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New business, investors and student permits to be introduced under Immigration Bill approved by Cabinet | 04 October 2019

New business, investors and student permits to be introduced under Immigration Bill approved by Cabinet

Mr Bastienne

The cabinet of ministers on Wednesday approved seven legal and policy memoranda including the proposition to revise Immigration legislation.

The Immigration Bill was approved in April 2018 and was tabled before the National Assembly in December 2018 whereby they proposed certain amendments. The Ministry of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, having considered the proposed amendments, included them in the Bill adding new elements.

Three types of permits have been reviewed, namely business permits, investor permits as well as permits granted to children who are enrolled in education locally.

In a cabinet briefing at State House yesterday morning, deputy cabinet secretary for institutional affairs, Johnny Bastienne, explained that business permits apply to consultancy businesses among others but not to investors, and under the new law, immigration officers will have the power to grant business permits under certain conditions.

As per the proposal, individuals who already hold a resident permit, a Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP) or any other permits, will not qualify for a business permit. The permit will indicate the timeframe in which it is valid although the permit holder can in writing request for a maximum four-month extension on their business permit from the Immigration Officer. The holder of a business permit can remain in Seychelles for the period stipulated by the permit, but they will be prohibited from seeking employment.

The Bill also makes provisions for the authorities to revoke the permit if conditions are not respected.

The second type of permit addressed by the Bill relates to foreign investors. The proposition is for investors’ permits to be granted to applicants who can prove that they are involved with investing and that their investments are operational and profitable. Such permits will be granted for a three-year period, during which investors will be limited to staying in Seychelles for a maximum of 150 days at a time before they have to return to their country.

In terms of permits for children enrolled in educational institutions, a student permits have been introduced. The permits apply to students whose parents are residing or working in Seychelles as well as students from overseas who wish to pursue their studies in Seychelles.

Applicants need to provide proof of enrolment in a local education institution as well as proof that they have paid their tuition fees where necessary. They must also prove that they have the financial means to cover their living expenses in Seychelles and for those whose parents are residing or working in Seychelles, they need to provide proof that they are permitted to do so.

Currently, students whose parents live and work in Seychelles are granted permits as dependents but under the new law, they will be given student permits, also allowing them to seek employment if they are of the required age to be employed.

Fees for the permits are yet to be prescribed.

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