Guidance

Living in Mauritius

Information for British nationals residing in Mauritius including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.

Introduction

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Mauritius including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See Our Services for British nationals.

Health

Healthcare is easily available and is at a reasonable price. Foreign nationals can attend a local public hospital but would be expected to pay for treatment. Public hospitals are of a relatively good standard but are often not equipped to deal with more serious illnesses. List of hospitals and clinics in Mauritius. Private hospitals Apollo Bramwell and Darné Clinic have better equipment and facilities and are favoured by expatriates. Please be aware that a number of operations are not available in Mauritius and in some serious cases you may have to be medically evacuated to Reunion or South Africa. An ambulance service is available but is not reliable.

Travellers to Mauritius are recommended to take out comprehensive medical insurance. See our travel advice section. A list of registered medical practitioners can be found on the Medical Council of Mauritius website

Education

Education is free and is compulsory from the age of five up to the age of 16. Teaching is conducted in English, as well as Creole and French which are more widely spoken by the local population. The official language is English and exams papers are in English.

There are many fee-paying private schools and some can be very expensive.

Government nursery schools and crèches are available and are free.

Fee-paying nursery schools and crèches are also widely available.

See the links below for further information:

Education in Mauritius

Mauritius Qualifications Authority

The Bureau de l’Education Catholique

Employment and recognised qualifications

Employment opportunities are available for expatriates, mainly in the private and offshore sectors although the rate of unemployment in the country is quite high.

UK qualifications are recognised in Mauritius and expatriates require a work or occupation permit to work or remain in the country as investors. Further information on work/residence and occupation permits can be found on the information leaflet on Work/Residence and Occupation permit in Mauritius.

Entry and residence requirements

A valid passport must be held for entry to, and exit from, Mauritius. There is no minimum passport validity requirement but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your visit.

British nationals do not need a visa to enter Mauritius for tourist visits. Entry permit is normally granted on arrival for 30 days and can afterwards be extended on request for up to 90 days.

See information on entry requirements

Benefits

Social security pensions are available for locals only. Foreigners living in Mauritius are not entitled to social security pensions unless they meet certain requirements as set out here

See Benefits if you are abroad.

See Moving or retiring abroad.

Driving licences and vehicles

The British High Commission cannot issue or renew a UK driving licence. Please contact the DVLA for information about renewing a licence or applying for a new licence.

Driving is on the left and the traffic code and traffic laws are mostly the same as in the UK, Mauritius being a former British colony and part of the Commonwealth. Care should be taken as driving standards are not the same as in the UK. In some areas, poorly lit roads can cause accidents. People tend to drive carelessly and sometimes do not respect the speed limits.

Foreigners can drive in Mauritius and further information about driving and international driving licence can be found here

Roads are in fairly good condition although they can be narrow in some areas. Driving on the motorway is easy and relatively safe.

When hiring cars, foreigners must make sure the cars are properly insured.

Finance

International credit and debit cards are used almost everywhere in shops, restaurants, hotels etc. There are ATMs all around the island and they are easily accessible.

Mauritius has a well developed banking system. All the major banks are present on the island e.g Barclays, HSBC, Afrasia, Standard Chartered bank. The Mauritius Commercial Bank and the State Bank of Mauritius are also very popular with the local population.

See Money

Credit cards issued by UK banks can be used.

Guidance on bringing medication into Mauritius

See the information published by the Mauritius High Commission in Canberra about bring medication into Mauritius.

Social ethics and traditions

See Law and Customs in Mauritius

Mauritius has a population of about 1.4 million inhabitants. The people are descendants of European colonists, African slaves, Indian coolies and Chinese merchants. Today the island is a melting pot of all these cultures. Every ethnic group which lives in Mauritius has brought along its cultural heritage.

Mauritius enjoys a degree of social harmony and cultural understanding that makes it a model for successfully promoting the benefits of ethnic diversity and co-existence. The Mauritian population has its roots from all around the world. People of Indian descent form the majority of the population (69%). Creoles, the descendants of the African slaves represent about 25% of the population, Christian Europeans 3%. The religious beliefs of the population of Mauritius are as manifold as their ethnic background: 52% are Hindus, 30% Christians, 17% Muslims and 2% Buddhists.

English is the official language but Creole (the local dialect) and French are widely spoken.

Returning to the UK

See the UK Border Agency website

General information

Wordtravels website

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the High Commission by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British High Commission will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authorities.

Published 21 November 2013
Last updated 2 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. Minor changes
  2. First published.