How to Get a Residence Permit in Madagascar: Ultimate Guide

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In this article, you will learn how to obtain a residence permit in Madagascar.

We will walk you through each of the routes to residency, and help you apply for residency in Madagascar.

Ready to get started? Read more below

How to Get Residency in Madagascar

The process of obtaining legal residency in Madagascar can be challenging. 

Going through this process alone is not recommended, as it may end up taking longer and costing more than it should.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult. By teaming up with a trusted local partner, the process can be relatively seamless.

Here at Madagascar Invest, we can point you in the direction of a local partner who can help you with all the procedures of obtaining Malagasy residency for a nominal cost. Contact us for more information.

4 Roads to Residency in Madagascar

There are 4 different paths to residency in Madagascar:

  • Residency by investment
  • Residency by marriage 
  • Residency through employment 
  • Residency through retirement

In order to get started, you must choose which path you want to follow, depending on what applies to your situation.

Residence By Investment

One of the most popular ways of getting a residence permit in Madagascar is the residency by investment option.

Most people with little to no prior attachment to Madagascar choose the residency by investment option, because this is the easiest way to go: it doesn’t require you to have a job, or a spouse or be a retiree – anyone can apply for residency by investment.

Obtaining residency through investment is done by creating a company in Madagascar

Setting up a company in Madagascar is a bit of a process, but fortunately there is a dedicated government office known as EDBM (Economic Development Board of Madagascar) where you can set up your company and this makes the process pretty straightforward.

In theory, your company does not need to have any business activity. You can set up a company in Madagascar just for the purpose of obtaining legal residency.

Keep in mind, you will still need to file annual taxes and pay a fee to the government for keeping the business open.

There are no paid up capital requirements for a basic company setup in Madagascar.

Contact us to learn more about residency by investment.

Residence By Marriage

You can get residency through marriage if you are married to a Malagasy citizen. This process is also known as “family reunification.”

What are the requirements to obtain residency by marriage?

In order to be considered for family reunification, you must have a civil marriage performed in Madagascar, (or prove that you were legally married to your Malagasy spouse overseas).

If you are already legally married, then applying for a residence permit through marriage is one of the fastest and simplest ways of obtaining residency in Madagascar.

Residency through Employment

If you have a job in Madagascar, you may apply for residency through employment.

You must be legally allowed to work in Madagascar in order to apply for residency through employment.

This means that you need a valid work permit from the Madagascar Ministry of Labor. 

You also need a work contract, provided by your employer in Madagascar.

It is important to remember that your residence permit is always temporary. You can only renew your residency if you continue to live up to the requirements.

This means that if you stop working for any reason, then you won’t be able to apply for a renewal of your residence permit until you live up to the requirements again.

Residency as a Retired Person

As a foreign national, you have the ability to obtain residency as a retired person, if you are legally retired in your home country.

There are no age restrictions on a retirement visa, but you must be able to document that you have permanently left the workforce.

You will be required to send in documentation proving that you are retired in your home country.

You will also be required to open a bank account in Madagascar so that you can receive your retirement remittances into this account.

The Application Process

The process of applying for a Malagasy residence permit can be broken down into 5 steps. Here is how it’s done:

Step 1: Decide Which Residence Scheme Applies to You

As stipulated above, you will need to decide which of the 4 roads to residency in Madagascar you are going to apply through. The first step of the application process will be different, depending on the scheme that applies to your particular situation.

  • To apply as an investor, you will need to supply a certificate of incorporation.
  • To apply through marriage, you will need to supply a marriage certificate.
  • To apply through employment, you will need to supply an employment certificate.
  • And to apply as a retiree, you will need to supply a certificate of retirement.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Documents

There will be a list of a few documents you need to supply from your home country. 

This includes documents such as a criminal record, a birth certificate and other basic documents.

Then there are a few additional documents which can be obtained locally that you simply need to sign, and include in your application, which is then deposited at the ministry of the interior.

Step 3: Pay the Relevant Fees

You must now pay the relevant fees in order for the Ministry of the Interior to begin working on your residence application.

Step 4: Delivery of Convertible Visa

After handing in the necessary documentation, the ministry of the interior will give you a document that you must bring to Madagascar. 

If you are already present in Madagascar, you will be required to leave the country and reenter the territory.

When you arrive in Madagascar, present this document upon your arrival at the airport, the customs authority will give you a convertible visa which you will bring to your appointment at the ministry of the interior.

Step 5: Appointment at the Ministry of the Interior

Now, you will need to attend an appointment at the ministry of the interior in Antananarivo to have your picture taken. 

When this is done, you will need to wait approximately 1 month for the delivery of your residence permit. 

During this waiting period, you can either stay in Madagascar or leave the country, according to your wish.

Delivery of Your Residence Permit

After processing your application, the ministry of the interior will deliver your residence permit to you.

Additional Questions about Residency in Madagascar

Here are some of the most common questions we have received about residency in Madagascar.

How Long Does the Residency Application Process Take?

All in all, you can expect the entire application process to take around 2 months from start to finish.

What Is the Duration of a Residence Permit?

Your first residence permit in Madagascar will be temporary with a duration of 1 year. 

When you renew your residence permit after 1 year, it will extend up to 3 years, then 5 years and so forth.

Is It Possible to Get Permanent Residency in Madagascar?

Yes, it is possible to obtain permanent residency in Madagascar, but only after several rounds of temporary residency.

Every time you renew your residence permit in Madagascar, the duration of the residence permit will expand to 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years.

When you have gone through this cycle of temporary residence permits, you will be able to obtain permanent residency.

Is Madagascar a Good Place to Live?

Madagascar offers a high standard of living for foreign expatriates.

No two areas of Madagascar are similar, and no matter what type of lifestyle you’re looking for, you will find it on our great island.

From the bustling capital city of Tana with all it’s modern amenities, to the laidback coastal towns of Tamatave and Mahajanga, the idyllic countrysides surrounding Antsirabe or the mountains in the north , Madagascar has something to offer for every type of person.

Madagascar is calling you – will you answer the call?

What rights do Madagascar residents have?

Residents of Madagascar have nearly the same rights as Malagasy citizens, with a few notable exceptions.

Madagascar residents cannot own freehold property in Madagascar. This right is reserved for Malagasy citizens.

However, residents can lease property for up to 99 years.

Also, residents are not allowed to vote in elections – this right is also reserved for citizens only.

Those 2 major exceptions aside, Malagasy residents have many of the same rights that citizens have.

As a resident in Madagascar, you have the right to stay and reside in Madagascar for as long as you wish within the timeframe of your resident permit.

You will be allowed to enter and exit the country on the same terms as Malagasy citizens.

You can apply for a domestic Malagasy driver’s license and operate vehicles without the need for an internal driver’s license.

You can own a motor vehicle registered to your name.

You can obtain a permit to own a firearm, just like Malagasy citizens can. 

Costs of Applying for Residency in Madagascar

The cost of obtaining a residence permit in Madagascar differs, depending on which route to residency you choose.

For example, to apply for residency by investment, you need to set up a company in Madagascar.

This costs money, which you won’t have to pay if you are applying residency by way of marriage, for example.

How Long Does It Take To Get Madagascar Residency?

It really depends which type of resident permit you are applying for and where you are in the process.

For example, applying for residence through marriage takes a longer time if you’re not married to your partner yet, compared to applying for residency by investment if you already have a company, which can be done in a relatively short time.

On average, you should expect a processing time of around 2 months from the time you start your residency application, until you have your resident permit.

How Much Money Must You Invest to Qualify for Residency by Investment?

Technically, you don’t need to invest any money aside from paying the process fees and the appropriate fees to the government.

Therefore, obtaining a residence permit through investment can be a very cost-efficient way of getting residency in Madagascar.

After Getting a Residence Permit, Do You Need to Spend a Certain Amount of Time in Madagascar per Year?

No, there are no requirements for permit holders to reside in Madagascar for any fixed amount of time per year. You can simply come and go as you like.

Can You Apply for a Madagascar Residence Permit Remotely (Without Visiting Madagascar)?

Yes, you can start the application process to obtain your residence permit remotely, however, before delivering your residence permit, you must attend an appointment at the Ministry of the interior in Madagascar to have your fingerprints taken. When this final step is done, your residence permit will be delivered to you within weeks.

Can You Include Dependants in You Residency Application?

Yes. Both your spouse and children can be included into your residency application.

Why You Should Apply for Residency in Madagascar

  • Madagascar is a beautiful and welcoming country.
  • As a frontier market, Madagascar offers lots of business opportunities.
  • Madagascar is a very affordable place to live.
  • You don’t need to relocate to Madagascar to maintain residency. You can come and go as you wish!
  • With the help of Madagascar Invest, getting residency is straightforward and simple.

Also, the reason to get a residency permit comes down to your personal needs and desires.

Perhaps you want to travel the great island unrestricted, without the need for constant visa renewals.

By obtaining a resident permit in Madagascar, you can spend as much time here as you desire.

Perhaps you want to purchase a summer home in the pristine wilderness of the Madagascar countryside.

Your why is our motivation. No matter what your reasons are, our goal is to make it possible for you to live in Madagascar on your terms.

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