Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act

Act 22 of 1975


Mauritius

Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act

Act 22 of 1975

  • Commenced on 12 July 1975
  • [This is the version of this document at 30 June 2017.]
[EDITORIAL NOTE: The words "Class B Banking Licence" have been deleted and replaced by the words "Category 2 Banking Licence" wherever they ap­pear, by section 22 (c) of Act 20 of 2002 w.e.f. 1 September 2002; and the words "Financial Services Development Act 2001" have been deleted and re­placed by the words "Financial Services Act 2007" wherever they appear, by section 97 (5) of Act 14 of 2007 w.e.f. 28 September 2007.]

1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act.

2. Interpretation

In this Act—"acquire", "hold" or "purchase" does not include the burdening of a property with a mortgage or a charge;"business certificate" means a global business licence under the Finan­cial Services Act or a banking licence under the Banking Act, in so far as it relates to its banking transactions with non-residents and corporations holding a Category 1 Global Business Licence or a Category 2 Global Business Licence;"certificate" means a certificate issued under section 3 (2);"charge" means a fixed or floating charge;"Commission" means the Financial Services Commission established under the Financial Services Act;"Minister" means the Minister to whom responsibility for the subject of internal affairs is assigned;"non-citizen" means—(a)a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius;(b)an association or body of persons, whether corporate or incorpo­rate, where—(i)it is not domiciled in Mauritius;(ii)it is quoted on the Official List of the Stock Exchange or admitted to any Second Market established under the Securities Act and its control or management is vested in one or more persons who are not citizens of Mauritius; or(iii)it is not so quoted or admitted and one of its shareholders is not a citizen of Mauritius;(c)a trust in so far as it is involved in any transaction referred to in section 22 of the Trusts Act;"property"—(a)means an immovable property, whether freehold or leasehold, in Mauritius; and(b)includes—(i)in relation to a trust or otherwise, any right or interest in immovable property, whether legal or beneficial; or(ii)any share;"qualified corporation" means a corporation holding a global business li­cence under the Financial Services Act or a bank holding a banking licence under the Banking Act, in so far as it relates to its banking transactions with non-residents and corporations holding a Category 1 Global Business Licence or a Category 2 Global Business Licence, as the case may be;"resident in Mauritius" means—(a)in relation to an individual, a person who has his domicile in Mauritius;(b)in relation to a body corporate, a body incorporated or registered under the law of Mauritius;"share"—(a)means an interest, by any name called, in a company, partnership or société or any other body corporate which holds or purchases or otherwise acquires an immovable property in Mauritius; and(b)includes—(i)a share in a partnership or société or any body corporate which reckons amongst its assets—(A)any freehold or leasehold immovable property in Mauritius; or(B)any share in a company or in a company holding shares in a subsidiary or any share in a partnership or société or any other body corporate, which itself reckons amongst its assets, freehold or leasehold immovable property in Mauritius;(ii)a share in a company which reckons amongst its assets—(A)any freehold or leasehold immovable property in Mauri­tius; or(B)any share in a company holding shares in a subsidiary or any share in a partnership, société or any other body corporate, which itself reckons amongst its assets, freehold or leasehold immovable property in Mauritius; or(C)any share in a company holding shares in any succes­sive subsidiary company, or any share in any succes­sive partnership or société or any other successive body corporate, which itself reckons amongst its assets freehold or leasehold immovable property in Mauritius;"shareholder" includes an association or body of persons, whether corporate or incorporate, which is a non-citizen.[S. 2 amended by s. 46 (6) (a) of Act 18 of 1992 w.e.f. 13 July 1992; s. 14 (a) of Act 25 of 1994 w.e.f. 27 July 1994; s. 12 (a) of Act 9 of 1997 w.e.f. 1 July 1997; s. 12 (a) of Act 10 of 1998 w.e.f. 21 July 1998; s. 46 (7) (a) of Act 13 of 2001 w.e.f. 1 December 2001; s. 22 (a) and (c) of Act 20 of 2002 w.e.f. 1 September 2002; s. 103 (7) (a) of Act 35 of 2004 w.e.f. 10 November 2004; s. 132 (2) of Act 21 of 2005; s. 31 (a) of Act 14 of 2009 w.e.f. 30 July 2009; s. 16 of Act 20 of 2009 w.e.f. 19 December 2009.]

3. Non-citizens' property rights

(1)Subject to subsection (3), a non-citizen who wishes to hold, purchase or otherwise acquire a property shall make a written application to the Minister giving, wherever applicable—
(a)the precise location of the property;
(b)a site plan showing its extent and precise location;
(c)the nature of the interest intended to be held, purchased or otherwise acquired;
(d)the reason for which the application is made; and
(e)such other information as the Minister may determine.
(2)On receipt of an application made under subsection (1), the Minister may issue to the applicant a certificate authorising him to hold, purchase or otherwise acquire the property, subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister may determine.
(3)No certificate shall be required—
(a)to enable a non-citizen to hold property in virtue of—
(i)a lease agreement for industrial or commercial purposes, other than a lease agreement or a sublease agreement in respect of a residential property, for a term not exceeding 20 years;
(ii)a deed of concession under the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act; or
(iii)a tenancy agreement for a term not exceeding 4 years;
(b)in the case of a non-citizen
(i)who holds, purchases or otherwise acquires any property in accordance with any other enactment or convention to which Mauritius is a party;
(ii)who holds, purchases or otherwise acquires property
(A)while he is the spouse, married in accordance with the régime légal de communauté, of a citizen;
(B)by inheritance; or
(C)by the effect of marriage;
(c)in the case of a non-citizen or person not resident in Mauritius who—
(i)holds, purchases or otherwise acquires, sells or otherwise deals with shares or other securities of a company which is desirous of being admitted for quotation on the Official List of the Stock Exchange through a public issue, offer for sale of shares and private placement of shares, or quoted on the Official List of the Stock Exchange or admitted to any Second Market which may be established under the Stock Exchange Act; or
(ii)invests in a unit trust scheme and any other collective investment vehicle;
(iii)purchases or otherwise acquires any luxury villa, apartment, penthouse or other similar properties used, or available for use, as residence with or without attending services or amenities from a company holding a certificate under the Invest Hotel Scheme, Property Development Scheme or Smart City Scheme, prescribed under the Economic Development Board Act 2017;
(iv)purchases or otherwise acquires an immovable property, a right to immovable property or part of a building, for business purposes, on production of an authorisation from the Economic Development Board granted after it has obtained the approval of the Minister;
(v)purchases or otherwise acquires an apartment used, or available for use, as residence, in a building of at least 2 floors above ground floor, provided the purchase price is not less than 6 million rupees or its equivalent in any other hard convertible foreign currency, or in such other amount as may be prescribed, on production of an authorisation from the Economic Development Board granted after it has obtained the approval of the Minister;
(va)
(vi)
(vii)notwithstanding the repeal of the provisions relating to the IRS certificate or RES certificate under the Investment Promotion Act, purchases or otherwise acquires a residential property from a company holding an IRS certificate or a RES certificate.
(4)For the purpose of subsection (3) (c)—"company" includes a unit trust, a qualified corporation or any other collective investment vehicle.
[S. 3 amended by s. 42 (6) (b) of Act 18 of 1992 w.e.f. 13 July 1992; s. 14 (b) of Act 25 of 1994 w.e.f. 27 July 1 994; s. 5 of Act 17 of 1995 w.e.f. 12 August 1995; s. 12 (b) of Act 9 of 1997 w.e.f. 1 July 1997; s. 12 (b) of Act 10 of 1998 w.e.f. 21 July 1998; s. 13 (a) of Act 18 of 1999 w.e.f. 21 July 1998; s. 21 of Act 25 of 2000 w.e.f. 11 August 2000; s. 46 (7) of Act 13 of 2001 w.e.f. 1 December 2001; s. 22 (b) of Act 20 of 2002 w.e.f. 1 September 2002; s. 9 of Act 21 of 2006 w.e.f. 1 October 2006; s. 26 of Act 17 of 2007 w.e.f. 22 August 2007; s. 25 of Act 18 of 2008 w.e.f. 19 July 2008; s. 31 (b) of Act 14 of 2009 w.e.f. 30 July 2009; s. 20 of Act 38 of 2011 w.e.f. 15 December 2011; s. 20 of Act 26 of 2012 w.e.f. 22 December 2012; s. 33 of Act 27 of 2013 w.e.f. 21 December 2013; s. 39 of Act 9 of 2015 w.e.f. 14 May 2015; s. 3 of Act 33 of 2016 w.e.f. 22 December 2016.]

4. ***

5. Consequence of contravention

(1)An agreement which is in contravention of—
(a)section 3; or
(b)a condition imposed in a certificate,
shall be void.
(2)Where property is held, purchased or otherwise acquired in contravention of—
(a)section 3; or
(b)a condition imposed in a certificate,
the Curator shall forthwith—
(i)take possession of the property; and
(ii)cause it to be sold in accordance with the Sale of Immovable Property Act.
(3)A person, other than a non-citizen, who acquires property pursuant to a sale under subsection (2) (b) (ii), shall acquire a good title to the property.
(4)The proceeds of a sale under subsection (2) (b) (ii) shall, after deduc­tion of all charges, be paid over, in such manner as the Master and Registrar may determine, to the non-citizen or other person who appears to be entitled to them.

6. Qualified corporation

(1)Subject to subsection (2), a qualified corporation or an applicant for a business certificate who wishes to hold or purchase or otherwise acquire a property shall apply to the Commission, or in the case of a bank holding a banking licence under the Banking Act, insofar as it relates to its banking transactions with non-residents and corporations holding a Category 1 Global Business Licence or Category 2 Global Business Licence, to the Bank of Mauritius.
(2)The Minister may—
(a)make regulations to provide for the manner in which applications submitted to the Commission or Bank of Mauritius, as the case may be, shall be processed;
(b)delegate to the Commission or Bank of Mauritius, subject to such directions as he may determine, his powers to issue a certificate under this Act to a qualified corporation.
(3)Any certificate issued by the Commission or the Bank of Mauritius, as the case may be, under powers delegated by the Minister, shall be deemed to be a certificate issued under section 3 (2) of this Act.
[S. 6 amended by Act 18 of 1992; Act 10 of 1998; Act 18 of 1999; s. 46 (7) (c) of Act 13 of 2001 w.e.f 1 December 2001; s. 22 (c) of Act 20 of 2002 w.e.f. 1 September 2002; s. 103 (7) (b) of Act 35 of 2004 w.e.f. 10 November 2004.]
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History of this document

30 June 2017 this version
Consolidation
12 July 1975
Commenced