After being largely ignored for years, the lesser-known island paradise of Mauritius, in East Africa, is rising in notoriety among digital nomads looking for cheaper alternatives to the overpriced Caribbean and Mediterranean. More and more, people are becoming aware of its natural wonders, incredible culture, and, most importantly, low cost of living.
Digital nomadism itself has never been as popular as it is now. All around the globe, national governments are relaxing their strict immigration laws to welcome remote workers and help boost their COVID-stricken economies, from the overly bureaucratic Europe to Asia’s traditionally conservative countries.
Keeping up with the trend, Mauritius is also ramping up efforts to attract foreign workers:
+1000 Digital Nomad Visas Issued In 2022 Alone
Last year, the Mauritius Government opened a path to easier immigration for digital nomads, launching a successful ‘Premium Visa’ category that allows foreigners to remain in the territory for longer than the usual 180 days, for up to a year initially, though it is renewable. By the end of 2022, up to a thousand Premium Visas had been issued.
But why exactly are nomads flying all the way to Africa for a sunny ‘workcation’ when there are tropical islands closer to home?
The Mauritius DNV Is One Of The Easiest To Apply
First off, eligibility for the Mauritian Premium Visa is broad, and application couldn’t be easier or more straightforward: anyone holding one of these nationalities, from tourists staying longer than 3 months to entrepreneurs wishing to conduct business from Mauritius, can apply for free. The following criteria must be observed:
- Applicants must not enter the Mauritius labor market (in other words, they cannot be employed locally)
- Their profits must originate from abroad
- They should provide supporting documents that will help authorities verify the purpose of their visit (such as evidence of accommodation for the intended period of stay)
The official website does not define a financial threshold, which may imply there is none whatsoever or that applications are considered on a case-by-case basis; thus, using the Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) calculator is not advised. Instead, you are encouraged to contact Mauritian authorities in order to inquire about income requirements.
On top of that, the bureaucracy-free policy is part of the reason why the Mauritius DNV is leading application trends in Africa: once they complete the form online and attach all the relevant documentation, all there is left to do is check the mailbox. The approval is granted via email, and visits to a Consulate for further checks and visa issue are not necessary.
Beautiful Nature And Low Cost Of Living
Of course, the accessibility and absence of unnecessary, bureaucratic steps are not the only contributing factors to Mauritius’ newfound fame in the ‘nomadverse’: it is located in the Indian Ocean, where the weather is warm year-round and home to some of the world’s clearest waters, as well as untouched nature.
When deciding on a new country to call home, nomads strongly favor destinations where their hard-earned dollars stretch further, especially when freelancing. On average, they would need US$549.50 to cover monthly expenses on the island, excluding rent. Compared to some cities in the U.S., the cost of living can be between 40.1% to 56% lower.
To sum it up, it is the perfect spot for a nature getaway, whether you’re looking for hiking trails or secluded beaches. On the culture front, Mauritius does not disappoint either, being stacked with 18th and 19th-century architecture, slave trade-era plantation sites where you can learn about the heart-wrenching past, and History museums.
Mauritius Is Getting Trendier By The Minute
Despite its late reopening, which took place only in the summer of 2022, the country recorded more than a million bookings between January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2023, a significant improvement over the preceding two years. Before border curbs were dropped, a much more moderate 458,058 guests were hosted between 2020 and 2021.
As reported by local media, the strong rebound is a result of the joint initiative by Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Louis Steven Obeegadoo, MTPA (Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority), and the private sector, who worked ceaselessly to keep Mauritius ‘resilient’ and at the ‘top of mind’ of travelers, particularly long-term visitors.
This year, the parties involved have set an even higher goal of 1.4 million visitors while vowing further to develop the country as a world-class nomad hub. Tourism may account for nearly 24 percent of the GDP, being vital to the local economy, but it is not the only driving force behind Mauritius’ resurgence in the post-pandemic scene:
As Arvind Bundhun, director of MTPA puts it, ‘Mauritius is uniquely placed to benefit from the increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly holidays, as well as meet the desire to experience destinations with a strong historic, cultural, and natural appeal‘. More information about the Mauritius DNV can be found on this link.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com