Mauritius has scrapped its entry ban on South Africa. Image: Adobe Stock

Mauritius offers ‘no strings attached’ long-stay visas

The island state’s ‘premium visa’ is proving to be of interest to South Africans.


Mauritius has scrapped its entry ban on South Africa. Image: Adobe Stock

The premium visa entitles South Africans to spend a year on the island without having to apply for a visa which allows permanent residence. The premium visa will allow South Africans to get a feel for life in Mauritius before committing to moving there permanently.

Google’s annual Year in Search Report names Mauritius as the most googled destination by South African internet users in 2020 as citizens here yearned to escape.

Mauritius also tops the list of Google’s most-searched destinations in 2020.

Moving to countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK is no easy feat. Many South Africans would love to make the move, but due to age restrictions, visa costs, education and health requirements, emigration is not possible for all South Africans.


Mauritius locals
Mauritius was ranked the most peaceful African country by the Global Peace Index 2019. Image: Adobe Stock

Mauritius is an African success story. The island’s government is closely modelled on the UK’s Westminster parliamentary system. The country is highly rated in terms of democracy, economic and political freedom, and is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy.

Mauritius is a social democracy providing free universal health care, free education up to tertiary level, and free public transport for its students, senior citizens and the disabled. Mauritius was ranked the most peaceful African country by the Global Peace Index 2019.


Mauritius has become an attractive destination for South Africans seeking to settle elsewhere. The government has for several years offered South Africans the opportunity to live and work on the island by investing in a property or a business.  

An amount of US $100,000 (R1.48m) was initially required under Mauritius’s Investor Scheme. The Mauritius government has now lowered the investment requirement to US $50,000 (about R745,000) for Investor Scheme applications.


Mauritius is now allowing visitors to spend a period of up to one year on the island. The government hopes the new premium visa will encourage international visitors to stay for longer periods to help offset the damage caused to the island’s travel and tourism sector by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unlike other visas there is no age restriction, no mimimum education requirement, no medical health screening and no language requirement for premium visa applicants. There is also no cost for the visa.

The Mauritius government is issuing premium visas free of charge to those who meet the requirements.

There is no obligation to lodge an application for permanent residence or to apply for residence under the country’s Investor Scheme at the end of the premium visa. The premium visa is renewable, so applicants may extend the visa once they have settled in Mauritius.


Mauritius is very appealing to South Africans, including with families. Image: Adobe Stock

South Africans choose Mauritius for several reasons. The island offers a year-round warm climate which is suitable for outdoor living. The population is diverse, with people of Indian, European, Chinese and Creole origin. However, English is widely spoken.

Mauritius is not far from South Africa. In about four hours you can reach Johannesburg or Durban on a direct flight from Mauritius. There are a number of South Africans living on the island and a Facebook group for South Africans based there has more than 4,500 members.


South Africans looking to spread their wings will find that Mauritius ticks all the boxes. Professionals who are able to work remotely, digital nomads and people who are self-employed may find interest in this visa. Retirees seeking stability will find Mauritius an ideal destination too.

Families looking for a safe environment to raise children will find that Mauritius offers this. Anyone wanting to try out living in Africa’s most developed country for a year might also find that the premium visa suits their needs.


To be eligible for the premium visa, there are a few requirements that must be met:

  • Applicants cannot enter the labour market in Mauritius;
  • Applicants must prove they have income from sources outside of Mauritius;
  • Applicants need to have health and travel insurance for the initial period of their stay;
  • Applicants must be able to show proof of their long-term plans;
  • All travellers must complete a 14-day quarantine on arrival in Mauritius.

Click here for more information on the premium visa.