PDS, RES, IRS: What are the differences between these three plans?
These three programs allow the development and sale of luxury residential units to foreigners in Mauritius. However, there are major differences between IRS, RES, and PDS.
The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), Real Estate Scheme (RES) and Property Development Scheme (PDS) are programs designed to facilitate the acquisition of residential property by non-citizens in Mauritius.
The IRS is the first regime put in place by the Mauritian government in 2001, with the collaboration of the Economic Development Board (EDB), formerly the Board of Investment. The area of land developed under the IRS must exceed 10 hectares.
The RES, launched in 2007, is a lean version of the IRS. The idea behind this program is to let small landowners have a piece of the real estate development pie. The size of the project property must be between 4000 m2 and 10 hectares. RES allow small investors to convert their land and boost their real estate investment, with a more limited budget.
The PDS for Property Development Scheme is the result of the merger of the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS) and the Real Estate Scheme (RES). There are no longer any restrictions on the maximum land area with this new regime. This is one of the many amendments made to the PDS after the 2016/2017 budget. Another amendment to the PDS regime is that now developers are not required to sell at least 25% of residential units to Mauritian citizens or members of the Mauritian diaspora. All units can be acquired by foreigners wishing to invest in Mauritius. The PDS is essentially an integrated project with a social dimension for the benefit of the neighboring Mauritian community. The projects are subject to strict controls in terms of respect for the environment and must prioritize the ecological aspect.
THE PURCHASE PRICE
Under the IRS, the minimum sale price for a villa is set at $ 375,000. It differs from the RES concept for which there is no minimum investment value, just like the PDS scheme.
THE TITLE OF STAY
When purchasing an IRS, a residence permit is automatically granted to the purchaser. The residence permit will remain valid as long as the holder remains the owner of the property. This residence permit allows buyers to opt for the Mauritian tax system and thus benefit from a particularly favorable tax policy (provided that he stays in Mauritius for more than 183 days per year). This residence permit is also valid for the acquirer's family, as well as for the spouse and their children up to the age of 24. This is a big difference with the RES which does not automatically give the right to purchase a Mauritian residence permit. A residence permit is issued to a foreigner upon acquisition of RES greater than USD 500,000. If this is not the case, the buyer will not be able to claim a permanent residence permit but may reside in Mauritius for up to six months per year in Mauritius. The PDS, like the IRS, has the advantage of allowing the buyer to emigrate or retire in Mauritius with a permanent residence permit, with an investment of a minimum amount of 375,000 USD.
Regarding villas, a PDS project must have a minimum of 6 luxury residential properties. It was announced during the presentation of the last budget that the area of land for the construction of a villa has been extended from 0.5 acre (2,110 m2) to 1.25 acre (5,275 m2) .
Regarding IRS and RES, the fixed cost associated with properties requires owners to pay either a 5% registration fee of the final value of the property, or an amount equivalent to $ 70,000 for the IRS or $ 25,000. for the RES. The PDS regime thus differs from the RES and the IRS, in order to harmonize the programs, namely that the small and large lots will be subject to the same constraints with a single tax. The registration fee for the purchase price of a residential property under the PDS scheme is 5%.
In addition, the projects developed under IRS and RES continue to develop under their respective names. As for the new projects launched since the implementation of the PDS, they are considered as PDS projects.
Any buyer must submit their request to the Economic Development Board (EDB) in Port Louis. The duly completed and signed application form must be submitted with all mandatory documents in accordance with the official guide of the Commission.
For more information on the various investment opportunities in the residential real estate sector in Mauritius, contact us so that we can guide you in your development project.