1 TB volume supply)

Transport

When it comes to getting around in Mauritius you must consider time, ease in relation to distance, practicality in terms of how long you are staying on the island, and cost. If you’re in Mauritius for a short stay, getting around by taxi may be easiest and fastest, but not necessarily cheapest. You could take the bus during the day if you want to live like a local or rent a car to truly experience the highways and byways of the island. Those who can make use of the new Metro Express line will benefit by avoiding potential traffic congestion between villages. However, a modern road infrastructure is developing so many expats prefer the freedom of having their own transport. If you plan to live in Mauritius, and wish to buy a car, that purchase will be subject to 100% excise duty.

Transport costs:  
Bus: USD 0.85 (one way)  
Metro Express: USD 1 (one way)  
Taxi: USD 2,5 to USD 3 per kilometre  
Car rental: From USD 20 (sedan)  
Fuel: USD 1,25 per litre

Wining and dining

Mauritian cuisine is heavily influenced by the preferences of the multicultural, multi-ethnic population. From fine dining to street food, visitors and residents are spoilt for choice. There is everything from local specialties to Indian, French, Italian, Chinese and Peruvian flavours, among others.

Prices:  
Street food: from USD 0.25 for popular local food such as Indian-style pancakes with masala veggies and Chinese dumplings with fried noodles Average restaurant: from USD 30 for two people
High-end restaurant: from USD 50 for two people

Recreation

More and more, people want to spend time in nature and make the most of natural attractions. If they can live on the beach or in the mountains, all the better. Life in Mauritius offers a little bit of everything with a warm, tropical climate conducive to outdoor entertainment and activities.  

The island boasts world-famous beaches and a pristine ocean that offers a myriad water-sport opportunities. Leisure cruising and sailing are also popular. The mountainous areas are ideal for bird watching, trail running, walking or hiking, with some nature reserves offering a similar list of activities.  

Along the way you’ll be able to appreciate the magnificent scenery, including waterfalls channelling water into pools that you can cool off in.  

Costs
  • Surfing, kite surfing, windsurfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) lessons start from USD 90
  • Golf membership differs per club. Access and green fees are usually complimentary for hotel guests where a golf course is on site. Some golf courses have arrangements in place to host guests of specific resorts.
  • Horse riding lessons start from USD 40/hour
  • Amusement park access starts from USD 10
  • Movie tickets start from USD 7
  • Tickets for concerts and music festivals start from USD 12

Clothes

If you’re into international fashion, you’ll find many of the big brands at the larger malls. Meanwhile, the local shops and markets offer affordable, good-quality apparel and there are several mid-priced retailers on the island.  

Cotton clothing is ideal, especially in the summer months when it can be humid. In winter, you might want to layer up with a cardigan, throw, sweater or jacket as it gets cooler in the evening. On windy days, if you feel the cold, you’ll need an extra layer too.

T-shirt costs
  • Brand stores: from USD 30
  • Mid-priced retailers: from USD 12
  • Local shops and stalls: from USD 5

Schooling and tertiary education

One of the first things couples want to know – if they have a young family or are planning to start one – is what the schools are like. Mauritius is proud of its standard of education offered across the board.    

Daycare centres and preschool facilities are available for babies and toddlers, catering for a variety of early childhood development philosophies.    

You can choose to send your child to a public school that follows the British schooling system or a private school that generally offers the French education system.    

Public primary schools are free. International schools are popular among expats because they are like schooling systems elsewhere and help ease the child’s transition into the new environment.  

Secondary education is also free at public schools. Children who complete their O levels (the Cambridge School Certificate) and A levels (the Higher School Certificate, which is the same as the International Baccalaureate), may apply for tertiary studies.

Monthly fee estimates for private schools, excluding deposits, application fees, registration fees, examination fees and capital levies:
  • Preprimary school: from approximately USD 200
  • Primary school: from approximately USD 400
  • Secondary school: from approximately USD 500 to USD 900

Mauritius universities attract many foreign students as many are branches of internationally renowned campuses. Graduate studies may be complemented by free courses offered by publicly funded institutions.

Travel documents

Foreigners travelling to Mauritius with the intention to live or work there must have a valid permit to do so. They must also have the following:

  • A passport or any other recognised travel document, valid beyond the last day of the intended stay, for presentation to the Passport Officer on arrival and departure
  • A valid return air ticket to their country of origin or residence (and be eligible to re-enter)
  • Funds to cover the cost of the stay
  • Confirmed hotel booking or proof of sponsored accommodation

Passports issued by governments of Taiwan and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Northern Cyprus) are not recognised. Passport holders from these countries will not be allowed entry to Mauritius.

Foreign travellers with passports that are not recognised by the Mauritius authorities as well as stateless travellers, refugees and holders of travel documents must apply for an entry visa and only travel to the island if the application is successful. Passport holders from Taiwan may be granted a 60-day visa on arrival.

Visas

Foreigners visiting Mauritius must enter under the appropriate visa.  
Investors, entrepreneurs and professionals who want to invest, live and work on the island must request a business visa on arrival. This will be valid for 120 days of the calendar year. However, they may not stay longer than 90 days first time around.

Retired noncitizens intending to apply for a residence permit must enter Mauritius on a Tourist Visa, which is valid for 180 days in a calendar year.

In addition, all dependents of foreigners who are applying for permits must enter Mauritius on a Tourist Visa.

Healthcare

Mauritius has a well-established healthcare system supported by quality medical infrastructure and facilities. Healthcare is free in public hospitals and there are pharmacies across the island.  

Treatment at the private clinics and practices may be expensive so additional health insurance is recommended for expats. It’s best to ensure that you have full medical cover before you arrive in Mauritius.  

The preferred private institutions such as Darné Clinic or the Apollo Bramwell Hospital have state-of-the-art facilities and offer more services than public resources. French expats may be able to access social security benefits (Caisse des Français à l’Etranger) via approved private health institutions on the island.

Travellers need a yellow fever vaccination if they come from a country with transmission risk. Immunisation against tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, measles and rubella (MMR), including hepatitis A and B is recommended.  

Anyone planning to apply for an Occupation or Residence Permit must complete and submit a medical certificate with their application. They must also undergo certain medical tests and examinations no longer than six months before applying.  

Foreigners must have three blood tests in Mauritius, as listed below. They can have these at any private local medical laboratory or clinic registered with the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

  • Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Anti-HIV screening test for AIDS
  • Chest x‐ray – must be signed by the radiologist.

The following blood tests must also be done, but these can be handled in the applicant’s home country or in Mauritius:

  • Full blood count
  • Anti-HIV screening test for AIDS
  • Chest x‐ray – must be signed by the radiologist
  • VDRL (venereal disease research laboratory) test
  • Urine tests for albumin and sugar
  • Stool test for parasites
  • Lymphatic filariasis – only for visitors from India, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Brazil, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam
  • Leprosy – for Indian nationals only. The consulting doctor must stipulate on the medical certificate that the person does not have leprosy.

All test results must be submitted to a local doctor who will examine them and, if satisfied, issue a medical certificate. This, and the results of the three tests done in Mauritius, must be submitted with the permit application. This will be rejected if the applicant is suffering from any infectious or contagious disease.

Children who are younger than 12 years of age must submit a medical certificate after having a clinical examination. Appropriate medical investigations, including a chest x‐ray and blood tests, need only be completed if requested by the doctor.

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