Short Stay Visitors
People from most of the countries in the world do not need a visa to enjoy a holiday in the Seychelles. There are some documents that each visitor is required to show to the immigration officials at the Seychelles International Airport in order to get immigration clearance and enter this beautiful country. People travelling in a tour package will be informed of the required documents by their tour company. Some packaged tours will arrange the requirements in advance of the travel time.
The documents that are required are:
• A passport that is valid on the arrival date at the Seychelles and on the departure date
• A valid return or onward ticket. If the traveller does not have this, it must be purchased when they arrive in the Seychelles
• Proof of accommodation reservations and contact details of where the visitor can be reached while in the Seychelles
• Sufficient amount of money to last the whole holiday in the Seychelles. The minimum amount required is USD 150.00 per day or the equivalent
With these valid documents in hand, visitors will be granted a Visitor’s Permit by the Seychelles Department of Immigration. This permit is issued for a stay of up to one month, but it can be extended for a further stay of up to three months from the date of issue.
Three month extensions can then be gained for up to 12 months, if the visitor still meets the requirements mentioned above. After the first three month extension, which is free, there will be a fee for any added three month extensions.
German travellers with children who are under 15 years of age and who have a Kinderausweis, may enter the Seychelles if the travel document has a photo ID of the minor concerned.
In some cases, if the traveller does not have all of the required documents or meet the required conditions, a security bond may be requested.
It is not allowed for visitors to bring weapons or pornographic materials into the Seychelles. There are duty free allowances for alcohol, tobacco and perfumes as well as duty free musical instruments, portable electronics, cameras and handheld gaming equipment.
Visitors will not be allowed to enter the country if they are trying to import the following items without official permission and an import permit that was obtained in advance of arriving in the country:
• Radioactive substances
• Plants or parts of plants
• Biological specimens
Import duties may be paid with cash or with personal checks drawn on a local bank. Credit cards are not accepted for import duties.
In order for visitors to stay longer than 12 months, they need to demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves. If not, they need to acquire a Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP).
Gainful Occupation Permits are submitted to the Immigration office at Independence House, Victoria. The following documents are required to be supplied along with the GOP application:
• Proof on Seychelles Investment Bureau approval for the project in the case of a person starting a business
• Payment of the GOP application and processing fees
The following issues are considered before the government grants a GOP:
• The technical or professional qualifications of the person requesting employment
• The reputation, health and character of the person requesting employment
• The availability of local people for the services requested
• The protection of any local interests
• The social and economic benefit the applicant will bring to the country
Once the employer has secured a GOP for prospective employees and the employee has entered the country, there are some requirements that need to be fulfilled within one month of entry.
• A bank guarantee or security bond from a Seychelles bank for an amount that will be determined according to the country of origin of the employee
• A group security bond or bank guarantee, which may be approved upon written request
• A contract for the employee that has been attested by the Employment Department
People who would like to work in the International Trade Zone (ITZ) must get a special work permit for that. This permit allows non-Seychellois to enter and stay in the country for working in an International Trade Zone.
The ITZ operator applies for the ITZ work permit through the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). The spouse and children of the applicant may be endorsed on the ITZ work permit. Non-Seychellois people must not enter the country as tourists with the purpose of working in the ITZ.
A person who is not a prohibited immigrant, has family connections in the Seychelles or will make or has made a special contribution to the social, cultural or economic life of the country will be issued a Residential Permit. When the permit is granted, the holder’s spouse and minor dependents can also be endorsed on the permit for a fee.
The regulations concerning a residential permit are:
• The person must live in the Seychelles at least five days during each 12 month period of the permit
• The person must keep a deposit in a bank in the Seychelles or have a bank guarantee for at least Sr. 20,000 if they live in the country for more than one month during any 12 month period
• The person must show evidence after 14 days of each anniversary of a residential permit of bringing into the country at least Sr. 100,000 in foreign exchange if they live in the country for more than one month during any 12 month period. This is done through the Central Bank of Seychelles.
• If the person or if another person in their household can show sufficient investment in the Seychelles, the previous two conditions will not apply
• The person must continuously find opportunities to contribute to the social, economic and cultural life of Seychelles
• The person is not entitled to any social security or free medical benefits
• The person may not work in Seychelles. If they want to work, they need to be granted a Gainful Occupation Permit
An already granted residential permit will no longer be valid if the person breaches any of the above conditions, is convicted of an offense against the immigration laws or is deported from the country.
A person who will pursue studies in Seychelles, shows proof of enrolment in an approved educational institution and has enough funds to meet his or her expenses while living in the country may obtain a student’s permit. This can be done through the Central Bank of Seychelles. There is an application fee and a fee for the permit. A student’s permit does not allow the student to work.
Planning a Wedding in the Seychelles
Visitors should call the Civil Status Office before arriving in the country to make arrangements for a wedding. Travel agents may also make wedding arrangements directly with the hotel or resort before the couple arrives in the country. French citizens are requested to contact the French Embassy in Seychelles before they get married. There is a fee for obtaining a marriage certificate.
The documents required for couples planning a wedding must be in English or French or translated into those languages. The documents are:
• Birth certificates
• Divorce certificates if applicable
• Valid passports
People who would like to make Seychelles their permanent home either need to acquire a GOP or have proof that they can afford to stay without working. This can be done through the Central Bank of Seychelles. The government will consider if such people will make a contribution to the overall good of the country.
After being approved by the immigration office, people looking to relocate need to consider:
Accommodation—a rented house is cheaper because staying permanently in a hotel will be very expensive.
Health Service—if the ex-pat is working, the employer may cover health costs, otherwise they will need to pay for medical care themselves as the free care is only for Seychellois.
Education—for those who have children there are free state schools for children from five to sixteen years of age. These schools are conducted in all three national languages, which are English, Creole and French. There are two private schools on Mahe.
Seychelles is considered a tropical paradise and many people would like to live and work there, but the government is very careful about allowing non-Seychellois to stay for long periods. They must show good character, have enough financial support or be sponsored by an employer.