‘High net worth’ migration in Mauritius: A critical analysis

Authors

  • Ramola Ramtohul University of Mauritius

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33182/ml.v13i1.261

Keywords:

Mauritius, investor migration, Permanent Resident Scheme, Integrated Resorts Scheme, Real Estate Scheme, Invest Hotel Scheme.

Abstract

As a small island African nation, Mauritius is famed for its economic success, democratic governance and political stability. The Mauritian government recently embarked on a migration scheme geared towards attracting ‘high net worth’ migrants to the country. The scheme offers foreigners the possibility of obtaining permanent residence and naturalizing as citizens under specifically designed investment and residential programmes devised to attract private investment. While it is undeniable that this scheme has brought considerable foreign direct investment into the country, it has also caused discontent among the local population. Using media reports and interviews of key stakeholders in the press as well as qualitative date gathered from semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders, this paper examines the implications of the long term and often, permanent presence of ‘high net worth’ migrants on the local population. Public debate on this matter includes issues such as culture clash and diminished access to the beach for Mauritian citizens. Moreover, given the smallness of the country and the fact that land is already scarce, there is fear that facilities granted to foreigners to purchase property will have inflationary consequences and make property unaffordable to the local population. 

Author Biography

Ramola Ramtohul, University of Mauritius

Ramola Ramtohul, PhD (University of Cape Town, 2009) is a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Unit of the Department of Social Studies at the University of Mauritius. She is also a Collaborative Member at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are in gender, politics and citizenship in multicultural contexts, and privatisation in the African higher education sector. Some of her publications are:  Intersectionality and Women’s Political Citizenship: The Case of Mauritius, Journal of Contemporary African Studies (2015) 33(1): 27-47;  Amri, L. and Ramtohul, R. (eds) (2014) Gender and Citizenship in Africa in The Global Age. Dakar: CODESRIA; ‘Gender and Politicized Religion in Mauritius’, Sociedad y Religion (2014) 42 (24): 194-208; ‘Fractured Sisterhood: The Historical Evolution of the Women’s Movement in Mauritius’, Afrika Zamani (2013) 18 & 19: 71-101; ‘Academic freedom in a state sponsored African university: The case of the University of Mauritius’, American Association of University Professors Journal of Academic Freedom 2012 (3). She has received research fellowships from the University of Cape Town, American Association of University Women, University of Cambridge and University of Pretoria. She can be contacted at: r.ramtohul@uom.ac.mu

Published

2016-01-01

How to Cite

Ramtohul, R. (2016). ‘High net worth’ migration in Mauritius: A critical analysis. Migration Letters, 13(1), 16-32. https://doi.org/10.33182/ml.v13i1.261