Guidance

Living in Seychelles

Information for British nationals in Seychelles, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.

Introduction

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Seychelles including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See the information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals.

Health

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See the health and security information on our travel advice for Seychelles.

Essential health services are provided free to Seychellois and expatriates may have their health costs covered by their employer depending up on their contract. The main hospital is in Victoria on Mahe and health centres are situated in most of the residential areas.

Victoria Hospital on Mahe has an A&E department, MRI and CT facilities and is located at Mont Fleuri (telephone +248 4388000 or in an emergency 999). Foreign nationals are expected to pay for treatment.

Mahe also has several private medical and dental clinics. No international immunisation is required for entry into Seychelles except for yellow fever, which is required from passengers travelling through or from infected areas.

Education

Free State school education is available from the age of five to sixteen years-old and teaching is conducted in all three national languages: Creole, English and French. In addition, two fee paying schools offer schooling in English.

Fee paying nursery schools, crèches and locally employed nannies are also available.

Employment and recognised qualifications

Employment opportunities are limited – teachers, doctors and nurses have the best prospects. Renumeration is relatively low and in local currency.

All expatriate workers in Seychelles require a Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP). Without this, non-Seychellois are not permitted to work full time or part time, paid or unpaid. Applications for GOPs should be made to the Department of Immigration. People interested in setting up a business should contact the Seychelles Investment Bureau.

Entry and residence requirements

See our travel advice information on entry requirements for Seychelles and the official Seychelles Tourism Board website.

There is no yellow fever, but those visiting Seychelles should be vaccinated, as a yellow fever certificate has to be produced if you are travelling through or from infected areas, such as East Africa.

Benefits

See our information on claiming benefits if you are abroad and advice for those moving or retiring abroad.

Driving licences and vehicles

Driving is on the left and the Highway Code and traffic laws are based largely on their UK equivalents. Care should be taken as driving standards are not the same as in the UK.

Roads are steep, narrow and winding and potholes can often appear over night following particularly heavy rain. Many roads have significant drop-offs and there are seldom barriers.

Unleaded petrol and diesel are available. Cars must be right-hand drive – Japanese, Korean and French are the most popular models. Spare parts even for popular models are not always available locally, and are therefore expensive. Second hand cars are available but they are not cheap as they tend to hold or even increase in value (due to the high tax on the price).

Third party insurance is compulsory, and comprehensive insurance is also available locally.

Finance

Our travel advice for Seychelles has information on money.

Barclays Bank has branches in Seychelles, and a UK cheque can be used to open an account in Rupees with Barclays. Barclays issue a cash card for use with the account and this is becoming more usable as a debit card, but cash and cheques are still the most common manner for paying for goods and services.

Credit cards issued by UK banks can be used in many establishments.

Guidance on bringing medication into Seychelles

See the official Seychelles Tourism Board website for guidance on bringing in medication.

Sponsoring family members

See the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs website if you are considering sponsoring a family member to enter Seychelles.

Social ethics and traditions

Our travel advice for Seychelles has information on local laws and customs.

The Seychellois have a very matriarchal society with no overt discrimination on race, creed, religion, gender or disability. French names are commonplace although people wide variety of ethnic origins, predominantly Africa, but also European, Chinese and Indian. There are few racial tensions and people are outwardly friendly but tend to be in restricted social circles which can be difficult to break into. The Seychellois tend to have large extended families and changes of partner are common. People often live together and have many children prior to marriage. There are three official languages: English, Creole and French. Creole is the most widely spoken, but English is the language of government, commerce and education. French is the least widely used of the three.

Returning to the UK

The UK Border Agency has information on returning to the UK.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 11 March 2014