Seychelles: Gainful Occupation Permit Modified to Benefit Local Workers

February 19, 2021 Lucy Halse

Key Points

  • Seychelles has modified its Gainful Occupation Permit provisions to benefit local workers
  • The new changes eliminated COVID-19-related concessions for foreign nationals
  • Labor market testing will be more strictly enforced
  • Non-local workers will not be allowed to change employers in Seychelles when their contracts end
  • Employers must provide a list of job vacancies to the Department of Employment when recruiting foreign workers


Effective immediately, the Government of Seychelles has modified the framework of the Gainful Occupation Permit (COP) to give local workers greater access to the labor market.

What are the Changes?

Key changes are outlined below.

First, the new rules eliminate COVID-19-related concessions that provided foreign nationals with certain rights while the country’s borders were closed. A three-month GOP extension granted to foreign workers due to COVID-19 restrictions has ended. Employers of GOP holders who left Seychelles are no longer permitted to hire GOP applicants. Their hiring scope will be limited to local employees only.

Labor market testing will also be more strictly enforced. Employers must provide proof of advertising the position when the GOP application is submitted to the Department of Employment.

The new rule also prohibits non-local workers from changing employers in Seychelles when their work contract ends.  

Finally, employers must now provide the Department of Employment with a list of job vacancies for which they plan to recruit foreign workers. The list will be checked against a jobseeker database. Additionally, employers must submit a Certificate of Eligibility, which allows them to recruit foreign workers if no qualified local workers are available.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

The changes are effective immediately. Foreign workers may face more scrutiny when applying for work in Seychelles.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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