Marriages between Mauritians and foreign nationals: love stories are not always easy

If the majority put the noose around their necks for love, there are foreigners looking for Mauritians for a marriage of convenience. However, the authorities are on the lookout so that no abuse takes place in the name of marriage. Administrative procedures exist as a safety net against sham marriage. Mauritians who have married foreigners tell us their story and their journey so that their spouses can come to Mauritius.

From friendship to love

Patrick Belcourt, the founder of En Avant Moris, met Mariette while studying in France.

“I met her during my first year at the University of Lyon. I studied finance there and she studied law. We were friends first, then we were roommates for a year, and we ended up going out together,” says the speaker.

Very quickly the lovebirds understood that they were made for each other. Patrick Belcourt and Mariette then made the decision to unite for better or for worse. “We got married on December 24, 2005 in the village of St Priest-La-Prugne. So we’ve been together for 23 years and 22 years since we got married,” says Patrick Belcourt proudly. The couple moved to Mauritius in 2006. As Patrick Belcourt explains to us, the conditions are four years of residence on Mauritian territory while married to a Mauritian citizen. “Exits from the territory are subtracted from the time limit. In addition, we carry out transactions with customers, me a banker and she a notary public. After a year of investigating the matter at the PMO, Mariette obtained Mauritian citizenship in 2012 without any problems”, he emphasizes.

The Belcourt couple did not have to undergo any checks by the Mauritian authorities because they were already married before they settled in the tropics and were already parents to their first two children: François, born in 2003, and Antoine, in 2007.


T. H, a resident of Plaine-Magnien, and his family had traveled to Pakistan with one goal: to find him a wife. It was in November 2015 that they set sail for Pakistan. He fell in love with his wife. “It was through a matchmaker (agwa) that we met my wife. I met her three days after we arrived in Pakistan. It was love at first sight. After a fortnight we were already married. We had entered into the ‘nikkah’ which is like civil marriage in Pakistan,” he says.

TH continues that he subsequently approached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a view to the marriage certificate. His wife had already taken steps to get her passport. “After a month we were back in Mauritius. My wife came on a one month tourist visa. Here we have started the procedures. We went to the population register, but they explained to us that the ‘nikkah’ was valid. We went to the immigration office to get registered,” says the 40-year-old.

After almost eight months, the wife got her residence permit. She recently applied for Mauritian citizenship. “We just filed the paperwork. We were told it would take some time. But we’re not in a rush,” admits the father of two (a six-year-old son and a daughter who turns two in August).

Hooked atoms

JessicaJessita Roy is a bank employee and her husband Gaurab Kumar Roy is a choreographer and has his own event company. Nothing predicted that the Mauritian and the Indian would one day end up together. Still, dancing brought them together. Today they are married and fully enjoying their life as a couple.

It was in 2010 that Gaurab Kumar Roy, wanting to boost his career, left the great peninsula to settle in Mauritius. He opens dance schools. It was in 2017 that Jessita Roy joined the Eau-Coulée branch and met the Indian there. “We became friends. I saw that he was a good person and was interested in me. He spoke to my parents and said that he wanted to continue with me, but we didn’t want to rush things. He wanted to inform my parents of his intentions and did not want others to inform them about our relationship,” says our interlocutor.

It is finally in 2020 that the lovers, sure of their feelings, decide to take the plunge. “We saw that we were compatible. I’m proud that we still are. We went to India to get married on March 11, 2020. We had a typical Bengali wedding, surrounded by our loved ones,” says Jessita Roy . Back in Mauritius, the couple is taking steps towards civil marriage. “We wanted to arrange the civil marriage at home, but we couldn’t because Gaurab is a foreign citizen. We entered into a civil marriage on 13 August 2020. We had to go to the civil registry office in Port – Louis. Everything went well. The staff were welcoming, she says.

But before the civil marriage could take place, Jessita Roy and Gaurab Kumar Roy had to go before a board. “We were asked questions at our meeting, among other things. After two weeks, we were told that our request had been approved and that we could set the date for the wedding,” she says. Jessita Roy explains that before he married her, Gaurab had a work permit. However, he had to apply for a new permit, the residence permit (spouse). “Steps succeeded quickly despite COVID-19”.

Immigration Law

A controversial law

The Council of Ministers approved the introduction of the immigration law in the National Assembly on Friday. The purpose of the draft law is to consolidate the law with respect to the entry and residence of non-citizens in Mauritius.

Important changes will be made to the Mauritius Citizenship Act to, among other things, give the Department of Immigration the power to investigate whether the marriage between a non-citizen and a citizen is of convenience or not, and ensure that the documents are submitted per a non-citizen when applying for the publication of a marriage.

In addition, this law provides that a person who has obtained Mauritian citizenship may lose it if the head of government decides so for special reasons. However, this legal provision is controversial, as the Prime Minister does not have to justify his decision.

Top 5 countries of origin for spouses with a Mauritian wife

Year 2021
Country Number
France 38
India 17
United Kingdom 13
South Africa 6
Nigeria 6
year 2020
Country Number
France 38
India 14
Bangladeshi 7
United Kingdom 6
Madagascar 4
year 2019
Country Number
France 77
India 52
United Kingdom 17
Pakistan 11
Germany 10
Year 2018
Country Number
France 84
India 54
United Kingdom 30
Swiss 13
Bangladeshi 13
Year 2017
Country Number
France 101
India 53
United Kingdom 32
Germany 13
Bangladeshi 12

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