Why You Want to Work Remotely in Mauritius
As a remote worker, you get to work from anywhere as long as you bring your laptop right? Sure. Kind of… You’ll probably quickly learn (or have learned already) that there are some restrictions to this particular thought though. Working in a certain timezone might be required, you’ll need to be able to get a visa, access to high-speed internet is an absolute necessity and some much-needed sunshine an added bonus.
And that’s where a tiny East African island in the Indian Ocean comes in.
During the European winter months of 2021, I found out that not only did Mauritius tick all of the above boxes, it also proved to be a dream destination to live in. And even though there is something about keeping a slightly “hidden destination” to yourself, I felt the deep urge to explain exactly what it is that makes Mauritius the perfect destination for remote workers. And why you should go there yourself, before it gets discovered by all the others.
The Mauritius Digital Nomad Visa
One of the main reasons why Mauritius is such a great destination for remote workers right now, is its so-called “digital nomad visa” or Premium Visa. Introduced during the pandemic in 2020, this document allows digital nomads and remote workers to live on the island for 6 to 12 months while earning an income outside of the country. The visa is completely free of charge, easy to apply for and comes with just a couple of requirements:
Your main source of income should come from outside Mauritius
A minimum monthly income of US$1500 is required
Sufficient travel and health insurance must be in place and shown upon entry
Entering the Mauritian labour market on a Premium Visa is not allowed
Evidence of your visit should be provided in the form of (return) tickets and proof of accommodation
Applying for the visa can be done online and processing times vary from approx. 3 weeks to 2 months. Should your visa not be granted in time for your arrival (which was the case for me), you’ll still be able to enter the country on a Tourist Visa (3 months) while waiting for your Premium Visa approval to come in.
Remote worklife in the tropics
Mauritius is a well-known holiday destination. But spending a holiday at, or actually working on the beach are 2 very different things. One of the challenges of working remotely (and the one I was most nervous about) is finding a stable internet connection. While I am pretty sure not all Mauritian households have internet speeds that can handle video calls with 30 co-workers, many of the newer rental accommodations on the island do come with an optic fibre connection. Depending on the offer you’ll take up with local internet provider My.t, your home - connection will be able to reach a download speed of somewhere between 20Mbps and 500Mbps. Not too shabby!
Another great thing about working remotely in Mauritius is that you get to choose from plenty of co-working spaces (such as The Hive, Regus and Fast Hub) and proper coffee - and beach bars with fast wifi all around the island. These options make working remotely just a bit more fun and also provide an easy way to meet fellow “digital nomads”.
What else makes Mauritius a wonderful location for remote workers? As a Dutch citizen detesting rainy winters, I can only say: the weather. Being able to swap a Northern European winter for 30 degrees (every day!), sunshine and a cool sea breeze is something that has made me feel immensely grateful every single day I got to spend on the island. Apart from the fantastic climate, I could go on and on about the friendly people, the fun bars, the great (reasonably priced) food and the most beautiful beaches I have seen in my life. And yes, all of this while being able to work in the European timezone.
Are there any downsides?
The fact that Mauritius is not that well-known of a digital nomad destination just yet comes with both its benefits and disadvantages. While the vibe on the island can feel more authentic than in other more touristy destinations, solo travellers might struggle with finding a like-minded (expat) community. And while Airbnb usually turns out to be a lifesaver for those in search of long-term accommodation, the Mauritian online offerings are not all that great. In my case, this resulted in quite a stressful search for a suitable place to live.
How to tackle these issues? Unless you want to freewheel it, I’d suggest getting in touch with local real estate agents before arriving in Mauritius. Although this usually means paying an extra commissional fee, it will also save lots of headaches. For me, handing over the accommodation search resulted in living in nothing short of a villa, right at the beach and overlooking a tropical garden. As the house was located in a secured complex, I easily got in touch with other expats and neighbours as well, making my stay in Mauritius even more memorable.
Other minor downsides to keep in mind are the supermarket prices (quite steep), the number of high-end resorts on the island (quite a lot), and the presence of mosquitos (quite annoying). Pretty easy to deal with though, when you’re able to start your workday with a swim in the clear blue Indian Ocean.
Where to start?
Assuming your employer or clients are down with you working remotely already, I suggest starting your Mauritius journey as follows:
Get your accommodation sorted. You could try Airbnb first or get in touch with locals and/or real estate agents right away. I found my agent through Facebook (Expats in Mauritius) but a Google search might be sufficient. *
Decide how long you wish to stay and get your visa sorted.
Get your travel insurance in order.
Commit by buying those plane tickets.
You might also want to look into getting an international bank card (tip: Wise) and want to make sure your phone is sim lock-free. And then? Then it’s just a matter of packing your sunscreen and insect repellant and you’re good to go!
*Perhaps you haven’t told your boss yet about your dream to work remotely. In that case, this will be your first step to take. Although it might seem like an impossible dream to have, you could be surprised by the flexibility of your employer. Get that conversation started, perhaps have them read this blog post for some extra persuasion. And while my 6 months here were an absolute dream, trying it out for 1 or 2 months could be just the solution for you. Once you get to show your boss that having a perfect work/life balance will increase your productivity instead of the other way around, there will be no arguments left to stop your future plans.
So these were my thoughts and experiences in regard to working remotely in Mauritius. If you want to know what there is to do on the island (besides work), I encourage you to read my blog: "The best activities and beaches in Mauritius."Do you have similar experiences in Mauritius? Have you got other stories to share? Or do you have thoughts or questions about the topic? Find me on Instagram or drop me a message below, I’d absolutely love to hear about them!
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