COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Republic of Seychelles consists of 115 islands off the east coast of Africa. The main islands of the archipelago include Mahé, which is the largest, followed by Praslin and La Digue. The total population is approximately 90,000. The capital, Victoria, is located on Mahé. The three official languages spoken in the Seychelles are Creole, English, and French. Seychelles lies within the consular jurisdiction of the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius. Read the Department of State's Information on Relations with the Republic of Seychelles for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Seychelles, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll your trip with us, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
U.S. Embassy Mauritius
Rogers House on John F. Kennedy Street in Port Louis, Mauritius, 4th floor
Telephone: ( 230) 202-4400
Facsimile: ( 248) 225-189
U.S. Consular Agency Seychelles
Suite 23, 2nd floor, Oliaji Trade Centre, Victoria, Seychelles
Telephone: (248) 422-5256
Facsimile: (248) 422-5189
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: Travelers entering Seychelles must have a passport valid for the duration of stay in Seychelles, onward/return ticket, proof of accommodation, and proof of sufficient funds. A one-month entry visa may be obtained upon arrival and may be extended for a period of up to one year. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers who have passed through an infected area within six days preceding arrival in Seychelles. Infected areas include certain parts of Central and South America and Africa. The U.S. Embassy is unaware of any currency restrictions for entry or exit. Travelers should contact the Permanent Mission of the Seychelles to the United Nations, 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017; telephone number (212) 972-1785, for the most current entry requirements.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the Republic of Seychelles.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations. It is dangerous to swim alone at isolated beaches, especially after dark, due to strong currents. Pirate activities have been reported in the waters surrounding the outer, southern islands nearest the east coast of Africa, including the seizure of a private yacht; U.S. citizens should exercise caution when planning ocean activities. Currently, travel by ship to the outer islands including the Amirantes group, Coetivy, Platte, and the southern group of islands requires prior approval from the Seychellois Coast Guard. Two fatal shark attacks occurred in the waters of Praslin Island in 2011. The Government is monitoring the waters and, in some locations, installing safety nets around swimming areas.
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CRIME: Petty crime is a problem, but violent crime against tourists is rare. To reduce the risk of theft, travelers should keep valuables in hotel safes and close and lock hotel windows at night, even while the room is occupied. Hotels that do not have private safes in the rooms will usually have one at the reception desk. Travelers are also advised to take precautions and not leave bags unattended on the beach while swimming or in plain sight in their vehicles.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy. We can:
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Seychelles is: 999.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Seychelles, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law for being in possession of such items. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Seychelles, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating Seychellois laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Seychelles are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Automatic teller machines (ATMs) distribute Seychelles Rupees only; visitors should keep in mind that conversion of Seychelles Rupees to foreign currency is limited by each exchange bureau. It is advisable to spend or change all Rupees prior to leaving the country, as the Seychellois Rupee is not commonly traded in overseas exchange bureaus. It can be difficult to obtain foreign currency while in Seychelles, so visitors may wish to bring some cash with them and check options for payment of tourism-related services before arrival. Exchanging money on the informal black market is a criminal offense.
For more information on foreign exchange in Seychelles, please visit the Government of Seychelles' Central Bank website.
Visitors should be aware that foreign transaction and other fees may apply to credit card purchases. Generally, cash, traveler’s checks, and some credit cards are accepted. Bills for taxis and other incidentals may be settled in Seychellois Rupees but it is advisable to inquire prior to engaging services.
The Government of Seychelles prohibits wearing any camouflage apparel in the country unless one is participating in a sanctioned military activity.
Accessibility: While in Seychelles, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States.
The constitution and law provide for the right of persons with disabilities to special protection, including reasonable provisions for improving quality of life; however, there are no laws mandating access to public buildings, transportation, or state services, and the government does not provide such access for persons with disabilities.
Special Issues for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Travelers: Consensual sexual relations between men are criminalized in Seychelles. The penalty is up to fourteen years of imprisonment. Although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any arrests or prosecutions for such activities, they remain illegal. In 2011 Seychelles pledged to decriminalize sexual relations between men, and is in the process of amending the existing law. Hotels and restaurants do not discriminate against LGBT travelers. However, travelers should consider exercising caution, especially with regard to expressing affection in public. For further information on LGBT travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: The 24-hour emergency number for all medical emergencies is 999. Medical facilities in Seychelles are limited, especially on the isolated islands where doctors are often unavailable. There is one government-owned hospital and several private clinics. The Seychellois Ministry of Health operates an ambulance service on the islands of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue which can be reached by dialing 999. For more information, contact the Ministry of Health at P.O. Box 52, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles; telephone ( 248) 388-000. It is recommended that travelers bring and use insect/mosquito repellent while in Seychelles and use it at night on all exposed areas. Outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus and yellow fever virus have been reported in recent years, as well as Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease transmitted to humans and animals by exposure to water contaminated by infected animals. For more information on these diseases and current outbreaks, please see the CDC’s fact sheets on chikungunya, leptospirosis, and yellow fever. You can find information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Seychelles you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Driving is on the left side of the road. Roads are generally not well-maintained and are narrow and winding. Drivers should exercise caution due to a lack of shoulders and inadequate street lighting. Speed limits range from 25 to 50 miles an hour. Drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear seatbelts. There are no laws regarding child safety seats.
Public transportation by bus is good but tends to be crowded during rush hours and usually requires several transfers to reach a desired destination. Taxis are also available.
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.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Seychelles dated April 27, 2012 and updates the sections on Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens and Special Circumstances.