Seychelles

Living and Working in Seychelles

La Digue Island of SeychellesThe Republic of Seychelles, majorly known as Seychelles is an archipelagic country in the Indian Ocean made up of more than 100 Islands. Its capital and the largest city is Victoria on Mahé Island.  Victoria is famous for its National botanical gardens which have endemic palms and orchid, giant tortoises and bats. It  is home to the one of the best museums and galleries. Seychelles has numerous beautiful beaches with white pristine sand with turquoise blue water. It is full of coral reefs, natural reserves, and rare species of animals. Mahé is a centre for visiting other islands. It also consists, mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and beaches including Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka. Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa. However, being more careful is must due to crime, terrorism and pandemic. Seychelles is  expensive than most of countries in the African Continent. Museums and galleries have a high entry fees, especially in Victoria. 

Seychelles is an incredible place to live, work and start business.  Growing tourism and hospitality sector has a contribution to the  nation’s GDP. The climate is favorable, people are friendly. In Seychelles crime is less comparatively and is politically stable, however  visitors are required to take precautions,  show presence of mind and tactfulness. Seychelles is a clean tourist-friendly country and the government expects visitors to contribute to keep the country clean. It is expected to use the litter bins provided but if there are no litter bins, carry the litter with you. There are high fines if cops finds people throwing litter here or there.

Most expats come here for jobs, to get a work contract or to start a business. The cost of living is comparatively lower than the countries in the North and South America.  Seychelles is  a developing and middle income economic country. It has the highest gross domestic product per capita in the whole African content. People come here for jobs, but continue to stay after retirement, as they come to love Seychelles because of what it offers in terms of satisfaction and comfort. 

Traveling information

Flag of Seychelles Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Flag of Seychelles

The best and the only way to reach Seychelles is by flight. Sea route is not allowed due to the environmental protection and is not feasible. There is a global widespread of Covid-19. Some of the restrictions are being lifted by the government for Seychelles. Travelling within Seychelles is possible by bus and ferries or by flight depending on the place you live. From Mahé to Parslin, flight tickets are pricey; rather you can travel by the ferry as its fare is one third of flight’s fare. In this country there are several other means of transport you can travel with like rental cars and bikes. These means of transports are cheaper than taxis. 

A valid passport is must to enter the nation. Valid passport contains six months’ validity with one or two blank pages. Travelers, with visitor’s permit obtained upon arrival, have to submit a roundtrip ticket and show the invitation from family and friends and proof of sufficient funds. Always carry a copy of your passport and visitor’s permit. Don’t forget to take travel insurance as it covers your illness, injury, theft and cancellations. Keep original documents with you from the starting to end of your trip to this nation due to security reasons. 

Documents Required

  • Passport with two blank pages and six-month validity
  • Visitor’s permit on arrival
  • Passport size photo
  • Onward and return ticket
  • Proof of accommodation

For more travel advice please visit: nomadicmatt.com and holidify.com

How to immigrate to Seychelles

If you are planning your visit to Seychelles you need only a valid passport and not a visa as this is a visa free country, regardless of the nationality of the person. The Seychelles immigration keeps an effective Border control. All the expatriate workers in Seychelles require a Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP) to work as a full timer or a part timer. Without this working is not possible in this country. Same is for visitors, they need to obtain a visitor’s permit to enter the country which you can get upon arrival. 

Visitors Permit: This is issued on the arrival to the person who comes for holiday, business, to visit family or friends and the person who is not prohibited immigrant, who does not have a valid permit holder which entitles the holder to reside in Seychelles, has sufficient funds, has return and onward tickets and proof of the accommodation. This can be granted for the visit upto three months.   

Gainful Occupation Permits: To work in this country, foreigners need a GOP permit. This could be as an employee or as a self-employed person.  At first an approval certificate for the prospective non-Seychellois employee must be sought from the Ministry of Employment and social Affairs. After getting the approval from the Department, an application for GOP should then be submitted to the Immigration office, Independence House, Victoria at least one week before the employee is due to start work. The person must not enter this nation for the purpose of taking up employment before getting the GOP.

Residence Permit: This permit is given to the person who is not a prohibited immigrant, has a family or domestic connection with the citizens, and has made a will to make special contributions to the economic, social and cultural things of Seychelles. This permit does not allow the holder to be gainfully occupied in this country. Applicant must submit the financial status for instance banker’s confirmation. 

Documents required are mentioned below: 

  • Passport valid for 6 minimum months
  • Passport must have one or two blank pages
  • Passport size photo
  • Confirm round flight ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds (Bank Statements)
  • Proof of accommodation in (hotel bookings or other stay)

For more information please visit:  ics.gov.sc/permits  and seychelles.travel

People of Seychelles 

Seychelles is the smallest African country with 90% of its population being Creole. Seychellois Creole people are an ethnic group native to the Seychelles. The majority of the people living in the Seychelles are referred to as Seychellois. These people are of Creole, East African, and Malagasy origin. Most of the remaining ten percent of residents are of French, British, Chinese, and Indian origin. Locals are very relaxed, easy-going, and well-mannered people with good nature. They don’t entertain any violence or aggression and are very hospitable, especially with tourists, as this nation’s main earnings come from tourism and fishing, which attract tourists all year round. The culture of Seychelles is vibrant and varied, and locals have great respect for it. The religious life here is dominated by Christianity, while the rest of the population follows Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Additionally, there are different African traditional religions related to ethnic customs. People here have different sides to their personality; they are friendly and diverse, with various languages, customs, music, food, dress, and art in their culture. Many of them are also fishermen and boat constructors, while in cities people work as mechanics and craftsmen. People also enjoy nightlife in pubs, bars, and cinemas.

Job offers in Seychelles

Seychelles is an incredible place to work as it has beautiful landscapes and the highest GDP per capita in Africa. Seychelles is highly dependent on tourism and the hospitality business, so there are many opportunities in the tourism industry. Besides this, there are opportunities in the financial and service industries where many expats are working. Manufacturing, IT, construction, wholesale trade, retail, and the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles are some industries where expats can find work. Big cities like Victoria are preferred by expats for staying and working.

Getting a job in Seychelles is difficult. To secure employment, connections are important, such as having a local friend or family member who is already working there. Without connections, landing a job is not easy. The jobless rate is increasing, but people are still finding employment in Seychelles. The key is to be smart. Being smart involves having the right job search knowledge to stay ahead of other job candidates. A university degree alone will not guarantee a job in Seychelles, as many students graduate from public and private universities each year. However, there is hope for finding employment, as employers need highly qualified individuals for vacant positions. There are some key points you must work on, such as discovering yourself, accessing the hidden job market, searching online and then applying for jobs, preparing a perfect CV, and submitting it. The highest-paying jobs in Seychelles include Technical Manager in technology and development, Pilot in transport, Air Traffic Controller, Executive Manager, and positions in the financial services and finance control sectors. According to a recent survey, the lowest-paying job in Seychelles is working as a fisherman.

How to get a job? 

  • Create a perfect CV
  • Search and apply for jobs
  • Send applications directly to employers
  • Prepare yourself for job interviews
  • Apply to small companies if needed.
  • Learn in demand skills
  • Sign a contract offered by Company.

For more information please visit: paylab.com

Unemployment rate

According to a report the unemployment rate in Seychelles was 4.0 % in the year 2020, and then in 2021 this rate decreased till 3.0% in the first three months. Covid-19 was one of the reason behind the increased jobless rate in the year 2020, and a year later the market pace was slow still people got jobs and the unemployment rate reduced by 1.0%. The jobless rate in this country is projected to reach 3.4% by the end of the year 2022. The unemployment is rising in Seychelles because of the lack of creating opportunities which will give graduates plenty of jobs. Recession, depressions, lacking of technologies, jobs outsourcing and leaving job to find another are also some factors that barred many deserving young locals or expats seeking jobs. Other causes are fast growing population and labour force, skill mismatching, lack of enough information in the market, structural adjustment programs and the market setup. Unemployment in Seychelles measured as the situation where a person actively looking for work but is unable to find job. Joblessness is considered to be a big reason of the health of the economy. 

For more information please visit: tradingeconomics.com

Economy of Seychelles  

According to the IMF Seychelles is one of the developing countries because of its lower economic performances, however since past few years economy has continued its strong recovery especially in the year 2022, as tourism has seen immense growth even after the challenging global environment. This country has service oriented mixed economy, though some locals are still depended on farming. Tourism and hospitality sector has brought the economy with a variety of personal freedom along with centralized government regulations. Seychelles economy is also depended on agriculture with 20%, followed by Industry with 22.2%.Economic growth in this country has shown resilience towards the covid-19, with showing results in the first six months of the year coming above pre pandemic levels driven by a rebound in the service sector. Main industries supporting the economy are agricultural processing (coconuts, vanilla and coir rope (coconut fiber rope); boat building, printing, furniture, and beverages. Agricultural products consist of sweet potatoes, cinnamon, cassava (tapioca), bananas, poultry and tuna. Export materials are canned tuna, frozen fish, petroleum products, etc. Products imported by this country are machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals and other manufactured goods. Seychelles’s import partners are countries like Spain, France, South Africa and UAE. 

For more information please visit: wikipedia.org

Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners

Renting:

Most of the people, most of the population in Victoria are renters. Renting a house gives some flexibility which a permanent house will not provide. For foreigners and locals, renting a property is affordable than buying a place as the prices of the properties have plumped in recent years. Renting an apartment or a house is cheaper in Seychelles than buying a property. The amount of rent may vary from city to city as it depends on the neighborhood, market, size of the property, main city. Prices in the major cities are comparatively higher than the rural areas. 

Major cities like Mahe, Praslin, Eden Island, etc are expensive. Some of the cheaper cities are Takamaka and Beau Vallon, etc. You can search for an accommodation online or hire a broker. This will save your time and energy. They will help you to find a reliable and comfortable accommodation. Both the furnished and unfurnished flats are available.

Documents: 

  • Passport Photocopy
  • Identity Proof
  • Photos passport size
  • Rental agreement

Buying:

Owning a property in the Seychelles is possible for locals and non-locals, also if you have investment purpose. Property prices have risen tremendously in past few years. Especially in Mahé and Eden Island the rates are sky high. However, certain islands are off limits in terms of selling real estate, though interested ones could sign a long term lease if you really want to own the place. The government grants rights of occupancy of land and derivative rights. The right is valid for 5-99 years and is renewable. For an expat to get a right of occupancy, they must get the Certificate Seychelles government first.

Here also, while getting a property on lease or sub lease, prices may vary due to various aspects. For instance, the property is big or small in size. Apart from the house price you will also need to pay the agency fees, notary and lawyer’s fee, acquisition fee, registration fee, etc. To buy a property you need a mortgage which has few loopholes like high interest, cost of house is already high, high incidental cost (legal fee, valuation, stamp duty), low cost of income. It is suggested to hire a lawyer and a translator if you are not good in Creole or English. 

Documents

  • Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • Certificate of Incentives
  • Two photograph passport size
  • Mortgage papers

For more information please visit: retirepedia.com and globalpropertyguide

Climate

The climate in Seychelles is variable and has variable climatic conditions; however it is comfortable all year around. The summers are hot and cloudy; winters are warm, windy and cloudy and are oppressive year round. The best time to visit this country is for hot weather activities, which is from June to October. 

Summer: The summer is good for adventure sports and the best time to roam at the coastal parts. This season starts from the month of March and ends in the month of May.

Winter: This season lasts for more than two and a half month. This season starts from the month of June and ends in September. 

Wet Season:  This season lasts for less than five months. It season starts from the mid October and lasts till mid March. 

Dry Season: This season lasts for less than seven months. It season starts from the mid March and lasts till mid October.

For more information please visit: weatherspark.com

Languages

The official and national languages of Seychelles are English, French and Seychellois Creole. Seychellois Creole is a French based Creole language and most commonly spoken by the native people in the archipelago by more than ninety percent of the population. This country was under British rule for a century, as a result the legacy of the British Seychelles made English become the main language in the government sectors and in business. French got introduced here before the British colony. It has remained in use in large scale due to it is used by the Franco-Seychellois minority. English is another language spoken in this country and is mandatory in primary educational institutions. Other than English, Sign Language is another language used by deaf communities. Immigrant languages spoken in their ethnic communities all over the country are Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, German, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Belarusian, Chinese, etc. Populations here are bilingual or multilingual as they can speak more than two languages. Many are people are multilingual, can speak, write and understand these languages and are fluent in it. However English language is very much used at the popular tourist destinations in this country. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Traffic

Roads in Seychelles are in well maintained and are in good condition and the traffic is considered as reasonably safe. Conditions of the roads in this nation are constantly improving so you may see some sign boards of road works along the way. Roads here are narrow and one-lane so you must give preference to the vehicles on the right. There are people who does not follow traffic rules, so be attentive while driving or riding a bicycle. Here you can rent a car here with a driver. According to the traffic rules, traffic runs on the left hand side of the road and steering is on right hand side so try to drive on the left side of the road. Foreigners are allowed to drive in this nation with an international driving license. Always beware of poor roads, livestock, pedestrians and cyclists. There are only two lanes on the highway in the cities. Lanes are narrow and sometimes there are medians. It is suggested to seek local advice before driving around. The popular and easiest way to travel between the islands is by ferries. Rest of the places can be reached by chartered boat or private helicopter ride. The famous ferry company, CAT Cocos, operates its catamarans on daily basis between the major islands. The speed limit is below 60 km/h on the highway, in urban areas the limit is below 40 km/h. You will encounter many unmarked speed bumps, so be careful while driving. Avoid driving after dark especially in high risk areas. 

Documents needed as a foreigner

  • Vehicle’s registration papers
  • Liability insurance copy
  • International Driver’s license

For more information visit: youcouldtravel.com

Currency

Seychelles’s official currency is Seychellois rupee (SR or SCR). In local Seychellois Creole (Seselwa) the currency is called as ‘roupi’ and ‘roupie’ in French language. This is the smallest country to have its independent monetary policy. There are many other currencies which are called rupee like Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan. The abbreviation SR is many times used for distinction. At time ‘Re/Rs.’ is prefixed with the currency. The Seychellois rupee is divided into 100 cents. The paper currency is in five denominations, which are Rs. 10/-, Rs. 25/-, Rs. 50/-, Rs. 100/-, Rs. 500/-. Coins in seven denominations 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, Re. 1/-, Rs. 5/-, Rs. 10/-. All the bills and coins are minted and managed by the Central Bank of Seychelles. In the recent years, the Central Bank of Seychelles issued a new series of banknotes to commemorate forty years of Seychelles’s independence. The theme of this series is based on “Seychelles’s Unique Biodiversity – the backbone of the economy”. 

Payment Transaction

Seychelles accept cash, cards or online payment. Cash is the original and the oldest payment method accepted anywhere in this country. The coins and notes printed by the legalized bank are accepted in every country. Bank transfers can also be done in this country. Cards are widely accepted all over the islands, Visa and MasterCard are very popular but Diners Club and American Express are least popular amongst people here. Payment system has transformed over the time with the advanced technology. Furthermore, people and businesses no longer have to use only cash to make payments. There are many better and safer ways to make and receive payments online, such as Skrill, Airtel Money, Swift, etc. Splitit is the simplest way to make payments in installments, from anywhere in the world. It is available in many countries. Razor Gold, is another payment method considered as best in Seychelles. This is a highly secure payment platform makes payments simple by allowing businesses to accept credit cards, mobile payments and cross border payments. UnionPay secure pay is the largest card network in the world and one of the most commonly accepted payment methods in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, Middle East & Africa, North America, South & Central America, Western and Central Europe. This is helpful if you already have a Merchant facility to accept payments from bank using it, and then use this app with your store to increase the reach of your products and increase your sales. 

List of payment methods in Seychelles: 

  • Cash
  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Bank Transfers
  • Wallets
  • Cheques, etc         

For more information visit: ppro.com

Cost of living in Seychelles 

Seychelles is one of the expensive countries in Africa. Cost of living here is expensive than thirty percent of the countries in the world. Major cities like Victoria, Takamaka, Grand Anse Mahe are expensive than other areas. Average living cost in Seychelles depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student. Cost of living varies from city to city and also if you are staying alone or with your family. Monthly rent will cost more in the main city than the rent in rural areas. Expense will also rise if you need bigger accommodation, than the smaller one.

The average monthly expense for a single person is approximately Rs. 32,100. And the approx monthly expense will rise if you want to move along with your family of four persons, which will be Rs. 69,300. Food is cheap compared to housing or dining. If you are staying in a place where you can go by bicycle or by walking to your university or office or live in a city with a good public transport system, then your cost of living will be much lower.

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living: 

Product

Quantity

Amount in Seychellois rupee

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit

30.00

Eggs

12 (a dozen)

44.00

Tomatoes

1 Kg (2 lb.)

86.00

Chicken

500 grams (1 lb)

90.00

Dining (Lunch)

Full meal

80.00

Fast food meal

Combo

125.00

Bread

2 loaf

15.00

Internet

8 mbps (1 month)

1,550.00

1 Lit of Gas

¼ Gallon

17.00

Public transport ticket

Monthly

480.00

Medicines for Cold

6 days

90.00

Movie Tickets

For 2

150.00

For more info visit: expatistan.com

Apartment Rent

In many Seychelles cities renting a one bedroom apartment in the big islands cost around as much as a two bedroom apartment rest of the islands. If your stay is for short term then there are many sites on the internet to help you get your accommodation. While talking to the landlord or to the real estate agent, take along your French speaking friend with you so that the conversation will be clear and easy. The city of Victoria has the expensive apartments followed by Beau Vallon and Machabee in this nation. Fully furnished one bedroom apartment in the major city will cost you approx Rs. 12,500 and same apartment, outside city will cost approx Rs. 7,500. A furnished studio apartment of 2 to 3 bedrooms in the city centre will cost you approx Rs. 24,500 and outside the city it will cost you approx Rs. 14,600. After visiting on the below given link you will get the ideas of the cost of monthly rent. You will find the apartments online or with the help of a local friend. Property showing websites also mentions prices below so that you can choose according to your need and comfort.

For more info visit: arrivaseychelles.com and expatistan.com

Taxes

Seychelles Revenue Commission introduced Income and Non Monetary Benefits Tax Amendment Act in recent years. This is a tax levied on employees and the employers and replaced the previous Income and Non Monetary Benefits Tax Act 2010. The income tax is payable by the employees (for instance. Emoluments, salary, allowances), whereas the Non Monetary Benefit Tax is payable by the employers (for ex. Motor vehicle, accommodation) in this country. The indirect taxes are mandatory on the purchase of goods in this country. Taxes under indirect taxes are excise duty, custom duty and VAT. In Seychelles income tax comes under direct tax. This nation’s tax system covers income tax, VAT, customs and stamp duty. The resident is taxed on his worldwide income, irrespective of source. Non residents are only taxes on their Seychellois income. Income tax is charged with the rate of 0-30% on income of local registered corporation. Some payments to non residents are taxable at the relevant non-resident different rates. The income tax rate is 30% for everyone but there are also some exemptions from tax. Gains from the investments in this nation are taxable as such income comes under the source rules and in these cases the gain will be taxed at rate of 30%. For non citizens there is no zero tax rates, however the taxation scale is the same. Employers pay 20% tax on employee’s non- monetary benefits such as car, housing, etc.

For more information please visit: gsl.org and src.gov.sc  

Health Insurance

The government of Seychelles provides free access to primary healthcare for all residents and has adequate service in child and maternity healthcare. There are two government hospitals, first Victoria Hospital and other is Anse Royale Hospital with smaller facilities. Both are on the Mahé Island. Facilities provided here are emergency services, pediatrics, gynecology, oncology, ophthalmology and other services. The decompression chamber, used for diving related disorders, can only be found at the Victoria Hospital, in the capital city. There are also some small private medical clinics located on the Mahé that provides primary healthcare services. Specialized healthcare services like complex heart surgery, oncology and dentistry are limited in the Seychelles and patients, who can afford, so they are shifted to neighboring countries like Kenya or South Africa for these types of treatments. Expats living in Seychelles go for private health insurance. There are many companies of private health insurance and you can choose from these health insurances. These insurance plans cover for the treatment at the best private hospitals in Seychelles. It is suggested to take private health insurance plans, which also covers for emergency air evacuation to the nearby countries when needed. Those who are without health insurance in this country have to struggle to receive the timely and comprehensive medical assistance. Patients receive healthcare from clinics, hospitals and dispensaries. For more serious conditions patients are sent to community clinics or district hospitals.

For more information visit: pacificprime.com

Important addresses

Seychelles International Airport (SEZ):
Victoria,
Seychelles
Ph: +248 4 384 000

Praslin Island Airport:
MMGV+C22, Grand Anse,
Seychelles
Ph: +248 4 391 230

Air Seychelles Ltd.:
HO: Building Seychelles International Airport
Pointe Larue Mahé,
Seychelles
Ph: +248 4 391 000

Coëtivy Airport:
Coetivy Island, La Digue,
V78G+GJJ, Coetivy,
Seychelles

Seychelles Breweries Bus Stop:
E Coast Rd,
Seychelles

Bus Station:
Victoria,
Seychelles

Bus Stop:
CF86+5P7, N Coast Rd,
De Quincy,
Seychelles

Sodepak Bus Stop:
E Coast Rd,
Seychelles

Anse Aux Pins Bus Terminal:
Seychelles

Cascade Bus Stop:
S E Coast Rd,
Seychelles

Honorary Consulate of Ukraine:
Bois de Rose Ave, Victoria,
Seychelles
Ph: +284 2 620 199

High Commission of India:
3rd Floor, Maison Esplanade,
Francis Rachel St, Victoria,
Seychelles
Ph: +248 4 674 100

Embassy of France:
La Ciotat building in Mont Fleuri (1st floor)
BP 478, Victoria
Seychelles
Ph: +248 4 225 513

Embassy of China:
9CHP+78G, St Louis Rd,
Beau Vallon,
Seychelles
Ph: +248 4 671 700

Summary

Seychelles, an archipelagic country in Eastern Africa with 115 Islands in the Indian Ocean with beautiful places, favorable climate and a fun spot for adventurous people. It has beautiful beaches in the world with white sand and blue water on the coast of Indian Ocean. This nation has great food and many cultural attractions. People are friendly, happy and nice and the cost of living is reasonable. Its capital and the largest city, Victoria on Mahé Island is famous for its National botanical gardens with endemic palms and orchid, giant tortoises and bats. This is home to one of the best museums and galleries. Seychelles is a place full of coral reefs, natural reserves with rare species of animals. Mahé is a centre for visiting other islands. The mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and beaches including Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka is worth visiti g. Job opportunities are available here. Healthcare is accessible and free for everyone in this nation. To get a work contract or to start a business and to live here expats choose to make contact first.Though this country is the smallest country in Africa, it is safe for foreigners, a good place to work and live, however, some safety precautions must be taken to lessen the risk such as crime.

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