As an archipelago of 115 islands, Seychelles is known for its beautiful beaches, rare animals, and lively tourism industry. However, it’s often hard to see this beauty during an expansion as you deal with work visas, hiring, payroll, compensation and benefits, and more. If you don’t know how to get a work visa for foreign employees in Seychelles, you could face fines or delays in operations.
Types of Work Visas in Seychelles
Every foreigner trying to work in Seychelles needs a Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP), also known as a work permit. This document allows the person to be gainfully occupied in Seychelles, either as an employee or a self-employed person. Either the prospective employer or the employee, in the case of a self-employed person, must fill out the application at least 10 weeks before work starts. A foreigner cannot enter the country with the purpose of employment before obtaining a GOP.
Employees will also need a resident permit to live in the country. These permits are typically granted to people who are:
- Not prohibited immigrants
- Connected with Seychelles through family or other domestic options
- Making a special contribution to the country’s economic, social, or cultural life
Requirements to Obtain Seychelles Work Visas
Employers must put together the application for the GOP on behalf of employees. Two of the main obligations involve payment of the application and processing fees and proof of the Seychelles Investment Bureau’s approval for the project if the employee is working for a new business.
First, the employer needs to get an approval certificate for the prospective employee from the Ministry of Employment, Immigration, and Civil Status (MEICS). After getting the certificate, submit all GOP applications to the Independence House’s Immigration Office in Victoria at least a week before the employee plans to start work.
After obtaining a Seychelles work visa, employees must meet additional requirements within one month of entering Seychelles, including:
- Getting a bank guarantee or a security bond from a Seychelles bank, with the amount depending on the employee’s country of origin
- Showing an employment contract that has been attested by the Employment Department
You will also need to pay SCR 1,000 for processing the application. The fee for the entire duration of the permit is SCR 500 per month, and you can pay it when you submit the application.
Throughout the application process, Seychelles considers certain factors before giving out Seychelles work permits or GOPs, including:
- The technical or professional qualifications of the applicant
- The applicant’s reputation, health, and character
- The availability of local people for the job
- Protection of any local interests
- The social and economic benefit the applicant can bring to the country
All applicants will also need a residence permit to live in Seychelles. After obtaining the GOP, the applicant should provide a bank guarantee of no less than SCR 20,000 to the Director-General of Immigration and allow that person to draw money to meet the government’s expenditure. Residence permit holders must live in Seychelles for at least five days every 12 months to meet the terms of the permit. The individual also needs to look for opportunities to benefit the economic, social, or cultural life of Seychelles.
Other Important Considerations
If your employees are planning to work in the Seychelles International Trade Zones, they will need a separate permit. It’s your responsibility as the employer to apply for the permit through the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in Seychelles.
The country also offers a permanent residence permit to individuals that meet certain requirements. Your employees may be considered a priority worker if they have lived in Seychelles as a legal resident for no less than five years and have:
- Standout abilities in science, the arts, education, economics, business, law, or sports
- A university degree — doctorate, master’s, or bachelor’s — in areas that will contribute to the country’s development
- Made a significant contribution to the development of Seychelles
Partner With G-P
G-P acts as the Employer of Record during your Seychelles expansion to give you peace of mind and time to focus on growing your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about our services.