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Country Information

Seychelles

Seychelles
Republic of Seychelles
Exercise normal precautions in Seychelles.

Exercise normal precautions in Seychelles.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Seychelles:

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Embassy Messages
Alerts
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Duration of stay

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 blank page required

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

No, visitor permits granted upon arrival

 

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever, if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Amounts above US $10,000

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Amounts above US $10,000

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Port Louis
4th Floor, Rogers House
John Kennedy Street
Port Louis, Mauritius
Telephone: +(230) 202-4400
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(230) 5253 3641
Fax: +(230) 208-9534
Email: ptlconsular@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agency Seychelles
Suite 23, 2nd floor, Oliaji Trade Centre
Victoria, Seychelles
Telephone:+(248) 422-5256
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(230) 5253-3641 OR +(248) 2 515 256
Fax: +(248) 422-5189
Email: usconsular@seychelles.net

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Seychelles for information on U.S. - Seychelles relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visitor's Permit
  • Onward/return ticket
  • Sufficient funds and confirmed accommodation

Visas:  Seychelles is a visa-free country but a visitor’s permit may be obtained upon arrival if you meet certain criteria and can show:

  • a valid return or onward ticket for duration of the visit;
  • confirmed accommodation, OR invitation letter, if staying with friends or relatives; and
  • sufficient funds for duration of the stay

Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Seychelles website for the most current entry information.

Customs: Prohibited items and those items requiring permits include:  

  • pharmaceuticals
  • tobacco
  • alcohol
  • radio equipment
  • any fruits or vegetables

See the Seychelles Revenue Commission web page for further information.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors on short-term stays in Seychelles. Expatriate workers with HIV/AIDS are subject to screenings and are required to regularly report to the Ministry of Health for treatment throughout the duration of residence in Seychelles.

Safety and Security

Precautions:

  • Keep valuables locked in hotel room safe.
  • Be aware of surroundings, especially at night.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
  • Never swim or snorkel alone.
  • Be aware of currents, rip tides, and tide levels as they can change seasonally and/or instantaneously.
  • Be alert while driving, especially at night, as there are minimal street lights.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, monitor local news broadcasts, and consular messages.
  • Leave a copy of your identification, travel documents, and an itinerary with the hotel reception desk when you go on maritime or mountain hiking excursions to assist the coast guard and police in the event of a problem.

Piracy: Attacks have occurred in coastal waters surrounding the outer islands and, in some cases, farther out at sea. See MARAD’s page for advisories.

Marine hazards: Do not fish, swim, or snorkel alone. Always seek expert local advice about which areas are deemed safe for swimming, as this can differ based on seasonal weather patterns and time of day. Most beaches do not have a regular lifeguard presence. Two fatal shark attacks occurred in 2011 at Anse Lazio beach on the island of Praslin.  Sharks are regularly spotted.

The most prevalent marine hazards are:

  • Strong/rip currents, even in waters that may appear calm from shore
  • Injury due to sharp corals or other reef organisms, such as stonefish, which can be fatal if not treated right away

Crime: Muggings and petty crime such as purse snatching and pickpocketing are reportedly on the increase and can be a problem especially in and around tourist facilities and ATMs. Theft from vehicles and on beaches or walking trails occurs in areas frequented by foreigners.

  • Exercise caution especially at night.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially in poorly lit or deserted areas. 
  • Do not display cash and valuable personal property.
  • Keep your travel documents and valuables in the hotel safe. Make sure your hotel room is well secured, including windows.
  • Do not leave bags unattended on the beach or in plain sight inside vehicles

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police (Dial 999) and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+230) 202-4400, during business hours or for after hours emergencies:  +(230) 5253 3641

Dial 999 to contact the police in an emergency throughout the Seychelles and for ambulance service on the islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. Waiting times can vary considerably based on location.

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy and the Police. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Replace a stolen or lost passport
  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • Support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy and/or the Consular Agency for assistance. Domestic abuse, both in terms of sexual and physical violence, is feared to be a much larger problem than what is reported to authorities, largely due to stigma in small island communities. Often, abuse can be perpetrated with little regard or fear for legal repercussions, due to a lack of investigatory and legal resources with which authorities are able to prosecute such cases.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. You may have difficulties at immigration if you are traveling with military clothing or arms/ammunition. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consular Agency immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Beach wear: Topless sunbathing is generally acceptable but only on beaches, and nudism is not permitted.

Phone Service: Cellular phones are in widespread use on the main islands, and service is generally adequate, though there are coverage gaps in some remote areas. Local SIM cards can be purchased by tourists to use with a compatible cell phone.

Currency: The Seychellois Rupee (SCR) is the currency of the Seychelles.  In some instances, tourists can pay for goods and services in U.S. dollars or other hard currency. ATMs are available at the international airport and around the major tourist destinations of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, but they dispense only Seychellois Rupees. Credit cards are not necessarily widely accepted outside of resorts. Gas stations and smaller, more remote outlets usually only accept cash.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: While consensual same sex relations are legal in the Seychelles, LGBTI persons have reported instances of discrimination. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, accommodations, and public buildings. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts. Most buildings lack functioning elevators.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Consult the CDC website for the Seychelles prior to travel.

Medical facilities are limited, especially on the isolated islands where doctors are often unavailable. There is one main government-run hospital and several localized district clinics on the three main islands. A number of private doctors operate their own practices, and there is also one private surgical hospital on the main island of Mahé. The main hospital, including accident and emergency services, is in Victoria (telephone: + 248 -4388-000).

Recommendations:

  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
  • Bring sun screen, insect repellents, and over-the-counter-medications with you as local supplies are erratic and expensive.
  • Be sure to verify with Seychelles Customs that your medications are legal before you travel.

You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. All care providers expect payment in Seychellois Rupees. Although government clinics are free for Seychellois citizens, fees are charged for visitors.

Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.

The following diseases are present or recur periodically:

Please note that passengers may be quarantined during seasonal plague outbreaks IF you are travelling from plague-infected countries.

HIV/AIDS: There are growing concerns about the occurrence of HIV/Aids among the population, especially in tandem with an increase in intravenous drug use.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving is only practical on the islands of Mahé and Praslin. Roads on both islands are narrow and wind steeply over mountains, often with sheer drops and hairpin bends. Many roads are not well-maintained, have minimal lighting, and many drivers do not necessarily adhere to traffic regulations. Traffic safety is hazardous due to a lack of safety barriers and inadequate street lighting. Avoid remote roads, particularly at night. Drunk-driving is a problem, so be particularly aware of other road users who may behave recklessly.

Traffic Laws: You will need an international driving permit to drive in the Seychelles.  Traffic drives on the left. Drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear seatbelts. Car rentals are available. Most car rental companies will include an excess as part of the rental fee, which will cover a certain amount of damage. It is advisable to clarify this with your car rental company, as it may be possible to purchase higher excess amounts. You may not be able to purchase short-term car insurance with local insurance companies.

Accidents: In the event of an automobile accident, remain at the scene until the police arrive.

Public Transportation:

Buses: Services are infrequent on some routes, tend to be crowded during rush hours, and may require a transfer. On the islands of Mahé and Praslin, buses operate from early morning to early evening. A timetable is available from the bus station in Victoria.

Taxis: Negotiate the fare before beginning your journey. Some taxis are not metered, so confirm with your hotel about fares you should expect on trips.

Ferry/Water Transport: Most of the inner islands are accessible by boat or ferry; there are also a number of day trips available to tourists. Check that there is sufficient safety equipment including life jackets and ship to shore radio. Travel by ship to the outer islands including the Amirantes, Cosmoledo and Aldabra groups requires prior approval from the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Seychelles’ national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Seychelles, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Seychelles’ Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Seychelles should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci.  Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings.”

Last Updated: June 29, 2018
Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Port Louis
4th Floor, Rogers House
John Kennedy Street
Port Louis, Mauritius
Telephone
+(230) 202-4400
Emergency
+(230) 5253 3641
Fax
+(230) 208-9534
Seychelles Map